Thursday, February 12, 2015

Book Review: Seeker (Seeker, #1)

Author| Arwen Elys Dayton
Edition| eARC courtesy of Netgalley
Genre| YA Fantasy
Publisher| Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Rating| 3 Stars

I received this book as an ARC via netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you netgalley!

I've seen this book around the bookish community quite a bit.  And, unfortunately, it doesn't seem to have been quite a hit.  Most people DNF'd it at 40%.  Which made me very eager to give it a try.  A challenge, I told myself.  See if I can make it.

I was very eager to give it up at around 40%.  I totally see why a lot of people did.  But I kept trucking forward because those who finished said it was actually a pretty good book.  I don't think I can go that far in my own thoughts, but things did start picking up after the Interlude.  In the end it all wrapped up and the beginning finally made sense.

Some books commit the sin of info dumping.  This book did the exact opposite.  It told you absolutely nothing about the plot or the world.  Even after finishing there are some things I'm rather unsteady about.  For example, I have no idea what a Seeker actually is.  And, particularly in the beginning, I'm not sure of the setting.  Location, perhaps, but time, not very much.  It starts with what could be the Dark Ages and ends in what could be the near future.  It's just ambiguous.

My biggest problem lies in the marketing.  I've seen it toted around as epic fantasy.  It is not epic fantasy.  Not even really that close.

I need to cut to the chase.  This book is about four people: Quin, Shinobu, John, and Maud.  It goes between all four perspectives and each has their own story that is likewise tied into the major plot.  Quin is the daughter of Briac and has been training her whole life to be a Seeker.  Shinobu is her distant relative and has also been training to be a Seeker.  John is from a different family with a dark past and is also training to be a Seeker.  Maud is something else entirely- a Dread, and she is a sort of guardian of Seekers.  The book starts with them on their last leg of training and John doesn't make it.  He fails out of Seeker school.  Angry, he turns to his revenge plot (I don't know why he couldn't have just done that in the first place).  Shinobu and Quin become Seekers but find they have been lied to the whole time and it deeply disturbs them.  And then they become aware of John's revenge plot.

The characters: I loved Shinobu and Maud.  They were so cool and easily the most fully realized of the cast.  I feel like if the story had belonged to just one of them it would have been pretty great.  As for Quin, who I believe is intended to be the actual main character, I never thought I knew her.  I have absolutely no opinion on her character because I felt distanced from her the whole time.  And then John.  I hate John.  With a passion.  I don't know if he was intended to be a villain, but I can see him as nothing less.  In my eyes he has no redeeming characteristics.  He adds an interesting layer to the story, making it more gray than black and white, but he also made an enemy of me.

I don't think there's much more to say.  I know this review is rather disjointed, but that's how I felt reading the book, too.  I have no intention of reading the second book, but I also don't consider this one a waste of time like I've noticed other's have.  Perhaps it will be right up your alley and I'm not saying don't give it a try.  I'm saying, borrow it from your library.

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