Google+ Reading Teen: [Book & Audiobook Review] Arclight by Josin L McQuein

Friday, April 19, 2013

[Book & Audiobook Review] Arclight by Josin L McQuein

Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Greenwillow Books (April 23, 2013)
Language: English
Harper Audio
Narrated By Tara Sands
Length: 10 hrs and 16 mins
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A harrowing sci-fi thriller about a teen who's survived horrors but lost her memory, for fans of Veronica Roth, Stephen King, and Justin Cronin.

Arclight is a bold and astonishing debut about identity, unnerving connections, tortured romance, and the courage we find when we face our worst nightmares.

The Arclight is the last refuge in a post-apocalyptic world consumed by terrifying monsters 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 in the Arclight, but she'll do anything to protect those who saved her. Whether they want her help or not.  
At a Glance:

I don't know if I liked this book.  I don't know if you would like this book.  It was.......odd. Kind of disjointed. Confusing. Didn't make sense sometimes. But I still kept interested, and finished it. But now my eyebrow is permanently raised. 


The audio reader was good.  She didn't sound like a teen girl, which isn't my favorite for first person Young Adult books, but there wasn't anything bad or annoying about the way she read.  Her voices were distinguishable and well done.  Honestly, if it wasn't for the audiobook, I don't know that I would've had the tolerance for this book, but listening helped me to get into this story a little more.


When I stopped reading, I swear, I just stared at my iPhone (audiobook) and thought.....huh.  Well, that was.....something.  Words escaped me.  So, I thought maybe I should do a pros and cons list to help me decide my feelings.

  • Pro:  So original.  I've definitely never, ever read anything like it.  
  • Con:  I'm not exactly sure what "it" is.  
  • Pro:  It was kind of eerie, which I liked.  The Fade were elusive and mysterious.
  • Con:  The Fade were elusive and mysterious.  Even to me.  I couldn't get any kind of grasp on what they looked like, where they really came from, or what they wanted.  What did they do with their lives?  Just stand around and stare?  Did they terrorize people/animals/inanimate objects?  Did they play games?  Were they exactly like humans, only not?  I just don't understand.
  • Con:  The world-building was just....confusing and incomplete.  The Light, the Dark, the Grey, what the heck is the Grey?  Do the fade just live in complete darkness?  I just don't get it.  And parts of what the Fade could and couldn't tolerate were confusing.  
  • Pro:  Marina was pretty fierce.  I liked her determination and the mystery around her.  She was willing to sacrifice herself for those in the Arclight, even if they treated her like total crap.
  • Pro:  The romance was pretty good.  There was quite a bit of tension, and I like the whole, "I hate you, but really I love you" kind of thing.
  • Con:  Tobin.  I have a hard time with a guy who completely loses control of himself, punching walls, treating people poorly, punching other people into unconsciousness when they say something you don't like.  Then being hailed as the hero that's just misunderstood.
  • Pro:  I ended up liking Tobin anyway.  His character basically changed from hostile to perfect, and I liked him.
  • Con:  I ended up liking Tobin anyway.  I HATE that I ended up liking a guy who should've been put in jail.  Bad Andye!!
  • Pro:  Rue.  When he came into the picture, things got really interesting. 
  • Pro:  All the twists and unveiled mysteries.  There were tons of revelations in this book.  Some were easily spotted, others not-so-much, but overall, I thought this was really well done.     
  • Pro:  Even though my eyebrow practically migrated to my hairline, I was still kept interested in what was happening.  I had to know what all this was about.  It was just so different, and the writing was really good.
  • Con:  I kind of feel like reading it was like reading a regular book while smoking dope.  Like the entire book has a haze around it that I just couldn't quite see through.  This left me unsatisfied and a little irritated (but at least I didn't have the munchies).
  • Con:  The way everything just kind of resolved itself in a neat little bow.  It was all a little too easy, and frankly, a little boring.  I mean, I want happiness and butterflies in real life, but it doesn't make for very exciting reading. 
  • Pro:  No cliffhanger!!  I'm not sure if there's a sequel, but it doesn't need one at all.
  • Pro:  Did I say originality?  
Well, I'm not sure I'm any more clear on my feelings.  But maybe you can figure out if you think it's something you'd like!  Let me know what you think in the comments!

Book Doppelgangers:

Errr.....The Host by Stephenie Meyer?
  • Profanity: Minor
  • Sexual Content: Mild
  • Violence: Moderate
For more details, check out Arclight on

1 comment:

  1. I totally love originality! Plus if the main female character is good I can usually enjoy the rest of the story. So I'm thinking this is one I'd at least try.


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