Book Review: Arclight by Josin L. McQuein

Posted July 4, 2013 by Debby in Reviews / 15 Comments

Book Review: Arclight by Josin L. McQueinArclight by Josin L. McQuein
Series: Arclight #1
Published by Greenwillow Books on April 23rd, 2013
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 416
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

A harrowing sci-fi thriller that #1 New York Times bestselling author Pittacus Lore proclaimed "Powerful and gripping." This bold and astonishing novel about identity, unnerving connections, tortured romance, and facing our worst nightmares is made for fans of Veronica Roth, Stephen King, and Justin Cronin.

The Arclight is the last refuge in a post-apocalyptic world consumed by terrifying creatures called the Fade. No one crosses the wall of light that keeps the last human survivors safe. There's nothing else left and nowhere to go. Or so they thought, until Marina, a lone teenage girl, stumbles out of the Dark.

Marina doesn't remember who she is, where she came from, or how she survived. And the Fade want her back. When one of them infiltrates the compound and recognizes Marina, she begins to unlock secrets she didn't even know she had. Marina knows she's an outsider, but she'll do anything to protect those who saved her. Whether they want her help or not.

4 Stars

Holy crap! This book was awesome! Arclight is an astonishingly powerful debut by Josin L. McQuein. Even for someone who usually is weary of thrillers, this sucked me in and had me totally engrossed. With a great group of characters and an imaginative and beautifully depicted world, this book is a keeper.

Let me start right there, with the writing. I adore Josin L. McQuein’s writing style. She describes everything with such gripping imagery and just has an amazing way with words. From the very first page, I was immediately impressed. And after having read some YA novels recently where the writing really was nothing to shout about, this made me so happy. You want quotable quotes? Read Arclight, seriously.

“You diminished me beyond words, and fractured me to less than nothing–a single voice pulled from the roar of the wind.” Arclight by Josin L. McQuein
The world she created was also amazingly creative and offered tons of opportunities for her to showcase that lovely writing style. The world is shrouded in the Dark, with monsters called the Fade terrorizing humans. It’s hard to describe much more without me giving things away, but it’s truly one of the more unique worlds I’ve read about lately. However, because the world was so complex, sometimes I felt it was hard to understand. While I really loved the writing style, at some points a little less embellishment and a little more clarity would have been appreciated.

I actually really loved so many of the characters, it’s ridiculous. Marina strangely touched my heart. Though in the long run her personality may not be so memorable, I really sympathized with her a lot and ..yeah, she was really intriguing to read about, since most of the book covers the mystery of her identity. Tobin was really cool, at least for the first half, and dare I say it, a pretty swoon-worthy boy. But it’s mostly about Rue. Rue is awesome. And Rue and Marina, it totally needs to happen.

That being said, the romance here is very light. It’s mostly a background thing, and most of the book centers on the mystery/thriller aspect. I suppose one could say this is almost a love triangle, but it’s a very complicated situation. However, I loved all of it. Like I just said: Rue and Marina. It touched my heart and it needs to happen. So give me the next book already.

The plot packed a punch with all its mysteries about the world, the Fade, and Marina’s identity. I didn’t want to stop reading, I just had to know the answers to all my questions. The plot is aptly twisty-turny, and that just makes for a really engaging read. (Also! It wasn’t AS scary as I expected. Other bloggers claimed it would be best to read it in the daylight, but I was surprisingly not that scared – which is a good thing, for me, since I get nightmares easily.)

Summing Up:

This was an awesome debut from Josin L. McQuein which gives me high hopes, not only for the sequel, Meridian, but also for the next books she comes up with. Her writing is just amazing and engrossing, and this world was extremely creative. This was just a great read! What more can I say?

GIF it to me straight!

Recommended To:

Fans of thrillers, unique world building, and beautiful writing.

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15 responses to “Book Review: Arclight by Josin L. McQuein

  1. ReemAdelEid

    If Snape approves, then so do I! I seriously need to pick this book up. I've been seeing it all around the blogosphere and all it got was praise. I'm a bit wary of dystopias, but maybe this will be an exception.
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  2. I liked this one. Not as much as you, and I definitely think the romance was part of the main focus, but I did enjoy the romance here because it was SO intense. The entire book was intense. And though I did like her writing style, I thought some of the descriptions could have been handled better. I am a very visual reader and I needed more. Especially towards the end.

  3. Ooh, this is not at all like a typical dystopia. It almost feels a bit paranormal and sci-fi but it's definitely more post-apocalyptic than dystopia. Uhh, that sounds bizarre. But really, it's different. I hope you like it if you check it out!

  4. Ha, funny. I don't know I think maybe I've been reading books that are way more romance-centered lately, so this one wasn't as bad for me. But yeah, the romance was awesome. Intense is exactly the right word for it. But yeah, the descriptions… especially like how she described the Fade – I have no idea how to picture them in my mind.

  5. Okay. You had me with the Snape gif (how can I ignore him?) and the wonderful quote. I love powerful writing-styles, with so many lines you want to quote it's almost impossible to pick your favorite one. And not to mention the sound from the world-building! And a light romance and mystery and good characters, helloooo. This book holds everything I love 😀
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  6. I'm reading this now. I really like it although I feel like it's a little disjointed. I think that's mostly the mystery aspect and it'll be one of those things where when the final twist comes it'll all make sense. From a writing perspective, it's really impressive. I completely get Marina's frustration with her amnesia b/c I'm completely frustrated too WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU OUT THERE IN THE DARK?!

  7. Judith

    I'm so in love with that quote! The fact that this book has beautiful writing makes me even MORE excited that I bought it. While the romance wasn't that important, I can't wait to see the Fade ship everyone (um, Amber) keeps talking about. I HOPE I'LL LIKE IT!

  8. I know right!! That quote is like, burned in my memory. And it's not like the only quote that's amazing. I think you'll love it 🙂 THE FADE SHIP hahahaha, you will. You will.

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