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Friday, May 10, 2013

In a Word: Forgettable

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Even in the last human enclave left on Earth, Marina doesn't fit in.  She's an anomaly, a miracle, a freak—she's the only person who's ever returned from the Dark alive.  People look at her with awe.  And distrust.  And fear.  Many would just as soon throw her back out, give her to the Fade, which hunt her relentlessly.  If the humans huddled inside Arclight sacrificed Marina, maybe the monsters of the Dark would leave them alone, allow them to dwell in (relative) peace.  Maybe.  

Marina's not sure what to think of herself either.  She has no memories of who she is or where she lived before being found by a team of Arclight rescuers.  How she survived out in the Fade-infested Dark, a feat managed by no other human, is anyone's guess.  Marina knows she's no tougher, no less fearful, no different than any other teenager.  So, how did she do it?

When Marina discovers a terrifying visitor in her room, she starts to get an inkling.  The Fade do want her, just for a reason no one could have imagined ...

...except me, because I totally saw it coming.  Which, really, is the problem I kept running into with Arclight, a debut novel by Josin L. McQuein.  It's like every other supernatural/horror dystopian I've ever read.  The story actually starts out pretty strong, with plenty of action and mystery as well as a distinct narrative voice.  But, it weakens as it goes.  The plot's cliché, the characters flat, the writing average.  In the notes I took while I was reading Arclight, I used one word to sump up my feelings about the novel:  forgettable.  Yep, that pretty much says it all.

(Readalikes:  Reminded me a lot of Edge of the Falls by Nazarea Andrews; also a bit of Veronica Rossi's Under the Never Sky [Under the Never Sky; Through the Ever Night] series and Partials by Dan Wells)

Grade:  C

If this were a movie, it would be rated:  PG for violence and mild language

To the FTC, with love:  I received an ARC of Arclight from the generous folks at Greenwillow, a division of Harper Collins.  Thank you!  



  1. I read Arclight a few days ago, and I had a similar reaction. I liked the story itself well enough, but it doesn't really stand out and I probably won't remember the details of it a week from now.

  2. I've heard some folks raving about this one... I dunno... sounds kinda "been there, done that" to me. I have a feeling I won't be reading this one.

  3. Bummer, especially considering all the hyping behind this book. It does sound kind of like it would be the same old, same old.

  4. Too bad this was disappointing for you, hope your next read is better!!


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