Welcome to the ARC, the underground facility that houses what is left of Earth’s population after a meteor hits and a nuclear winter follows. Elle Winters was barely more than a toddler when the Earth was hit. However, the screens around the atrium of the ARC show a continuous live-feed of the dust and desolation that Earth has become, so can anyone truly forget what the Earth was like in it’s glory?
Every year, the residents of the ARC are tested to see if they’re “tainted”. While the exact symptoms/signs of being tainted aren’t explained in detail, the fact that these people are taken away with no warning and leave behind everything, including their possessions, and are only allowed to leave a limited video message to say goodbye to everyone, definitely hints that it’s not a good thing.
It seems as though the upper-echelon of the ARC are attempted to allow normal lives, even hosting school dances, there are secrets all throughout the ARC. Her best friend, Sebastian, is intent on uncovering these. Sebastian proclaims his feelings for her, which she in somehow unsure of reciprocating. She has a juvenile sense of jealousy every time she sees him with another girl, but cannot admit to herself or anyone else how she feels about Sebastion.
However, once his testing day arrives, the unthinkable happens. He’s gone. Will Elle delve into the mysteries that plague the ARC? How far will she go to find out what happens to those deemed “tainted”? Will she follow Sebastion, as she promised?
This was one of the better YA Dystopian novels I’ve come across. Not quite as good as the Hunger Games, Divergent, and all the other pop-Dystopian novels that have been franchised in to movies, but a good read nonetheless. It wasn’t a page turner, but I did find myself throughout the day (I really only get a chance to read right before I go to sleep) wondering about how things would play out. I will definitely be following up with the other three novels in the series, so be on the lookout for those.