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(The ARC #1)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  1,417 ratings  ·  142 reviews
The ARC: the world's last chance for survival, but this underground fallout shelter is the last place you want to be.

At the tender age of two Elle Winters lost everything, when the day of impact transformed Earth’s surface into an icy, desolate wasteland. Fifteen years later, all she has ever known are the cold, artificial confines of underground fallout shelter, the ARC.
Kindle Edition, 194 pages
Published November 16th 2014
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3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,417 ratings  ·  142 reviews

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Amy gregory
This series is readable but i didnt love it. It is what i call a filler book, filling a gap till my next great read. The plot is good but there are some glaring similarities to other plots and characters that it felt like a fan fiction based on the hunger games, divergent, the maze runner and x men. The female protagonist i didnt find particularly likeable, she wavered between a damsel in distress and attempting to be a warrior character, neither which, i felt, worked well. It was very fast pace ...more
⭐Anni⭐ (Book Princess)
4 solid stars - I really liked this book. If only it was a bit longer!

Tainted is a post apocalyptic vision of the future where humanity lives in an underground shelter (the ARC) after an ansteroid impact has made the surface of the earth unsurvivable. I liked the setting of the story and even though there wasn't that much world building or information on the impact itself, what we got was well done and believable.

Our MC Elle was likable as well. Only in the beginning she was a bit of a walking
Feb 24, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Tainted was alright. I'm not sure if I want to continue on with this series. It was okay. I wouldn't even go as far as to say that it was good.

First off, the chemistry just wasn't there between Sebastian and Elle for me. They were basically siblings, but he has a huge attraction for her. In the beginning, Elle isn't sure what's going on. She comments that she doesn't like feeling something different for Sebastian. Then, suddenly, all she wants is to be with him, but she can't because it would be
Crystal Marie
The year is 2065. Citizens of the world live below ground in a fallout shelter due to an asteroid hitting the planet and making the surface uninhabitable. This is a society where the rich live well and most of the people are poor and living in squalor and the government is lying to them. (Not sure whether to say it sounds perfectly Dystopian, or horribly like modern day.)
Our heroine, Elle, is an orphan. She’s afraid to get close to anyone because everyone she knows gets taken for being ‘tainted
Apr 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: apocalypse
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Teya Peck
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I actually read this in the Fractured world's series box set.
WOW! Hooked from the start. Absolutely riveting. I wanted more and knew it was going to end before I got answers. However, it was so well written, I want more and will grab the next book Talented. You know the phrase "Curiosity killed the cat?" Nope, it sends you somewhere new and exciting in search of the boy she only just discovered she loves before he’s taken.
Nov 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of dystopian & less intense stories
Full (spoiler-free) review on Heir of Glitter.

Actual rating: 3.5 stars

This book was a unique dystopian and fun to read, but lacked any real twists and the characters and romance were a bit too flawed for my tastes. I may or may not continue the series. It was slightly disappointing, but I still enjoyed it for the most part. :)

(view spoiler)
Aug 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"This book was an amazing find, I am both surprised and pleased about having gotten this eBook. I originally decided to download the book when the author, Alexandra Moody(Thank you for directing me to download this book), had messaged me on twitter telling me that I was able to download a free eBook copy of this novel on amazon. Usually I am very wary of offers like this, because a lot of the time it there is some hitch to it, or the book has not been doing as well as the author would like so th ...more
May 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
well this was an interesting read. although it was a bit slow, because there was a lot of detail about that shelter which sounds bigger than a whole state, and had less action than i thought it would, i still enjoyed it. that underground fallout shelter gave me headaches XD i think i need to practice my imagination more because i often got lost in those corridors XD the concept was interesting, even though at the end of the book we still didn't know what "tainted" meant, it left way for speculat ...more
Eisah Eisah
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Goodreads Synopsis:
Find out what it means to be tainted in this post-apocalyptic future where the secrets are as deep and dark as the fallout shelter humanity survives in.
Elle Winters lost everything when the day of impact transformed Earth’s surface into an icy, desolate wasteland. All she has ever known are the artificial confines of underground fallout shelter, the ARC. Under the Council’s rule, ruthless officials roam the hallways, community comes first and everyone lives in fear of failing
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was an easy read and suited my interest in YA dystopian novels. The premise seemed promising enough, so I downloaded it as a free ebook when there was a deal for it. In a society driven underground after a major asteroid impact, humanity survives in a bunker, but residents fear an annual blood test that determines their fate in the settlement. The inhabitants of the ARC are kept in the dark about the details of the blood test, and the fate of those who are found to be "tainted," but th ...more
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Catch it in full at ♀ Bookworm

Since an asteroid hit the Earth a few years back, the Arc “stores” the remaining humans safely away from the freezing surface; but what it’s not told anyone is why some people are tainted and where are they taken. Fret no more, because for once — or twice — the main character will willingly seek the answers to your bunting questions. You might get question 1a right away with this book, but you might need to reach for the remaining volumes in order to answer the fina
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Just wow.

This story definitely had me hooked from the first page. I couldn't put it down even though I tried numerous times to tell myself to go to sleep.

So far, I really like the main protagonist Elle. There were a few times I wanted to strangle her or smack her upside the head, but overall she seems like a promising female lead. My only complaint was that she was a little too whiny and indecisive, particularly where it comes to Sebastian and whether she feels he's worth going after or not
Jodi Perkins
This book was okay. Not bad, not great, just a filler of sorts. Luckily it was a free download from BookBub.

I didn't particularly care for Elle's character. She seemed inconsistent, like the author hadn't quite nailed down her personality before writing the book. I was consistently annoyed by how stupidly blind Elle was when it came to Sebastian's feelings toward her. Sebastian's fits of jealousy over Elle interacting with Ryan, not to mention his constant 'hints' about his more-than-brotherly-l
Sep 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: written-reviews
Tl;dr: Tainted is a post-apocalyptic dystopian teen novel that spends a little too much time focusing on the “teen” aspect, and not enough on the “post-apocalyptic” or “dystopian” pieces. The storyline wasn’t bad, but there needed to be some more worldbuilding and development of the idea of “taint”.

When I summarize this novel, it sounds terrific. Elle lives on the edge of poverty in an underground environment called the ARC after an asteroid hits Earth. She tries to understand the machinations o
Oct 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to say, this book really pleasantly surprised me. The first half was "just okay" to me, although if you're more into YA romancey stuff you might enjoy it more than I did, but the second half? Genuinely good stuff. I had a few guesses about how things would turn out and I wasn't completely right on any of them. Parts of the finale were an actual shock, at least in how it played out.

My only gripes were the YA school romancey stuff at the beginning of the book - I think you might find it at
C. Erani Kole
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dystopia
This book has everything I look for when I wanted to read post-apocayltic young adult books. At least, the blurb had everything I look for. But then I read it, and it was disappointing. Elle is all over the place, flopping between two characters she either wants to be or is and can't be because there's no solid foundation for her. If the author was trying to make her an indecisive girl whose personality was pretty much everywhere, then she did it. The only thing that felt real was her claustroph ...more
Jun 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars

Slow with little to no explanation for anything going on in its world left me almost putting this book on my dnf shelf, but the ending finally picked up and added substance to the story leaving me ready for the next book. 

The ARC is an underground facility where people live after an asteroid hit Earth followed by basically another ice age leaving it uninhabitable. Elle Winters lives beneath the Earth in the ARC with her guardian and friend Quinn and other friend/love interest Sebastian.
Selaya Morton
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. To begin with, it made me think of - well - home. No, I don't live in an ARC; I'm talking about England. Correctly spelled words taken straight out of the OED, correct grammar, proper slang and even a reference to the metric "tonne" as opposed to the old U.K or U.S. ton. Made me feel like I was back in secondary school in my English class. Super.

Dystopian novels are not always my favourites but this has a different vibe to it. Sixty-five million years on and we humans are show
Y.I. Lee
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'll be honest, I got this because it was free and I like to read books written in first person.
The story is based around Elle. Due to a catastrophe on the earth Elle and many hundreds of others are forced to live underground in a place called the ARC. The authors description of the place is good. I would have hated it, so claustrophobic.
I can't say I liked Elle much. There was no real depth to her character. The only character I did like and found interesting was Ryan. I would have liked to kno
Carrie Wheeler
is it bad to be tainted?

living in the arc is the only alternative to the destructive winter on the earths surface. the lucky ones made it there. elle is a lone child taken in by a family that, one by one, becomes tainted and are forced out of the arc and sent to the surface. without a mother in the home, she is to be taken away from the family. a girl who is 18, alone, and works in the hospital, takes the younger girl in. elle is still in school and is having confusing feelings about her best fr
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a good first book for people who want to get into reading and for those advanced readers who just don't have enough time. I finished this in two days while balancing school work and it wasn't taxing at all. There are stopping points left and right for those who read at school, and the characters are very easy to distinquish, so you shouldn't have trouble reading this on top of some required reading for school or distractions from work. Personally, I read this whenever I got a free moment ...more
Kaylee Dolat
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An underground bunker filled with survivors of a devastating event. An asteroid had fallen to earth, creating an atmospheric change and infusing the air with a chemical that is changing the world and the humans that live on it.

In the underground bunker the rules are simple: every year you get tested to see if you're "tainted" and if you cause trouble you are sent to the surface. All Elle has to do is keep her nose clean. An orphan, Elle is afraid to get too close to anyone that could be "taken"
Sep 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The writing on this book felt a bit amateurish and formulaic. There’s nothing here we haven’t seen a thousand times before in basically every other YA dystopian book. The characters are a bit paper thin, the romance feels a bit forced, and the world building leaves too many questions and doesn’t really bother to explain much. This is a good book to read for those times when you have nothing else to read and just need to read something. I’m glad I got this free on Amazon. If I had paid money for ...more
Donna Midgley
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely enjoyed this book from start to finish. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first set it. Tainted is full of secrets and is really gripping. I’m a massive fan of books that make you question everything and this book is one of those. There is so much going on for the characters and it’s a weird situation that they are all in. I was really smitten with Sebastian from the very start. He is fully mysterious and even at the end, I’m still wanting to find out more about him. It doesn’t en ...more
Yahuhanan (יהוחנן) Yukia (雪亮)

It was a good introduction to the series, although I would say it was hard to picture the place they were holed in. I understand it is deep below the mountains but the place lacked description or "feel". I can't quite fathom how they tell time. What the council is or who the members are (and why I should be bothered about them, and why they fear them).

The general idea was there. The world was hit by a meteor (it's a meteor once it enters earth's atmosphere), there was a mild ice age. ARC
This book was weird for me. As a fan of dystopian novels, I was hooked right from the beginning. But this book badly needed some editing. The writing was choppy and the author repeated herself multiple times. And the main character was ridiculous in how wishy washy she was. I'm torn between wanting to read the next book to see what else happens and not wanting to waste my time with anything else written by this author. I really felt like the writing was bad on this one and even though I enjoyed ...more
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ready-to-read
Ok so I was very, very frustrated with this book about until about 3/4 of the way through. I just kept imagining this story and how it could be so much better than it was. It’s a great story line. But the writing is immature and annoying. Elle could have been so much less immature and annoying. Girl is ridiculous. The interactions with Sebastian could have been so much better. And yet I’m happy I pushed through just to get to the end and I’m goin to pick up the next one and hope it is way better ...more
Petra Wallenmeyer
Dec 07, 2017 rated it liked it
I would really put it around 3.5 stars. I liked the scifi and biochem aspect. The romance was predictable, but sincere enough that I kept reading. I suspected the ending, but it still surprised me a little. The character development was ok, and I appreciated the depictions of friendship.
Overall, an enjoyable, rather light read. I'll probably eventually get to the other books in the series. It's not a book that will stick with me, but it was a pleasant read to do over the course of a couple nigh
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ALEXANDRA MOODY is an Australian author. She studied Law and Commerce in her hometown, Adelaide, before going on to spend several years living abroad in Canada and the UK. She is a serious dog-lover, avid snowboarder and has a love/hate relationship with the gym. She can often be found on and

Other books in the series

The ARC (4 books)
  • Talented (The ARC, # 2)
  • Fractured (The ARC, #3)
  • Destined (The ARC, #4)
“I hate that he can see straight through the walls I put up.” 1 likes
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