Seeker: Seeker #1 by Arwen Elys Dayton
A title that takes more than a bit of patience, Seeker arrives with a unique premise and world-building, but the narration, third person, omniscient and presented by four different characters leaves readers with a remove and slows the pacing considerably. When it does pick up, I’m happy to say that the story becomes more engaging, although many of the basic questions are only answered vaguely.
I’ve seen this before: synopsis comparisons to mash up highly popular titles written by those who have not (apparently) focused on the pages before them. While from a marketing standpoint, the actual book always suffers in these comparisons, and I fear that Seeker was diminished by the high expectations and a fairly stagnant plot that did not provide the answers I was hoping for.
The narration is an issue, for me and others: while the characters show some promise both personally and in their quest / training to become a Seeker, the best definition of that particular position is that they protect the weak, and it is a position of great honor. This nebulous and vagueness continues throughout the story as we follow Quin, Shinobu and John through their training.
Characters have some ‘moments’ that gave me pause: Quin was whingy, a bit spoilt and always complaining – her destiny as a protector made me worry for those who are needing her. John was nothing special, obsessed with his athanne and confused about it’s use. Shinobu was a bit better built with backstory and humor, but the endless pining. Oh. Get. Over. It. I was, early on.
Then there is a love triange, Le Sigh. If Quin weren’t such a pill, I might see the attraction –but as it sits, it felt like another element in the chequebox. Yet, I keep reading on because I’m hoping for answers, and I want to know what a Seeker is, and what is the earth-shattering issue that they are to face.
And I don’t believe that I ever got an answer that felt connected or plausible in this story. Some decent action sequences and well-define perilous moments were highlights, but these mostly appear in the later third of the story, a bit late to solidify or redeem missing connections to characters that are both thinly defined and haphazardly developed.
What emerges is a debut YA high fantasy that was full of promise with great premise, some wonderful ideas for conflict and uniquely imagined elements that are roughly sketched out, none fully developed or described. This leaves the reader slogging through large passages of half-hinted destinies, purposes and scenes that do not serve the over-arching conflict or the many minor plot threads. Too many ideas thrown at readers with no sense that there is a planned conclusion, I didn’t need it in this novel, but the meandering path and sense of author’s confusion about where the story should go, as well as a large inclusion of elements that are placed and often left without explanation left me wanting. I’m on the fence about continuing this series: a new editing team, beta readers and some careful plotting for each character, providing description and answers, and I might consider it.
Author: Arwen Elys Dayton
Genre: Young Adult
Published by: Dellacorte
Published on: 10 February, 2015
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 26 Hours: 28 minutes
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About the Book:
For readers of A Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games comes an epic new series.
The night Quin Kincaid takes her Oath, she will become what she has trained to be her entire life. She will become a Seeker. This is her legacy, and it is an honor. As a Seeker, Quin will fight beside her two closest companions, Shinobu and John, to protect the weak and the wronged. Together they will stand for light in a shadowy world. And she'll be with the boy she loves--who's also her best friend.
But the night Quin takes her Oath, everything changes. Being a Seeker is not what she thought. Her family is not what she thought. Even the boy she loves is not who she thought.
And now it's too late to walk away.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.