Thursday, May 22, 2014

Review: Meridian (Arclight, #2)

Meridian (Arclight, #2)Author: Josin L. McQuein
Series: Arclight, #2
Published: May 27th 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Format: Hardcover, 458 pgs
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Amazon

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.


  1. I hopefor you to have a good end as well. I'm trying to figure if I know the first one but I can't tjink o f it, I'll have to check that on goodreads. Despite some good things, it seems that some points bothered you and I'm not sure I could pass over them. thanks for the review.

  2. Sounds like a definite case of second book syndrome, which is always a shame :(

    Mands @ The Bookish Manicurist

  3. I just ordered the first book from Book Outlet and I think I'll leave reading this one until we're closer to the third book coming out... Middle book syndrome always sucks!

  4. Sorry this isn't as strong as the first book for you, Maya. Middle book syndrome is unfortunate and you wonder why the book was even written if nothing really happens. Hopefully the next will be better. Wonderful review. :)

  5. I wasn't a fan of the first book in the first place, so I can tell that I'm not going to enjoy this second book either. I'm sorry to hear that it wasn't as strong for you, Maja.
    It's such a shame because it seems to have a really cool concept. The romance especially would really bug me. It sounds like a real mess with all those people involved. I also don't like how the dual POV sounded so similar. I'll pass this one.
    Great review, Maja!

  6. Ooh, that whole romance thing really is a big mess. More of a love square where it doesn't seem like there's any hope of it ending well. Plus, I really dislike when those love quandaries drag on and on. Finish it and move on. I need a clear winner not a murky mess. I liked the first one but...I think this isn't a series I'll finish out.

  7. Not the middle book syndrome! *gasp* Just kidding. I picked up the first book because of your glowing review, I am sure middle book syndrome or not, I will be getting this one as well.

  8. Too bad this one suffers from middle book syndrome a touch and has a bit of a romantic mess in it, but a 3.5 is still a pretty solid rating from you Maja, so I'm keeping this series on my maybe list. My mom read Arclight for the blog and loved it, so I'm curious to see what she'll think of this one. Hopefully the next book blows you away!

  9. It's been a long while since I read ARCLIGHT, but I remember really enjoying the uniqueness of it. I must say, however, that it sounds like this one falls a bit flat in terms of its predecessor, and that worries me. Regardless, I'm sure I'll give this a go, and I hope I enjoy Rue as much as you! Great review :)

  10. I need to go check book 1...can't remember

  11. I had no desire to read this series after the lackluster reviews for book one. I don't think I could handle the lack of focus with the plot, that drives me crazy!

  12. It almost sounds like a filler. I hope the next one will be better for you, Maja.

  13. I wasn't able to get into the first book at all and it's a shame this book didn't live up to your expectations. I'm curious to see what you think of the conclusion -- hopefully it'll feel worth both the wait and this installment! Lovely review, Maja!

  14. Great review! I haven't heard of this series before. I like the cover for this one, it's pretty cool. I don't know how I feel about the lack of a strong plot. That's one of my favorite parts about a series, is knowing that it has a firm base and won't go spiraling out of control (in bad way, there are some authors who make chaos a fantastic element to their books).

  15. It's too bad that this one suffers from the middle book syndrome, Maja. I haven't heard much about this series and it doesn't sound like my type of read, but if the conclusion is amazing, I may change my mind. Great review though!

  16. Sorry to hear that clear arc made things confusing


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