Moving on from the Honoria Whit and Mr. Pace, we come to the last few adults featured regularly in both Arclight and Meridian.
In Arclight, the colonel is the father Tobin refuses to give up on. He's the facility's head of security, and the man who made the final decision to have Mr. Pace shuttle Marina inside while the rest of those who went in search of her stayed behind to guard their escape. He's later found living in the Fade settlement outside human territory, having been saved by the Fade from the injuries he acquired in the fight over Marina. The process of healing him has left his eyes silver, making him appear Fade-touched to those who don't know him
In Meridian, that silver hasn't abated - a fact which still causes friction between him and Tobin. Only, now Tobin's fears have shifted more to whether people will ostracize his father for no reason. Also, with Honoria locked down in the lower levels, the colonel's responsibilities as a community leader have increased.
Like the other adults, Col. Lutrell has been keeping secrets that he believes will protect his family, only to have them exposed under the worst of circumstances.
Not often shown in Arclight, the lieutenant is a young officer who rarely finds the nerve to speak back at his superiors. He's given orders; he follows them. Simple enough, only nothing's ever actually simple inside the Arclight.
In Meridian, we find that his past and the others are intertwined in unique ways - none more so that Honoria's.
The facility's main physician, Dr. Wolff is the man responsible for keeping Marina in the dark about her true origins throughout Arclight. This has caused Marina not to trust him completely now that she knows the truth about the process used to turn her human. He's an older man with a subtle authority that he rarely exercises, except at times where a cool head is needed for intervention.
Obviously in YA the teens are stars of the show, but there's still an adult presence nearby to create the sense of authority that's often at odds with the main characters. With Arclight, there are a few adults who have a real impact on every day life for the teen heroes:
In Arclight, Honoria was the facility's leader, as well as the oldest known citizen. An imposing woman in both size and demeanor, she was battle hardened and absolutely ruthless in her resolve to protect the people under her charge - which was pretty much everyone.
Stand-offish at best, and outright antagonistic at worst, her history proves to be longer and more complicated than any of the main characters could have imagined. And as the layers of lies she's told are stripped away, it becomes clear that ruthless isn't an overstatement. She will literally do anything she thinks gives mankind an edge over the Fade, even if it means kidnapping, lying, or abandoning a handful of her own people and friends to a fate they believe worse than death.
And speaking of death, she's not above murder, either. Not if she thinks the person being killed no longer qualifies as human. For this, and after nearly killing one of the Arclight's children, she was stripped of her authority at the end of the novel, but the others were left with the sad realization that there was no real punishment they could hand out beyond that.
When Meridian picks up, she's living in a sort of self-imposed exile to her rooms in the Arclight-below, but when new events require her unique knowledge of the past (specifically the world before the Fade) following Honoria's lead may be the only choice the humans have left.
Both teacher and protector, Mr. Pace was one of the people who went into the Grey when Marina was discovered. He's the one who brought her inside the Arclight. But when he's not assigned a rifle, he's one of the teenagers' instructors, making sure their lives are more than base survival.
Throughout Arclight, other pieces of his life came into play. He's the father of Marina's best friend, Anne-Marie, and Anne-Marie's brother, though neither call him "Dad." He's also one of the few who will go toe-to-toe with Honoria when she's out of line, eventually earning him the position of one of the few adults Marina trusts.
In Meridian, the family ties are explored in more detail, as Anne-Marie's family is a key part of the story. To both girls' surprise he's a man with secrets of his own, the kind that could make them question everything they know to be true. And for Mr. Pace, he finds that protecting the Arclight is a lot simpler than protecting his own.
In Arclight, his role was pretty much defined by and confined to his relationship to his little sister. He stayed behind to protect her and her friends during the first siege of the Arclight, even though it put him at risk to do so.
He was the means through which Marina first saw how seriously the adults in the compound took exposure to the Fade. He was brought into the hospital with severe burns, and she was horrified to hear that the burns had been intentionally inflicted to "protect" him from the Fade. Later in the story, Trey was the one that allowed people to see that there might be more to the Fade than they realized when one healed his wounds.
His role in Meridian stems from those two points of contact with the Fade, and is larger than the one he had in Arclight. The repercussions of his exposure to the Fade serve as the catalyst for Meridian's main storyline. He brings up new questions about the nature of the creatures that destroyed the world, as well as leading the characters down paths that may answer their greatest question -- are they the last people left alive.
Claustrophobic and given to speaking far too quickly, Anne-Marie is also fierce and brave, willing to risk her own safety to protect those she cares about. In Arclight, it was Anne-Marie who first approached Marina when no one else dared. She was the one who stuck with her, keeping Marina from being completely isolated. When Marina was assumed kidnapped by the Fade, Anne-Marie was the one who followed, despite her own fears, so that Tobin wouldn't be on his own against the Dark. Despite a lifetime of programming, she was the one who led the rest of her classmates to bring down the Arc and let the Fade inside.
She's a mix of optimist and pessimist, hyper-active and calm, and all she really wants out of life is to become a teacher like her father. And there's no one better to have watching your back.
In Meridian, she's well on her way to achieving the life she's worked for, still living it with her unique "big picture" view of the world. A view that means she makes some decisions that might not make sense to her friends in the short-term. And when not only her friends, but her family, are threatened, she has to make a few that might not even make sense to her. The fallout from those decisions will change the course of her life and make her question everything she ever believed about herself.
YA and MG writer repped by Laura Rennert of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. I have a habit of doodling things that turn into actual pictures. I toss them up at random intervals for readers to point and laugh at.