As a former reluctant reader, who loves sports, video games, and anything visual, the faster the author gets me into the story, the faster they hook me as a reader. When I came across Arclight by Josin L. McQuein in my library’s science fiction list I was hooked by the first page. Marina, the main character, is on an isolated island of light, a last refuge in a dystopian world where the Fade have destroyed earth life. As she survives Fade attacks, Marina slowly solves the mystery of her forgotten previous life and the truth about Arclight and the Fade.
The biggest strength in this book was the world building. McQuein uses nanotechnology (think of it as atomic or molecular machines) to create a darkened Fade world that is rich and mesmerizing. In addition to the good world build, I liked how she drew in the reader with suspense at the beginning, leaving a lot of mystery around the story of Marina, the Fade, and the existence of the Arclight. The pacing was good, fast enough during the action to keep me reading, while slow enough in places to allow for world and character development. Though I felt McQuein’s foreshadowing led to some predictability, the plot twists were satisfying. Lastly, the biggest surprise for me was the paranormal feel of this dystopian story without the tired themes of vampires and werewolves.
If you enjoy dystopian or paranormal romance you will enjoy this book. Meridan (the Arclight sequel) will be available on April 22, 2014.
4 out of 5 starships.