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Posted May 24, 2014
To Be Dystopian or Not a To Be Dystopian?
No one c
To Be Dystopian or Not a To Be Dystopian?Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
<blockquote>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?</blockquote>
This fascinating story is futuristic and creative. It blurs the dividing line that separates a dystopian world from a regular world. Ms. McQuein has taken a uniquely novel approach to the overused concept of a dystopian world, making it something refreshingly new, and all her own.
Marina was rescued from the Dark, brought into Arclight, finally safe from the Fade. Everyone either hates her or loves her, depending on who they are. Those who hate her are the ones who lost a parent during her rescue, the rest think that she's Fade-proof, and proof that there is at least one other human settlement somewhere out there. But no one, including Marina, knows where. For Marina has no memories of her life before waking up in Arclight. Not even memories of her rescue. Yet some people are still suspicious of her, for her sensitivity to light and her super sensitive hearing, which she gives away by cocking her head to listen to sounds no one else can hear. And that means she could be infected by the Fade, but everyone knows that no one survives the Fade, so it makes people uncomfortable around her.
Tobin is one of Marina's school mates, and of the same age. Initially he hates her, because his father was one of the rescue party that never returned. But his feelings change as time goes by. And he shows his altered feelings for her when Arclight goes red-wall, which means they are under attack by the Fade. Since Marina has a lame leg from a gunshot wound she's unable to keep up with the rest of the class as the run for the safety of the bunker, so Tobin carries her. Once in the bunker he reverts to ignoring her, the typical confused teenaged boy's response to changing feelings for a girl.
After the attack a bunch of students are standing in the hall outside the door to Tobin's home when Marina spots a Fade. The five teenagers capture the it and it is taken away to something called the White Room. The problem for Marina is that the captured Fade speaks to her in her mind. He demands help locating another Fade named Cherish, who is his mate.
After that night Tobin and Marina become friends by necessity, and then in truth. Tobin shares a secret with her, taking her to a place that is still within the protective Arclight, but built so that the ambient light is virtually gone, allowing them to see the stars. While watching a meteor shower they share a kiss. One kiss that will change everything.
Marina walks a fine line trying to help Rue, which is the name she's given the Fade, and trying to regain memories that Rue seems to unlock in her. Will Marina discover the truth of her missing past? Can she trust Rue or is she so desperate for memories of her past that she'll justify anything? When Rue leads her into the Dark will she die? Will she become a Fade? And what happens when she learns the truth of who, and what, she is? Can Marina locate Rue's missing mate, Cherish, when he can't seem to?
So many questions to be answered, and not all of them are for Marina. Tobin makes his own startling discoveries that have the potential to change his life. In fact, everyone in Arclight will be impacted by the changes heading their way, regardless of how they feel about them. The changes the characters face challenge the reader to look at their own prejudices in a new light, and from a different point of view. Hopefully the reader will be as open to the shift in perspective as most of the characters are, and maybe even take the main lesson of the story and apply it to something in their own life, enhancing and enriching their life in the process.
Posted February 13, 2014
My Thoughts: This is definitely one of those books that I wa
My Thoughts:Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
This is definitely one of those books that I wasn't sure I would love because of the assumption I placed upon it before I even started reading it. "This is a science fiction type story so obviously that's not my thing..." was exactly what I was saying to myself before I even gave Arclight like my full attention.
Yes, I bought it for the pretty cover. I know, I know. That is pretty vain. But I just loved how the rays of light sparkled upon the paper and how it was gently raised as well.
And I guess I was slightly intrigued by something called the Fade. It just sounded ominous.
But I was definitely not giving Arclight enough credit. Just because it had the word "nanite" in it, I assumed it was going to be like the old Star Trek shows (my mom was a huge fan and I had to suffer through many a marathon of them) and I think that is where my brain wanted to shut it down before I even really gave it a chance to play.
But you know what? I strapped my big girl panties on and decided to get out of my comfort zone and jumped headfirst into Arclight.... and I am so happy I did!
Arclight jumps right into the action. There is no lull in the story at all; you are just thrust from mind reeling scenes to intense scenes and back again. I loved how the author gave us just enough of the world building to keep us from sitting there in the light scratching our heads, but not so much that it seemed like a system overload. She also used the characters as our storytellers instead of just a bunch of rote information that took forever to read through.
I hit it off very nicely with the main character, Marina, as we see how she suffers being the "one they saved" from the dark. I instantly connected with Marina and it was hard not to root for her after the way her classmates treat her so harshly. I liked that she wasn't the popular girl. This book is a dark science fiction/YA story with some heavy consequences in it and I loved the fact that it wasn't so much about the social ladder in a school. It was more comparable to just surviving among those who blame you for just about everything. Many of us have been the outsider but never secluded as much as Marina is in Arclight. It was a great way to show us that it can always get worse.
Of course besides Marina, there is other great characters that play a major part in the story. I am sure most everyone adored Tobin and I did really like him but I much preferred Rue. Oh Rue! He stole my heart the minute he materialized in the story.
And I guess that clues you in that there may be a love triangle in it. But this triangle is slightly off as you will discover as you read through the book.
The antagonistic characters were downright frightening. The levels this character was willing to go through just to protect themselves and hurt others was plain scary. I really didn't see any remorse in their behavior after their terrible deeds and yet it was the strong belief they had that pushed them right over the edge into insanity disguised by power.
The story lines were very intense, and like I said there was some very dark ideas throughout the book. I really felt like this was a "good vs. evil" and "light vs. dark" situation right from the start. How symbolic that the geographic area has the light, the grey, and then the dark when there are many characters in the story that can't be grouped in just the evil side but are no where to being labeled as the good guys either.
I am a huge fan of the grey area in society and I love that it is immersed in the Arlight as well in many different ways.
I did, however, pretty much clue in to the outcome of the book by the middle of the story but I was still hooked on the story till the very end. It didn't get boring for me but I wished a tad bit that the twist had been hidden a little bit deeper. I would have liked to stay in the dark (no pun intended) a little longer in the story.
But overall Arclight was a great read! It really taught me to that it is okay to step out of our comfort zone, or in this case, comfort genre, to find a new genre to fall in love with. Especially if it is one that we wasn't really into to begin with.
I gave Arclight four hearts!
Posted October 21, 2013
Light is life. At least, that's what Marina and the people withi
Light is life. At least, that's what Marina and the people within the Arclight are taught. Marina doesn't remember her life though. Her memories only consist of the past two months, anything before hand is fragmented and confusing—mostly consisting of complete terror. Almost everyone hates Marina and the fact that Fade attacks have started again since her arrival isn't exactly helping things.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Firstly, let me say the whole idea of the Fade (if you don't already know, (because I didn't) they're actual creatures) is basically everything I wanted it to be but not in a predictable way, which was a nice change. What the Fade are exactly isn't revealed until three-fourths of the book is over (meaning we know everything by then), but by the time we reach page 140 or so, Miss McQuein has at least given us a description and basic understanding. I'll admit I was a little lost until she gave me the more physical description of what the Fade are so I wish that had come a little earlier.
I've always enjoyed the whole human being turned into a different creature idea, which is one of the reasons why I love In the After and Arclight so much. But Arclight took a different turn with that plot line that wasn't exactly surprising but it was different and really enjoyable.
I'm still a little confused why the citizens living in the Arclight sleep during the day and are awake at night so I wish that had been addressed instead of just mentioned off-hand. I will say though that I was relieved the Arclight's government wasn't your typical dystopian government. There were some similar aspects but not so many that it was the same exhaustive government that wanted to control everything about its citizens' lives. It was controlling but not on the same scale and level, as In the After or Agenda 21.
As far as characters go, I didn't really connect with any of them but I loved Marina's storyline. I remember thinking (SPOILER: highlight to read) it'd be cool if she turned out to somehow be one of the Fade. Then a hundred or so pages later I was like afdjk! Or in other words, Yes!!! I am fond of Rue though. I came to really like him and I sympathize with him. The love of his life was taken from him and there is literally no way for him to get her back. Honestly, part of me wanted him to get his Cherish back somehow. Tobin was nice. I wanted to but I didn't connect with him. I felt like his attitude towards Marina changed too quickly. When it comes to Honoria (the Arclight's leader), I am at complete dislike. I can't say I hate her, because I've hated a character before (Simon) *cough* but she is pretty darn close to my character-hate scale.
Arclight was a wonderful sci-fi dystopian YA novel. I really enjoyed the storyline and the writing itself was pretty darn good. My only other complaint is that sometimes I was more confused with what was happening than Marina was, which was really annoying. I mean, I knew what was basically going on but sometimes I felt like the author just lost me sometimes when she tried to convey something like a fragmented thought or memory in the middle of a fight.
With that said though, I'm still really looking forward to Meridian.
Posted July 9, 2013
3.5 stars With an original concept, mesmerizing world-building,
3.5 starsWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
With an original concept, mesmerizing world-building, and McQuein's lyrical prose--not to mention a totally awesome cover--
This should be a 5 star book.
But there is a lot about Arclight that made me want to rip my hair out.
The weak character development for the humans is disappointing, and most of the supporting characters are 1-Dimensional and boring. Even Marina, as the protagonist, doesn't leave much of an impression. Don't even get me started on Tobin and the under-developed and unbelievable insta-love between him and Marina. This is one of the worst romantic developments I have ever read.
THE FADE. Hands down, the saving grace of this debut.
The dark and eerie atmosphere of the Arclight world definitely leaves an impression, but what truly stands out in this novel are the ominous and complex creatures known as the Fade.
Wow. I mean, WOW. So cool.
These are some of the most fascinating and fully developed characters I've read lately, which is why it's almost a crime that they're in this book. The Fade operate as a hive community, a concept I find particularly gripping in science fiction, so if you like Dan Well's Partials--and let's be honest, who doesn't?--then here's another chance for you to escape to a similar, yet distinctly compelling way of life.
Juxtaposed to what "develops" between Tobin and Marina, what Capital-D Develops between Rue and Marina is wonderful and sweet and absolutely brilliant. Arclight is worth the read just to meet Rue.
I really want the sequel because I'm curious to learn more about the Fade, and it's almost impossible not to add in some layers to the bland human characters in a sequel. The potential for the second installment of this series is a thriller of its own kind.
Profanity: Mild (minimal swearing)
Sexuality: Mild (kissing)
Violence: Moderate-High (intense, frightening images, fighting)
Posted June 19, 2013
Humans are restricted to a group of buildings that are surrounde
Humans are restricted to a group of buildings that are surrounded by bright lights, and crossing over the lights into the Dark is prohibited because the Fade will get you. The Dark is an impenetrable wall of twisted tree branches and vines. The Fade are able to blend into their surroundings, and they also have long, sharp claws to climb walls. They seem to be shrouded in a black cloak, and their eyes glow silver. They communicate with images and single words. At first, it seems that the Fade are horrifying monsters of nightmare. Through Marina’s discoveries, however, we learn that there is more to these creatures.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
One night, Marina and Tobin find a Fade, Rue, and during a struggle Rue is caught and taken to a place called the White Room. When Marina finds out that she can communicate with Rue and that he has answers to her forgotten past, she decides to help him to find a missing Fade girl. In the process, she begins to unlock the secrets about the motives and history of Arclight’s leader, Honoria.
Marina doesn't remember who she is, where she came from, or how she survived the Dark. Until her, no one who entered the Dark ever came back alive. I like Marina’s headstrong, determined personality, and the mystery of her past intrigued me. She knows people died trying to rescue her, and she knows people resent her for it. Through it all, she stands up for herself, and she also determines to look for her true home and family.
Tobin stands offish towards Marina at first because his father died trying to rescue Marina. Then he rescues Marina and things begin to change between both of them. Tobin also believes that his father is still alive in the Dark, and he is willing to do anything to find him. Tobin is hot-headed, sensitive, and loyal. I like how protective he is over Marina.
Arclight is a unique post-apocalyptic read full of twists and turns. I don't want to go too much into the mystery because I don't want to spoil it. Just know that the action kept me from putting the book down starting from page one. I enjoyed getting to know the characters and the world they live in and can’t wait for the sequel!
Posted April 23, 2013
I feel like I start so many reviews this way, but OMG that cover
I feel like I start so many reviews this way, but OMG that cover!! Seriously, in real life it's shiny and awesome!! This book just screams "READ ME!!" I was also totally intrigues by how Marina is the only person who has ever come back from the Fade alive. I needed to know how she did it and what was so special about her. I want to say that I absolutely loved this book, but it was another book I was too hyped up for, that was good, but didn't blow my mind or anything.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Marina wasn't a particularly interesting character. I mean, I was interested in knowing about her, but reading from her POV wasn't super exciting. She has no memory of before she was in the Arclight so I guess that has a lot to do with it. We only get what she knows, and her relationships with people there, which aren't many. She has one good friend, but the others seem afraid of her, or just disgusted with because they blame her for the Fade attacks. They would rather just let them have her and be done with it. She doesn't really seem to care all that much though really. Then when she discovers that the Fade might not be what everyone thinks, she is on a mission to try to help the one she starts to call Rue. I do think that she had some good character growth though, and by the end I liked her. She wasn't a particularly strong or totally badass character to me, but she was likeable enough.
Tobin is the love interest, and I really did like him. He seemed so broody and unfriendly at first, but as I got to know him, I really started to like him. He was sweet and sensitive, but still every bit the tough guy too. He has a lot going on in that head of his so I understood why he acted the way he did. I think that he was really brave too. And I enjoyed watching as he fell for Marina. This would have been one of those books where alternating POV's would have served it well I think. I would have loved getting to be in Tobin's head at times. I liked uncovering the layers of Tobin, and thought he was a pretty great character.
What I was hoping would be a super creepy and chilling read really wasn't, and that was a bit of a disappointment to me. I admit, at first the Fade were kinda scary, more in a tingles down your spine type way, but still scary. That didn't last long though. Once we get more into the book and learned a little more about them, they weren't creepy at all. I will tell you that they are super awesome though. I was totally intrigued by the Fade, and perhaps that is better than being creeped out by them in a way.
There were parts of this book that I found to be a bit predictable, but I still really enjoyed it. I would have love a little bit more world building, though I am heavily a character reader, I do like my books to hold up in all aspects, and this one was lacking a bit with that. I liked the romance and thought it was done spectacularly, and I liked the idea of the Fade and how things happened. I would have liked a little more background, but since she didn't have any of her memories I understand why we didn't get it. There will be another book, so maybe we will learn more in that one. Overall, it was a great book that I read rather quickly and I felt satisfied with the ending, but am glad there will be another book.
*Actual rating on my blog is 3.5 stars.