My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I was intrigued by the premise of Arclight by Josin L. McQuein, and was excited to read this YA horror story. Unfortunately, it was a disappointment for me. I’ll do my best to explain.
Summary: The Arclight is the last refuge in a post-apocalyptic world consumed by terrifying creatures 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, but she’ll do anything to protect those who saved her. Whether they want her help or not.
The description leads you to believe it’s going to be an action-packed sci-fi horror story, but it really isn’t. In short, I thought the book was a bit vague and slow-moving. The Arclight, which protects the surviving citizens of the world from the Fade, sounded like an incredible story-world. However, the setting was difficult to picture and so I wasn’t very impressed.
I didn’t connect with the characters as I’d hoped to, and even the romance was a bit too sudden and predictable.
The big reveal of the novel wasn’t predictable, at least, so there’s that. However, it didn’t excite me or move me. I won’t be reading the sequel.
I really don’t relish writing reviews for books I disliked. I don’t believe in bashing authors, or forcing my opinions on others, but in this case I wanted to share my reasoning for giving the book 2 stars. (And honestly, I’d probably give it 2.5 stars, but Goodreads doesn’t allow half star ratings.)
And possibly I feel this way about Arclight because I’m not the greatest fan of sci-fi. That said, I don’t usually give genre a second thought when I fall for a book’s premise, and don’t believe my feelings for sci-fi are what ultimately led me to dislike the novel.