Description from Goodreads: 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 is one of those books I really wanted to love, and kinda still did, but there were some technical issues that I could not overlook which made me have to lower the rating. Though I didn’t want to because this is truly a memorable novel and one that makes use of some pretty original ideas and world-building that makes it stand out amongst a saturated genre.
I had two major issues with the novel though that simply cannot be overlooked. The protagonist is pretty unlikable throughout the entire middle portion of the book, and also, some of the writing is incredibly vague and hard to follow. Especially when it comes to the world-building. So let’s start with Marina.
I liked her at first and how she questioned things and investigated her surroundings. But when the truth started to come out and it was practically staring her in the face, she became incorrigible and willfully ignorant. It got so bad that I put the book down and almost contemplated not going back, but I had kinda sort of already reached the point of no return and I didn’t want all that time I invested to go to waste. Luckily some of the other characters were compelling enough to keep me going and I was still engaged by the story because when things like that happen, I tend to get frustrated and angry very quickly. But…it was worth it to stick out. And I’m glad I did.
My second issue was with some of the setting descriptions. As much as I thought the world-building was innovative, some of the writing was very vague and hard to follow. I wasn’t sure of the author’s intent and had a tough time with some of the imagery. I couldn’t picture it and I didn’t know what she meant. I actually discussed this with another reader via Twitter who agreed with me. But it does not seem to be a problem for everyone so perhaps it comes down to brain function. 😀
I really don’t have any other complaints though. I still think it was a wonderful debut novel that presented some really great ideas and a universe that I am glad is going to be continued in another book, which I just found out the other day. Not a series, per se, but more like a companion novel, I think. Which is exciting.
The other thing I must mention? Arclight was pretty terrifying in places. Especially the first hundred or so pages before we get an inkling of what is going on. If you are easily frightened, I would be cognizant of this and maybe read it during the day. The opening chapters were pretty powerful and suspenseful.
I definitely recommend Arclight. And I know this review is not my greatest, but I just don’t have a lot to say. It was a pretty terrific book, minus a few issues. I really wanted to rate it up because of how different it was, but I couldn’t. That doesn’t mean I didn’t like it though, because I definitely see this author becoming one of my future favorites and I look forward to seeing the premise of the next book. Some of the reviews for this are a little mixed, but I think the overall sentiment is that this is an enjoyable read. And it was.