First in a series
By Josin L. McQuein
Available now from Greenwillow (HarperCollins)
I am loving the current crop of dystopias. They're moving away from aping THE HUNGER GAMES and towards incorporating more science fiction and thriller elements. Stories about despotic governments are okay, but not really what I'm into. Stories about crazy future technology and uncovering the truth? I'm there.
Marina lives in the Arclight, now. The people in the Arclight are protected by constant light preventing the Fade from getting in. But Marina came from outside the Arclight. She has no idea how she managed to survive because she doesn't remember anything before she was rescued. But fitting in is hard, especially because several people died retrieving her.
The Fade are very different from humans in how they think, how they're organized, their goals. There may be similarities, but it's hard to know since the only contact between the humans and the Fade is hostile. Marina wants answers, however, and she's willing to put herself in danger to get them. I enjoyed the thought debut author Josin L. McQuein put into the conflict between the two communities, as well as the communities themselves. The Fade are scary since they're so alien. It's no wonder the humans fought. At the same time, that doesn't mean the humans are always on the side of the angels. ARCLIGHT raises many complicated questions about identity and ethics.
There is a love triangle, which I could live without. There's enough conflict in ARCLIGHT without adding in a romantic dilemma. I did appreciate that it didn't overwhelm the novel. Marina is pretty clueless that Tobin is into her. And why wouldn't she be? She's preoccupied with figuring out where she came from and not dying. Dating is a distant concern.
ARCLIGHT will satisfy science fiction fans looking for a fast-paced tale of culture clash, war crimes, and hidden truth. The action starts on page one and just keeps going. There's a lot of plot packed in these pages. It's a fun ride and I'll be back for MERIDIAN, the forthcoming sequel.