In a future where people are menaced by light-fearing creatures they refer to as “The Fade,” the only safe space to be is inside the wall of light that surrounds one of the few remaining human civilizations.

“The Dark doesn’t look like much, out there on the edge of the world, just a smudge in the distance where light goes to die.”

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When Marina is rescued from the Dark outside the Arclight and seems to have some sort of link to the Fade, some of the younger members of the Arclight community start asking difficult questions.

Why is this on our bookshelf?

The premise and the cover are artistically sound. (It also happened to be in the “recently returned” pile at the library) And c’mon, it’s a young adult dystopia novel, and we all know that I just…READ those.

On the YA Dystopia Scale, Arclight  is similar to Insidewhich I previously reviewed.

Rating (3 stars)

Sadly, although Arclight starts off strong and the author has a good handle on the horror-suspense-reveal trope, I was placing (correct) bets on the Big!Plot!Twist! about halfway in, and the ending was just very  “meh.”

The beginning of the book throws you in with very little explanation, but lets you live a scenario through Marina, who’s explained as being a new citizen of the Arclight. As she learns more and more, so do you, although there are a few places that I feel like the author left her purposefully in a Pollyanna state, because if she’d figured out what was going on the book would have just ended.

As far as a heroine, Marina doesn’t really astound or revolt me. There’s a typical YA saccharine love triangle plot that sees her cuddling with an Arclight boy (who later follows her into the Dark,) and she ineffectually tries to stand up for herself once or twice, but for the most part, she seems to act very much as the vessel for the reader to experience the world, and less as a living, breathing character.

A second book, Meridian came out in April of 2014 from HarperTeen. I’m hoping it breathes a little pep into the otherwise lackluster ending of the first.