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Book Review: Arclight by Josin L. McQuein

From the cover, Arclight could really be about anything creepy. Readers won’t know what’s really going down in the book for awhile, but it’s all part of the (creepy) plan.

Book Review: Arclight by Josin L. McQuein

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arclight josin l. mcquein

Title & Author: Arclight by Josin L. McQuein

Genre: YA – Dystopian, Futureistic

Release Date: April 23, 2013

Series: Standalone

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

How I Got the Book: ARC via Publisher


“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?”

Arclight – Hidden Gem

So, I don’t know about you, but I hadn’t heard of Arclight at all before receiving a random ARC of it in the mail (Thanks, HarperCollins!).

From the creepy cover (see above), I really wasn’t sure what to expect. Ghosts? Psycho killers? It all seemed fair game. What you actually get in Arclight is a dystopia with mystery and suspense.

Marina was found in the Dark and has no memories of before she was rescued from the place beyond the compound’s walls. The walls are there to keep out the Fade, beings whose existence is mysterious and whose purpose is focused on “turning” humans into new Fade.

While Marina tries to muddle through her fuzzy memories, she tries to stop Tobin from hating her. Everyone’s suspicious of how she survived the Dark when no one else has, but Tobin has a reason to resent Marina’s existence – his dad lost his life to save her.

After a few stops and starts in the beginning of the book, Arclight totally pulled me in. There is so much that the reader has to guess and assume. It’s a good thing, though, because you are led to believe one thing, but then different twists and turns have you doubting all over again.

Arclight has a great twist – one that I think some readers could definitely guess but isn’t necessarily super obvious. It will just depend on how perceptive you want to be.

I’ve been duped by this before…but I’m pretty sure this book is a standalone. I checked Goodreads and the Internets, so I’m fairly certain this is a one-off deal. I think the story ended in a solid place, so it all makes sense.


Arclight was definitely a solid YA debut. It was exciting and mysterious and kept me guessing. It wasn’t the best book EVER, but it definitely kept me entertained and interested. Arclight is a fun, low-key read that I would recommend reading when you have a chance.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.