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I Belong

Review: Arclight by Josin L. McQuein

Title: Arclight

AuthorJosin L. McQuein

Genre: YA Sci-Fi

Series: Arclight (Book #1)

Publication Date: April 23, 2013

Format: Hardcover, 403 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062130145 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062130143 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Bridget


No one crosses the wall of light . . . except for one girl who doesn’t remember who she is, where she came from, or how she survived. A harrowing, powerful debut thriller about finding yourself and protecting your future—no matter how short and uncertain it may be.

The Arclight is the last defense. The Fade can’t get in. Outside the Arclight’s border of high-powered beams is the Dark. And between the Light and the Dark is the Grey, a narrow, barren no-man’s-land. That’s where the rescue team finds Marina, a lone teenage girl with no memory of the horrors she faced or the family she lost. Marina is the only person who has ever survived an encounter with the Fade. She’s the first hope humanity has had in generations, but she could also be the catalyst for their final destruction. Because the Fade will stop at nothing to get her back. Marina knows it. Tobin, who’s determined to take his revenge on the Fade, knows it. Anne-Marie, who just wishes it were all over, knows it.

When one of the Fade infiltrates the Arclight and Marina recognizes it, she will begin to unlock secrets she didn’t even know she had. Who will Marina become? Who can she never be again?

Quick & Dirty: Very unique Sci-Fi book with a dystopian type setting. Arclight is action packed with some cute romance, but it was also very confusing.

Opening Sentence: Someone’s attention shouldn’t have physical weight, but it does.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

The Arclight protects us from the Dark and the Grey area. The Dark is full of the Fade, sinister creatures that want to destroy us and the way we live. The Grey area is the small barrier between the light and dark; it is a no man’s land and should only ever be entered if absolutely necessary. But that is where the humans rescue Marina, a young girl that has no idea who she is or where she came from. She is the only person to survive the Dark and she is humanity’s one hope that the Fade can possibly be beaten.

Marina doesn’t remember anything about her past and she’s not really sure about her future either. She doesn’t feel like she fits in at this new home, and others resent her for the loss of all the people that didn’t make it back during her rescue. When the Fade start to attack more often than normal everyone starts to blame her for that as well, and they just might be right. The Fade want Marina and they will stop at nothing until they have her. Will remembering her past give her the answers she needs to help the people who saved her? Or will her past just bring more unanswered questions?

Marina was a very interesting character but I had a hard time connecting with her. She is a girl that has lost everything in her life including all of her memories and fitting into this new world has been really difficult for her. For the most part she is strong and tries to make the best out of her situation, but at the same time she does seem to pity herself more than necessary. She is shy and hasn’t really reached out to anyone, and for the most part no one has made an effort to befriend her either. Honestly, I found her character to be slightly boring and clueless. I felt that she just sat through most of the book and did nothing to change her predicament which really frustrated me. Towards the end of the story I started to like her better, but it came a little too late for me to really connect with her. I am hoping that I will like her better in the next book.

Tobin was the love interest in the book and to be honest I think he was probably my favorite part about the story. His father was one of the human’s lost during Marina’s rescue, but Tobin doesn’t think that he is dead. He knows that the Fade are after Marina and he feels that it is his duty to protect her. Also, she is the only person that might be able to give him answers about what really happened to his father. At first the relationship between Marina and Tobin is slightly hostile but once they get to know each other better it is actually pretty cute. I thought that Tobin was a very sweet guy and I look forward to seeing more of him in the next book.

Arclight was a very unique book with an intriguing plot and great action. But it was also one of the most confusing books I have ever read. From the first page I felt like I was completely lost and until about the last 50 pages of the book it stayed that way. Surprisingly, I actually was interested enough in the story to finish reading it and I am glad I did because it did end up making sense at the conclusion of the book. I think the main problem was that the world building was puzzling and felt incomplete. It took most of the book for you to be able to grasp and understand the world you were in, so that made me feel really lost. Couple that with the fact that the main character really had no idea what was going on because of her memory lose, it ended up making this a very confusing read. Now with all that being said I did still find that I enjoyed this book and I am actually really looking forward to the sequel. I don’t think that the sequel will have any of the problems that this one had because most of the confusing questions were answered by the time the book was finished. While this obliviously had some problems I would still recommend it to anyone looking for a fast paced thriller about love, life, and finding yourself.

Notable Scene:

It turns its attention down, meeting my eyes with silver ones. A connection sparks, raising ile in my throat.

This is familiar.

I’ve felt this…thought thus…before.


The headache I’ve been trying to suppress pokes at the back of my brain. The air charges again, and the Fade drops to a squat in front of me, with its hands rested on its knees, weight forward on its toes.

Arclight Series:

1. Arclight

2. Meridian (May 27, 2014)

skull 3

FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Arclight. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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