Friday, March 13, 2015

Seeker (Seeker #1) by Arwen Elys Dayton

Release Date: February 10, 2015
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Series: Seeker series, Book 1
Author Website:

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

Quin spent her whole life training to become a Seeker, a noble occupation that only few in the world were granted access to do. She worked alongside her cousin and another apprentice to achieve the goal, but she found out too late that becoming a Seeker wasn't as glamorous as the old tales made it out to be. After a series of grueling assignments, Quin was left to wonder if her whole life was a lie or if there was even a way to right the wrongs.

Everything changed the night her homestead in Scotland was attacked. She and a few survivors escaped, at the cost of her memories of her former life. When people from her past came calling, she was forced to remember the painful things in order to protect those she loved and the world as she knew it. Will she be able to cope with the monstrous memories which hide behind the veil of amnesia? Can she keep the tools of her trade from falling into the wrong hands?

One of the best perks in being a member of NetGalley were the emails alerting me to interesting, new books that I may not read otherwise. This book was among several that I received in the past few months. The idea of being the "Seeker" intrigued me. Being the first book in a series, the author did a good job setting the foundation for both the world in which the characters lived and describing the many responsibilities that the Seeker has. According to the history learned throughout the book in bits and pieces, there were once many Seekers who kept the balance of good and evil within the world. Each Seeker came from a particular family which was assigned an animal to represent them in documents or tools. Some of these tools were more important than others, important enough to kill to obtain.

Right away three young apprentices were introduced right before the Seeker's initiation ceremony. Quin, Shinobu, and John held hopes that they would join the noble class of Seekers. Tension between the three initiates and their instructors was obvious from the beginning. The three of them were each main characters as the chapters denoted which point of view was being followed at the time. Being young adolescents their interactions with one another, as well as others, were pretty close to real life. The added pressure of their Seeker responsibilities also hampered some of their reactions and decision-making abilities. Add to all of this another character named Maud and you've got quite a soup of emotions, beliefs and actions pushing the story forward.

Though the first few chapters began with a touch of action, there were some moments when the story dragged along until the next bit of action prevailed. Once the first of many showdowns happened, the pacing picked up quite a bit. Each chapter pushed the characters closer and closer to another showdowns. The interesting thing about much of the story was how some of the characters would act outside their usual boundaries. Especially in Quin's case due to circumstances beyond her control, many decisions impacted which path was taken or whether another lived or died. A number of unanswered questions lingered after reading the end of the book, so I'm glad that this was simply the first book in a planned series.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. There were many wonderful descriptions of beautiful landscapes within Scotland and the busy, decorative streets in Hong Kong. Not only were the settings used to create mood, they were at times characters themselves as they impacted the action by their restrictions and/or climate. While there were times when I had to push myself to finish the book, I'm glad to have done so. The many secrets kept by Quin's family and the hunt in which John has been trapped were all interesting enough to keep me turning the pages. I was also very happy to see that Shinobu found a purpose for his life other than to simply waste it. What part he'll play in the grand scheme of things, I'm not entirely sure, but it will be interesting to find out. If you're a lover of YA Fantasy series or simply enjoy catching something slightly outside the norm from its beginning, then this book is the one for your TBR list.

Seeker (Seeker #1) by Arwen Elys Dayton is currently available in hardcover, Kindle or audiobook formats at many online retailers and local bookstores. The link below will take you to the book's Amazon page for purchase.
Seeker (Seeker #1) by Arwen Elys Dayton

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