Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Meridian Audio

Meridian Audio

Josin L. McQuein
For ages 13 and up
Performed/read by: Tara Sands and Tristan Morris
HarperAudio, 2014   ISBN: 978-1483003528

Not long ago Marina and her friends brought the Fade into the Arc, exposing the lies that they had been fed since they were little, and at the same helping the residents of the Arc to understand that the Fade are not monsters. Since then, the Fade and the humans in the Arc have lived in a state of wary neutrality. Marina has chosen to stay a human and live in the Arc, but her connection with the Fade is not completely gone. Her Fade self, Cherish, still lives within her, and Marina can hear Cherish’s voice in her head. Cherish would like to return to the Dark to live with her Fade partner, Rue, and she is not happy about Marina’s decision.

   Marina is not the only one who is having problems. Tobin is being plagued by horrendous dreams in which the Fade consumes him and it turns out that he is not the only one. Marina has the same dreams, as does Trey, another of the Arc teens. Trey begins to behave very strangely. Then they see Fade marks growing on his body and his eyes turn a metallic gold color.

   Desperate to save Trey, Marina goes into the Dark and Tobin goes with her. Marina senses that the Fade are afraid of something, but at first she has no idea what it is they are afraid of. Rue and another Fade go back to the Arc with Marina and Tobin to help Trey, which is when the teens find out something. Tobin, Trey and Trey’s sister Anne-Marie all have nanites in their systems, which were passed onto them by their fathers. The adults were exposed to the nanites soon after the Fade took over the world decades ago. The nanites in the teenagers are benign and do not harm them.

   One of the visiting Fade helps Trey, but neither he nor Rue can help two other teens, Dante and Silver, who are clearly infected. Apparently the nanites in the system of these two belong to the Darkness, a Wild Fade that do not belong to Rueful’s hive. The Wild Fade are not like Rue’s people. They do not connect as one, and they are silent and have no voices. Unlike Rue’s Fade, who “retain their humanity,” the Wild Fade are truly wild. Despite Rue efforts to keep the people in the Arc safe, the Wild Fade have slipped through.

   While they are trying to understand this new enemy, the Arc people find out something astonishing. They are not the only survivors of the Fade takeover. There are other humans out there somewhere, others who are fighting the Wild Fade. Hoping that these other humans might know how to cure Dante and Silver, a contingent from the Arc leaves the safety of their home to find the other enclave, going out into the Dark where the Wild Fade wait for them.

   This audiobook picks up where Arclight left off, and the story of Marina, Tobin and their friends (both Fade and human) becomes even more fascinating and captivating. More secrets are revealed, and we begin to fully appreciate what life was like for those who were alive when the Fade takeover took place. It was a terrifying time, and the survivors witnessed the end of human civilization. For decades they have been on the offensive against the Fade, but now they have to learn how to adapt and change, to learn how to live with those who up until now have been their mortal enemies because there is an even greater enemy out there.