Thursday, 12 February 2015

Book Review: Seeker

SEEKER by Arwen Elys Dayton
2 Stars
Verdict: If you don’t mind a long, slow pace, and quite confusing novel with a good ending.

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.


At first I thought it was brilliant but slow. Soon I felt it was a bit naff and slow. The ending picked up, but I’m glad it’s over. I can finally write my review and be done with it.

Firstly, I have a bone to pick that has nothing to do with the author:

‘A new YA fantasy thriller perfect for fans of Mortal Instruments and the Hunger Games series.’

Damn. I fell for marketing again. This is NOTHING like either of those series. That line drops in two well loved books and crosses its fingers that all readers will love this too. No. Bad, marketers!

So what is this book actually like? Um...Erm... I haven’t figured that out yet.

I was originally hooked in by the creativity of the concepts. I loved everything about the Whipsword. The athames were well thought out, even though I don’t really get why the characters valued them above the lives of loved ones. The Seekers intrigued me to start with so much so that I was ready to write a review for a five star novel. The longer I read, the more the rating dropped. The author made some choices that, in my opinion, were detrimental to the novel.

When Quin experiences what a Seeker is, the narrative jumps past what actually happens so that we only see how she reacts. The blurb explains she’s an assassin. It’s not a twist. I can’t understand why the author would go to such lengths to hide what the Seekers actually do. I felt like I missed out on an epic scene and was supposed to go back to being curious... except I wasn’t waiting for answers – it’s in the blurb. The mystery was constantly discussed and never defined, which felt like a bit of a drag.

Quinn became a germaphobe at one point. That was a bit weird and short lived...

I’m still not sure when it was set. At first I thought medieval Scotland, until a car pulled up. The floating ship over London hinted to a dystopian theme, yet the horseback riding, acupuncture, and lack of technology in general made me think this can’t be the future. Then in Hong Kong a phone is mentioned and guns become a thing. I didn’t know what to picture, and jumping around so much didn’t help. It felt like high fantasy characters living in a slight variation to our time. The two didn’t come together.

A lot of punches were thrown that I didn’t see coming. So that was odd...

The characters were interesting. The boys didn’t seem to have a very good idea of love, which I actually found quite intriguing although I’m not sure if that was intentional. The love triangle is stated from the start, but I never saw any of the characters act out of love. I stopped rooting for the guys and just wanted Quin to be happy. But the book was pretty miserable. It reads like the aftermath to something horrid, except we never really learn what that something is.

The writing was just a bit too bland for my tastes as well. It was free from metaphors and imagery, and heavy on the proper nouns. Jon did this. Quin did that. Sufficient but dull. It didn’t help the pace.

I didn’t feel like I got much out of it consider the time I put into reading this rather long novel. The narrative was just too distant. The meat of the novel was kept vague. I’m upset that I can’t be more positive, but a good concept doesn’t always seal a book’s fate.