Author: Arwen Elys Dayton
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Rating: 3 Stars
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.
WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW
This was a hard book to love. My initial impression of Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton was that it was a gripping, action-filled fantasy/mystery. The world was introduced in such a way that I couldn’t help but get sucked in. I wanted to know what Seekers were and what would become of Quin and her companions. The writing was well done with few noticeable typos or formatting errors. I thought to myself, “Wow, this is a gem.” I loved the future tech mixed in with the old Scottish roots, the swordplay, the forbidden romance. It was almost too good to be true.
Unfortunately, by the time I hit 46% in, I was kind of bored. The tidbits of missing information and mystery that had once endeared me to the plot soon became what most aggravated me about it. So very little was explained. I’d expected to have a clear idea of what a Seeker was by nearly halfway into the book, but I wasn’t given that information. The romance fizzled up and died out at about 30% in, and the author fell back on the amnesia plot device… so even the main character forgot what the story was about. It was hard to peg down what time frame the story was taking place, what the characters were meant to do, if they loved or hated each other, and even who they were intrinsically at one point. The pace slowed down to a limp, and I lost interest. I had to really push to get through the last half of the book.
Was this a terrible book? No—but I think the author’s vision got a little lost. The plot was very convoluted and slow, particularly after the first half of the book. The characters were on the tip of being excellently well fleshed but fell short. There wasn’t enough explanation of what was going on or what the character’s motives were. It was all very… vague. That being said, the core writing, particularly the first half, were well done. The story started out with so much promise, and I can’t help but wonder if subsequent books in the series may be more explained. I think the main problem was the lack of explanation. As I said earlier in this review… everything was so vague and mysterious and unexplained that it felt like the author was dancing around the reader, answers in hand going “guess! guess! guess!” and frankly, I got tired of trying to figure it out.
Overall… This book was a bit of a “meh”. It had some really great aspects—the action and character writing in the first half of the book was excellent…. but that doesn’t necessarily excuse the pace, the vagueness, and the confusion of the plot. I think there will be readers out there that really enjoy the complex plot and characters of this story, but I don’t know that I was one of them in the end. This isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea… but I do see promise in this author. If you like complex fantasy stories filled with magic, sword battles, and futuristic technology, you may get a real kick out of this book. If you’re looking for a simple YA read filled with dramatic romance, you may want to keep looking.