Imagine that you were train for one thing your entire life only to find out after you’re committed to it that it’s not what you thought, which is kind of like what happens when you go to college, if you think about it. This kind of bait and switch happens in the pages of the soon to be released Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton.
Quin Kincaid, her cousin Shinobu MacBain, and Quin’s boyfriend John Hart have all been training to become Seekers for years and they’re finally ready to face their final tests and are prepared to take their Oaths to join their families’ legacies of being a Seeker. Quin and Shinobu are fueled by the ingratiated idea that they will join their families while John is fueled by a different kind of family obligation, which alters the way that he is perceived by those he has lived with for the past couple of years. In the everlasting fight to protect the weak and wronged of the world, these hopeful Seekers learn more about the dark world they live in and about themselves.
I’m going to preface this by saying that, generally, as a whole, the book was readable and it has some potential; however, I found that I was having a lot of issues with the book. The first thing that I was struggling with was placing the events in time. Some events described were provided with a definitive date in the past, but then there were also items and events described that seemed to fit more with a near-future scenario, and still a third time period somewhere between the two extremes that seems as if it could be a plausible option. It was incredibly difficult to place the overall time period of the novel as the descriptions either jump around to various time periods or are horrifically vague, which can leave a reader, such as myself, frustrated.
I also felt that the world building of this near-future/magically infused world was severely lacking. For example, the go-to weapon for the Seekers seems to be a whipsword, but they aren’t fully explained. Yes, there are a few descriptions about the whipswords, but they all felt incomplete. Mention of them being able to be altered into a different bladed weapon was made and there were brief descriptions of the fluid nature of the blades, but there wasn’t anything concrete about the descriptions to allow for easy envisioning for the reader. Yet, we could all imagine essentially the same things from J.K. Rowling’s descriptions of new items in Harry Potter–and, yes, I realize I’m comparing to that famous series, but I grew up with it and while I have my issues with it, the magical world building was pretty good.
And please don’t even get me started on the stupid, cliched love triangle so freaking prevalent in YA lit, and even adult lit; it just seemed as if this novel was trying too hard to be considered YA and decided that a love triangle, even with a seemingly incestuous connection, would be a great way to push it toward the category. Bleugh! While I can understand how and why it might be easier to go with a tried and true version of YA lit, it’s good (and more often than not eagerly anticipated and encouraged by readers) to break away from the norm and try out something innovative. Also, don’t test me on the whole series gambit–seriously, just don’t. It’s just not always necessary. And the fact that this is already being made into a movie: ehhhhhhhhh, no thanks, I’ll pass.
Overall, I’d give it a 2 out of 5 stars.