Author: Josin L. McQuein
Series: Arclight, #2
Published: May 27th 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Format: Hardcover, 458 pgs
Source: Publisher for review
Marina thought that she had solved all of the Arclight’s mysteries. She had found her own history—that she was one of the Fade, that she never should have been human. She knows that the Fade who surround the Arclight don’t want to be the humans' enemies at all. She knows that the leader of those inside the Arc, Honoria Whit, never told the whole truth. But there is so much more that Marina is just discovering. There are more survivors out there. Only Marina—and her friends, all of whom have connections to the Fade they'd never known about—can lead her people to them. But there are also darker dangers, things that even the Fade fear. And Marina slowly realizes she may never have been “cured,” after all. The sequel to Arclight, Meridian is an intense, action-packed page-turner about the lines we draw between right and wrong, light and dark . . . and the way nothing is ever that black and white.Meridian resumes where Arclight left of, with a newly established, fragile peace between humans and Fade and with Marina right in the middle of things as an ambassador of sorts. However, it is a weaker book than its predecessor, somewhat aimless and heavily burdened by the infamous middle book syndrome.
Meridian’s biggest flaw is that it doesn’t have a clear story arc. It’s a series of fast-paced events that can (and often do) become extremely confusing. However, even with all those random, loosely connected events, not much actually happens in this book. There are so many characters to keep track of in this claustrophobic world, and the amount of information we get on each page is quite overwhelming, but the actual story is insubstantial at best.
Splitting the novel between Marina’s and Tobin’s points of view was certainly part of the problem. For one, their voices were far too similar, so much so that I had a hard time telling them apart. What’s more, two perspectives made the narrative seem choppy and disorganized, which certainly didn’t work in McQuein’s favor.
What did work in her favor was the new enemy she introduced. McQuein is surpassingly good at writing extremely creepy scenes. The new enemy of humans and Fade alike is absolutely terrifying.
The romantic situation wasn’t my favorite at all. Marina’s Fade self, Cherish, has strong feelings for the Fade boy Rue, while Marina still feels plenty for Tobin. It’s more than just a love triangle, it’s a torturous mess with seemingly no light at the end of the tunnel. And yet, the whole thing doesn’t really go anywhere, not in this book at least. It’s an awkward, mostly silent tug of war between Rue and Tobin, with Marina (or Cherish) as the prize.
I was quite ready to hate Rue for the disruption of our “first” romance (which, if you think about it, really wasn’t first at all), but that boy is all sweetness and self-sacrifice, completely impossible to hate. In fact, I find myself far more interested in his story and other good Fade, than Marina and her human friends and enemies.
I’m still hoping for a satisfying conclusion to all this, although I’m not even sure how I want it to end. I suppose I’ll just relax and wait for the next book to come out.
A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No consideration, monetary or otherwise, has influenced the opinion expressed in this review.