arclight (Josin L. McQuein)
A girl in a dystopian society of the future with amnesia and a need to know her past. This is a book that reminds me of my introduction to this type of novel as a younger human: The Giver, a must have if you haven’t picked it up yet. Other more recent novels that have the same feel include the Uglies Trilogy, the Pure Trilogy, and the Hunger Games Trilogy to name a few. These societies have a strange blend of technology and primitiveness. There are a lot of rules that favor conformity. The land outside the safe zones is damaged and dangerous and forbidden. A small minority controls. Survival at almost any cost, except at the expense of loved ones if possible. All three recent series contain strong female characters, which is wonderful, but should appeal to readers regardless of gender.
The difference between Arclight and the other books is that is that the spin on this type of tale actually surprised me. I just honestly can say that the philosophical and psychological questions were unexpected enough that I found myself happily pondering the various possibilities and histories with much interest when I was done. Now mind you, I stayed up all night to finish this book and at 3:00 in the morning still delved into such thoughts though my brain was demanding sleep. And I LOVE to sleep.
I cannot say this novel takes the top spot in my Dystopian novel reading. Some of the world’s internal logic seemed off when dealing with specifics of how the individuals versus the group mindset worked. However, it was worth missing sleep over. I loved the main character Marina. I loved the world the author created. The second novel is due out February 2, 2016. I want it.
To give you a taste of what the book is about in the author’s own words:
Arclight is short for ‘Arc of Light,’ meaning the weave of high powered lamps that serve as a barrier against the darkness. It’s the only known safe zone for humans left in the world, as creatures called the Fade have taken over pretty much everything else. Since these creatures are photophobic, and have violently adverse reactions to direct sunlight, the Arc functions as a wall.
The Arclight itself isn’t a single building, but a military base where the Fade were developed as medical tools. In the early days of man’s fall to the Fade, this base was the only facility with containment equipment rigged to handle the Fade, so it’s where people from the surrounding areas were taken as refugees.
There are strict rules about when people are allowed outside of the buildings, and how far they can venture, though the younger citizens of the Arclight often challenge these boundaries. Inside, there are dormitory wings made up of apartments (for families) and single rooms (for people living alone). There’s a common hall for meals; the kids have classrooms and nursery rooms for infants. Everything is arranged along a grid of colored lines to designate which sections are off-limits to those without security clearance . . .
Want to read this book yet?
As a side note, perusing this author’s blog was super fun. If you are planning to read other books in this series like I am but it’s been a while and you need a refresher then the author very nicely gives recaps. Not that I needed the recaps having just read the book, but it was wonderful to get that view from the author herself on the purpose of the book, the characters. etc.
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