Series: Arclight #1
Published by Greenwillow Books on April 23, 2013
Genres: Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Source: Amazon Vine
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?
The first time I tried to read ARCLIGHT, I got about 100 pages in before setting it down for a month. The second time I managed to finish ARCLIGHT, but I had to make myself keep reading. I wanted to like the book. I really did. But when I kept getting distracted by bad reality TV instead of getting sucked into the book, it wasn’t a good sign.
ARCLIGHT is based off a cool idea. Humans have nearly been eradicated, wiped out by the Fade. The only safe place left is the Arclight, where the remnants of civilization live, protected by massive lights that create a barrier against the Fade and the Dark. Light is the only thing that can hurt the Fade. Found outside, Marina is the first evidence that there are humans left, other than the ones in the Arclight. But Marina doesn’t remember *anything* about where she came from, her past, or even who she is.
I’ll admit it: I was confused the majority of the time while reading ARCLIGHT. I had no idea why the Fade were so scary, or even a good mental picture of what they looked like. The book is from Marina’s point of view, which added to my confusion because Marina spends a lot of time lost and confused. I ended up skimming whole pages because there was nothing but her thoughts. And then there just didn’t seem to be much of a story.
I also didn’t have any sense of urgency or danger while reading. When the Fade breach the Arclight, I never felt like the characters were in danger of being attacked or really harmed. There’s a scene where Marina BURNS Fade poison from a guy’s back, but it was like reading a grocery list. I had that feeling about Marina in general. I never connected with or cared about her. Because ARCLIGHT is driven by Marina’s discoveries about who she is, finding her so dull just made the book even more boring for me.
As I said above, I did push through to the end of ARCLIGHT on my second attempt reading it. Sometimes an ending can redeem an otherwise meh book, but in this case, it didn’t. The big reveals were pretty easy to guess, and I kept putting the book down when I had only pages left.
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