Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Seeker ~ Arwen Elys Dayton (earc) review [@randomhousekids @arwenelysdayton]

Seeker (Seeker #1)
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
February 10, 2015
448 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from TBD/or Amazon

Quin Kincaid has been put through years of brutal training for what she thinks is the noble purpose of becoming a revered ‘Seeker’.

Only when it’s too late does she discover she will be using her new-found knowledge and training to become an assassin. Quin's new role will take her around the globe, from a remote estate in Scotland to a bustling, futuristic Hong Kong where the past she thought she had escaped will finally catch up with her.

After reading about Seeker in the NetGalley, I have to admit to feeling a bit ambivalent about it. The summary just didn't excite me that much.

What I, ultimately, couldn't pass up was what the School Library Journal quote promised, "Fans of Veronica Roth's DIVERGENT, Marie Lu's LEGEND, and Suzanne Collins's THE HUNGER GAMES series: your next obsession has arrived."The Divergent and The Hunger Games series are, of course, fantastic but it was the Legend bit that sold me.

I still don't love that synopsis, maybe even less now that I've read it than before I had because it doesn't do the book justice.

Sure, giving too much else of the plot away would be spoilery and no fun, but Seeker is a much better book than the summary makes it seem.

It has one of my favorite things to find in a fantasy novel: a setting with an indeterminate time period. Quin has spent her entire life on an isolated Scottish estate. It is a place without a real time. They have guns, some nifty magical weapons, but they live in cabins that could be the 19th century, now, or the future.

The latter parts of the novel and other locations are a bit more modern - or perhaps more anachronistic - with phones, airships, and electronics. All of the imagined objects fit into this timeless time incredibly well.

The characters, at first, are a great group but not necessarily that strong individually. Once things become known to them, decisions are made and the story moves from Scotland to Hong Kong, they get better and better. Their new lives bring great changes in each character. Even as they fall apart, or become something else, we get a better look at who they really are.

Characters that you liked in the beginning or thought were the good guy, might become characters you want nothing more to do with, might be the enemy. Those changes in the characters, that unpredictability pull you more into the story and draw you closer to the characters.

I loved the world and the characters Arwen Elys Dayton created with Seeker and am very excited for Book 2. I agree with the titles mentioned in the School Library Journal quote, but also suggest you pick up Seeker if you enjoyed Ryan Graudin's The Walled City.

review copy received thanks to publisher, via NetGalley

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