In a future where darkness has taken over, the Arclight is the last hope for humanity: it protects its citizens from the Dark and the Fade that occupy it. Just one touch from a Fade is certain death, leaving these last surviving humans no choice but to stay within the light by any means necessary. With walls like a fortress and light all around them, the Arclight was built for maximum security and survival. But now the Arclight is under attack and any breach of the light is an opportunity for the Fade to enter.
This is the only world Marina knows. But Marina wasn't raised in the Arclight. Marina was saved from the Dark, rescued from the Fade. She has no memory of anything from before and no idea that the Fade have come specifically for her.
This is a bit of a blast from my reading past since I didn't cover the book upon initially reading it. I did recently tackle the sequel, though, and thought it was high time!
I feel like a lot of people missed out on this duology and I honestly don't know why. Well, I mean I do know why - I never came across much talk about it at all when it released back in 2013 - but I don't know WHY. In terms of YA releases - heck in terms of releases in general - I thought Arclight was pretty awesome. It's a combination of horror and sci fi set in a world that totally rocks!
The world exists in three parts: Light, Grey, and Dark. Humans live in the Light and the Fade live in the Dark. Only the Grey stands between them, and it's fading fast. The Dark seems to spread almost daily and only the bright lamps surrounding the Arclight hold it back. Within the facility, security measures are in place to guard against infiltration but even at the beginning of the story those measures are failing and the book begins with the Fade inside the Arclight.
And of course we meet Marina at the very beginning as well. She's one cool cat and one of my favorite teen heroines of late. She's got more to deal with than most girls her age, even aside from the world she lives in: some of the Arclight folks are suspicious of Marina. She came back from the dark, after all, when the Arclight has lost so many to it already. And Marina has no memory of her life before being brought to the Arclight. No idea where she comes from or who she really is.
Josin McQuein really does an excellent job of building this unique world while also developing her characters. She crash lands the reader right into the middle of the action and the middle of the world, dropping details and hints along the way. I never felt lost, I never felt confused, the plot moved along at a constant quick pace, and amazingly neither the plot or the characters suffer for it. It's an art!
There is a bit of a love triangle, one that I'd hope even the most cynical and hardhearted reader wouldn't hold against the books considering how it's brought into play. I thought it worked quite well, to be honest, and never found that it overshadowed the overall plot. (It plays a more significant role in book two but still doesn't take over in my opinion.)
I don't want to ruin anything for any potential readers, so I won't give any more details on the plot. I will warn you, though, that I'm planning to post a review of Meridian tomorrow and it'll have Arclight spoilers, so do be wary :)