Monday, February 9, 2015

ARC Review: Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton

Title: Seeker
Series: Seeker #1
Author: Arwen Elys Dayton
Published: February 10, 2015 by Delacorte Press (Random House)

(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: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.

*** I received an advance copy of this book from the published (Thanks Random House!) via Netgalley for an honest view in return. This fact has not affected my opinion. ***

I have many thoughts about this book. Some good, some bad, but my thoughts are mainly favorable. Seeker is an interesting and unique book that is like nothing I have read before. It was packed with action, had a really unique world, and characters that were all incredibly dubious.

My one major takeaway from this book, is that it is an investment. As the first book in a series it weighs in at an impressive 448 pages and at times it did feel long, and not necessarily because of the pacing. The general pacing of the plot moved at a rapid speed. The book is told from four different perspectives, a concept I usually do not enjoy. And here sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't. There seem's to be a sweet spot when it comes this type of narrative style; too long and I get bored, too short and I don't connect. In Seeker, most of the time we would have short chapters from each person's perspective before it would quickly jump to the next person. During the first half of the book, especially at the very beginning when everyone was in the same place, I was feeling like the different perspectives were unnecessary but they were still interesting. Then as the plot developed it became necessary. Even then the short chapters did not often provide enough information or time to connect with that person's narrative. If I was able to spend a little more time with each character, seeing the book from their eyes, I may have enjoyed things a little bit more.

And maybe it was that narrative style which made it difficult for me to connect with the characters. They weren't bad or unlikeable characters, in fact they were the types of characters that I always enjoy. All of the main characters were flawed and dubious sorts, many of whom had selfish interests that they were pursuing. It was the kind of book where there was no clear villain because so many people have villainous tendencies. But there was also no clear "hero" or main character either. Going into the book, it seems like it is going to be one person but as you keep reading and see the multiple perspectives that changes. Don't let the synopsis fool you, this is not just Quin's story, it's much more complicated. Throughout the book, the person I wanted to come out victorious changed as many times as the chapters changed perspectives. This tended to muddy things a lot for me while reading. No clear antagonist and no clear protagonist gave me such conflicted feelings about the characters and their actions but they were still interesting characters.

But what redeemed the book a lot for me was the world that the author created. I can't believe I'm saying this because at the beginning of the book the world was one of the things I enjoyed least but then I figured it out (at least I think I did). This book has been marketed as Fantasy and at the beginning I was thinking it was Low Fantasy, something I have a difficult time with (I usually want my Fantasy to go big or go home). Then as the story developed and the world was built and explained further it hit me. This is much more like a Science Fiction and/or Dystopian story than it is a typical Fantasy. With that frame of reference I started to enjoy things so much more. Because let me tell you, this world is weird! It's weird and it's confusing and it's interesting. It takes lots of different things from other types of SciFi/Fantasy. It's one part Medieval, one part Steampunk, one part Dystopian, and one part traveling along the space-time continuum. At the beginning it makes things really confusing because the author keeps things intentionally vague going for a more show instead of tell style of world-building and while that style didn't really change as the plot of the book developed that style led to a lot of suspense and intrigue.

As far as the plot of the book goes, it really sort of felt like two different stories to me. There was the first half that was a lot of exposition. I can see why a lot of people would DNF the book in the beginning. The first section really just attempts to establish the story but intentionally doesn't reveal a lot of information. It can be kind of frustrating. But as much as I hate that about first books for me it kind of worked here. It definitely succeeded in making me want to know more. Then when the story shifted completely and that suspense continued along with a more captivating plot. On the whole the plot of Seeker was action-packed and full of adventure. Even though it was long it never really dragged. It captivated and interested me from beginning to end with the complex look at good and evil, thrilling action scenes, and tons of mystery.

On the whole I really enjoyed Seeker. It wasn't perfect but it was incredibly entertaining. I'm interested to see where the story goes from here.

I give Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton an 8 out of 10



Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Borrow. Fans of Dystopia and Science Fantasy should check this book out. It reminded me a little bit of The Maze Runner in that the world is left intentionally confusing and things move at an incredibly hectic pace despite not learning about why they are happening. This is probably not the book for everyone but it's worth a read for anyone looking for a unique and action-packed read, if you are willing to put in the investment.

Have you read Seeker? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

12 comments:

  1. I enjoyed this quite a bit. I classified it dystopian/fantasy. I thought it was unique in that respect. I also thought it was plenty long, but still wished for some of the missing time to be a bit more filled in. Like her recovery in Hong Kong. Great review.

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    1. I agree. It was long enough but there were some parts that were missing. Too much time spent on certain plot points and not enough on others.

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  2. I saw this one on Netgalley and really debated getting it but decided against when I saw the length. I have a tendency to get bored quickly when something doesn't catch my attention right away and I just had a feeling... It does sound like you really enjoyed it overall though! It's really weird that this book that's marketed as fantasy (and the cover certainly has a fantasy feel) isn't really what it seems... Oh, and I have a really hard time with multiple narrators too. I'm not sure I would have made it through! But I'm glad you liked it! Great review :)

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

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    1. I think it had enough mystery and action to keep me interested. Sometimes I keep reading a book because I think there will be a big payoff and thankfully this had one. But I understand passing it up on Netgalley. I sometimes think I should be more selective like that. But yes, I did enjoy it. It wasn't perfect but it was entertaining.

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  3. I couldn't get into this one. i'm hoping to try aghain at some point but we know how that goes. I bow down to you the QUEEN OF GIFS! lol...lemur?
    <3 Britt

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    1. Yeah, maybe get back to it when the next book comes out. I saw a lot of people DNFing this one. I think it's definitely not the book for everyone but for me it worked. If you get back to it I hope you end up enjoying it!

      And thanks for the constant ego stroke on my gif game! I love finding the most perfect gif. I wasn't super happy with these ones but any chance to use a Sansa gif I will take!

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  4. I really liked this book! I was surprised at how many people DNF'ed it. I know it's a long book and the beginning was a little slow, but it really picks up! I can't wait for book 2. I hope John redeems himself!

    Pearl @ AsteriskPearl's Book Blog

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed this on too. Personally I'm not really surprised how many people DNF'd it. It was long, the beginning was confusing, and I think if it was marketed as dystopian it would have attracted a better audience (or at least more fans of dystopia). I mean don't get me wrong, I liked it. But the things I liked about it are things a lot of people don't like in their books (like a really confusing and mysterious world).

      I'm excited for book 2 as well. Mostly to see the direction Quin goes in. I'm a little concerned about what she is going to do next. And yes, I also hope John redeems himself. I was totally rooting for him until almost the very end!

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  5. I actually did not enjoy this one at all. I couldn't connect with the characters and there were just way too many unanswered questions. I am not invested enough to continue the series. But I am glad you enjoyed it. Great review.

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    1. There were a lot of unanswered questions. I think I kept reading to get those answers. And I gotta say as much as I didn't like the characters, the plot was still really enjoyable for me. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it but I'm glad you gave it a chance.

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  6. I am glad you liked this one cause I hated it. So confusing..almost DNFed it but I trudged through it. :(

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