Book Review: Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton

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TitleSeeker

Author: Arwen Elys Dayton

Publication Date: February 10th 2015

Rating: 2 stars

Goodreads Blurb: 

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.

Note: This book is an eARC provided by Random House Children’s via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

My Review (with minor spoilers)

This book is written in 3rd person but the chapters alternate between the perspective of Quin, John, Shinobu and Maud (the young Dread). The first few pages were quite good but then the author started filling my head with backstory and I grew bored. I felt like parts of that backstory could have been gleaned from the character’s behavior toward or each other..or were entirely unnecessary and wouldn’t have moved the story forward anyway. All that “backstory” just seemed to be filler which didn’t really contribute to the plot or story and took away from my reading experience.

Soon I also became oh-so-very confused as to what exactly was happening. Adding to that confusion was the fact that the explanations about the character’s role as Seekers or Dreads remained frustratingly vague and confusing. I also couldn’t get a clear enough idea as to what exactly they did or do. Oh and the Seekers’ sacred weapon is apparently being used for the wrong purpose but we don’t find out what the right purpose is.

Later on there were also other events which were frequently alluded to but not fully explained. The scene before Quin becomes an assassin, for example. She’s covered in blood (not hers) and is horrified by her actions but we have no idea what exactly happened! This was so frustrating as she even had nightmares because of this scene…but I had no clue what exactly happened. I only got some vague ideas based on the descriptions of her nightmares.

Overall, I found that the story was structured badly with sometimes no action and didn’t seem to belong to a single genre. It had elements of fantasy and sci-fi/dystopia..which resulted in me staring at my Kindle and scratching my head in confusion. I felt like it would have been far less confusing if the book just stuck with one genre. The main problem with this was that the story started of in medieval Scotland but then there were mentions of modern technology and other countries.

John, Quin and Shinobu were the three main characters but Maud, the young Dread, also occasionally had chapters from her perspective. All 3 main characters were very brave and driven but I found it hard to respect or even like them.

John annoyed and disgusted me because he was desperate to keep his promise to his mother but didn’t care enough about the collateral damage. He kept justifying his actions, telling himself that it was for the greater good. He also didn’t seem to care enough about Quin to tell her the truth about what would happen to her because he planned on using her as a means to an end. 

Shinobu and Quin seemed to be the protagonists but they didn’t appear to be doing a very good job of it. 

Briac, Quin’s dad, was to some extent the antagonist (and a monster). Alistair, Shinobu’s father, seemed like a good man for the most part but the fact that he went along with Briac made him guilty by association – and he also didn’t do enough to warn his son about the truth.

Would I Recommend It? No. There was a good premise and decent characters but everything else was all over the place.

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