Review: Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton

Review: Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton
Series: Seeker #1
Published by Random House Incorporated on February 10th 2015
Pages: 448
Format:eARC
Source:Copy provided by publisher for review, via Netgalley

The night Quin Kincaid takes her Oath, she will become what she has trained to be her entire life. She will become a Seeker. This is her legacy, and it is an honor.

As a Seeker, Quin will fight beside her two closest companions, Shinobu and John, to protect the weak and the wronged. Together they will stand for light in a shadowy world.

And she'll be with the boy she loves--who's also her best friend.
But the night Quin takes her Oath, everything changes.
Being a Seeker is not what she thought. Her family is not what she thought. Even the boy she loves is not who she thought.
And now it's too late to walk away.

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If you happen to be friends with me on Goodreads (and I mean, if you aren’t, feel free to be!), you may have seen my indecisive and frustrated posts about what to do with Seeker.Screenshot (4)

See, the concept of Seeker is pretty amazing. On the surface, it sounds like a pretty intense ride. And it might have been, but I honestly had absolutely no freaking clue what was happening. For a solid 40% I thought I was being Punk’d. (Google, my young’uns.)

The story is told through multiple POVs in third person. I usually have a hard time with that particular style, so that wasn’t a great start. I often feel detached from the characters, and this situation was no different. But we’ll get to that. Let’s start out with the basics. You have Quin, Shinobu, and John who are all training to become Seekers. There isn’t really an explanation about what a Seeker is but they are hoping to pass a final test and take their Seeker oath. Quin and Shinobu are distant cousins (half-third cousins, which, if you ask me isn’t even a “thing”, and you really aren’t related at all) who grew up together. Quin’s parents Briac and Fiona and Shinobu’s father Alistair live on this big old farm, and John has been training with them for quite some time.

But here’s where things get weird. At first, I thought we were in Scotland somewhere a long time ago. Because Alistair speaks like someone in a bad production of a Charles Dickens play, and they live on this farm with seemingly no modern amenities and strange weapons. But then, we learn that Shinobu’s mother died in a car accident, and there’s talk of “film stars”, so now I am wondering if this is supposed to be modern day, or 1920, or the future, or… you get the gist.

Then there is the business of becoming a Seeker. Basically, Quin thinks a Seeker is a good thing, and apparently, she’d been lied to. Her father, Briac, told her (and Shinobu and John) all these lovely tales about helping people as a Seeker. She finds out, after taking the oath, that things were not as they’d seemed. The reader has no idea what has happened that makes her feel this way, though it is easy to surmise that bad stuff went down. As this is happening, the athame is introduced. What is that, you ask? Your guess is as good as mine. Some important, ancient Seeker thing, I suppose. It is just super important. For reasons. What-Is-Happening-GIF

The thing is, since there was such little insight into the characters themselves, and I had absolutely no sense of their personalities, I didn’t care at all what was going on. This led to my first potential abandonment of the book. But I thought I should give it more of a chance. There were a lot of action scenes and then… we were in Hong Kong. tumblr_lxph3t2hc01rn95k2o1_500

Some kind of strange, alternate, or future, or who actually knows Hong Kong. Things have happened, it is 18 months later, and Quin is some kind of healer, while Shinobu is apparently a drug addict. Maybe it fits their personalities really well, but I have no idea what their personalities are. Then John comes back around, and this athame comes back into play. (Also, I googled it, it’s a sword. Or a ritual knife. Google doesn’t even know, apparently.) Around this time, a whole bunch of random family members and friends are brought into the mix, and I could not possibly have cared less. I didn’t know a thing about the characters I was already reading about, and now you’re throwing the population of Hong Kong itself at me?rebel-wilson-hunger-games-gifs-pardonmyfranglais

And this is where I really thought I’d have to abandon ship. I felt like maybe I was the one taking Shinobu’s drugs, because what was going on here!? But alas, I gave it one last chance, and by the time I’d reached 71%, I knew I was in it, I might as well finish.

Right around that 71% mark, something incredible happened: I started to care a bit! I was kind of starting to enjoy the story a bit, and things were getting a little exciting! The last 30% wasn’t bad. It was entertaining, and full of action, but it didn’t answer many of my questions. And for the several that were answered, new ones were left in their place.

There was a bit of romance, but only a very minimal amount. I still have no idea what was going on. Yet somehow, I am oddly pulled to want to continue reading this series. After reading so much about these people (448 pages is kind of a lot in a world you do not understand), I guess I am hoping for some answers? That, or I have lost my mind. You decide.

Bottom Line: If you are the kind of person who can handle a lot of unknowns in a story, then maybe give it a go. I needed more world building, more character development, more insight into what was going on with the plot. It is still a really unique and creative book, but it ended up mostly giving me a headache. 1hstrs

 Can you continue with a book that has you completely confused? How long does it take you to decide if you are finishing a book, or calling it quits?

Posted January 22, 2015 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Review , / 23 Comments


23 responses to “Review: Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton

  1. Oh dear… I’ve heard some not so favourable things about this one. I can totally see why you struggled with this one, Shannon! I hate it when I’m left in the dark, so yeah, I’d be someone who would DNF if there wasn’t anything for me to root for.

    Fantastic review, hun! I hope your next read is better <33

    • Thanks! I am kind of pleased with myself for finishing it (or maybe I should be annoyed with myself? I don’t know) because it just wasn’t doing it for me. I am still curious about the story, perhaps the next one will be a bit easier to follow?

  2. Oh wow, that sucks that you didn’t enjoy this one. I have the ARC, but I haven’t read it yet. I am kind of scared to because I have heard so many negative things about it. Oh well, can’t win them all, right?

    • Hahah exactly! I saw the negative stuff starting to come in too, but I DID see some positive reviews too. I don’t think this one will be for everyone (clearly, haha) but I do think some people will enjoy it, so hopefully you’ll be among them 🙂

  3. Sigh. I requested it, so I’ll read it anyway. Darn it all. Okay, but I have to say, this part of your review had me laughing out loud – “It is just super important. For reasons.” LOVE it!!

    If I figure out any of those reasons when I read it, I’ll let you know. 🙂 (Hey, maybe now that I have clues about what to look for really specifically, I’ll see something you missed? Maybe?)

    • Hahha thanks! Yes, please do let me know if it makes sense to you- maybe I am just not the right fit for it! Some people have really liked it so who knows, you may be one of them! (I am hoping, for your sake!)

  4. There isn’t really an explanation about what a Seeker is but they are hoping to pass a final test and take their Seeker oath Let’s pledge our lives to…wait, what are we pledging to be again? Yeah no, I am so skipping this one. Just no. Third person is good when it’s done right, but I mean, what is it even? Sometimes I like not knowing what’s going on, but to know literally next to nothing and you have all these characters that could die for all you care, and really, for all the story cares, since clearly, it doesn’t give anything at all, so why should it care, when it doesn’t even know what era it’s in, or if it’s in this dimension? Do we at least get to know what a Seeker is, or do we have to go back to Hogwarts? 😉

    • Is it bad that I kind of hoped someone WOULD die just to maybe get things moving, or get me to care, or SOMETHING?

      And NOPE. We do not know. Apparently, they are supposed to/used to “help people”. But they do not. They do the opposite. (I don’t want to spoil things for anyone else in case they still plan to read this.) They’re corrupt, and bad, but now these kids are in “it” for life? I have no idea.

  5. Does the fact that I understood “punk’d” make me an old’un? Oh god O_O

    Anyway – I applaud your ability to finish this book! Like you said, great concept, but execution hit the fan and went ALL THE WRONG WAYS. I do like the Pirates gif for the Hong Kong section by the way 😉

    • Well, not necessarily. Punk’d DID come back for a few episodes in 2012. So you could use that as your excuse 😉

      I saw that you DNFed it. Good call, really. Because I am basically at the point where I have invested so much time, I now want to keep going just to figure out what the hell is happening! It’s like some masochistic challenge I have issued myself.

  6. This sounds like a confusing and frustrated read. I came across this book a while ago and I thought it sounded interesting, now I am kinda glad I didn’t request a review copy. I love multiple points of views, though I prefer it if it’s first person perspective. And that’s so frustrating it wasn’t even obvious which time it was, things like that can really bother me as well. I don’t do well with lots of unknowns, so I don’t think this will be a book for me either.

  7. Blahhhhh. Well that’s poop. I don’t know. I’m not a huge fan of time skips in the first place, so that just throws me off completely, WHICH IS BAD, because I have this on Netgalley and this is so discouraging hahah. Awesome review Shannon! I hope your next read is better though

    • Well, if you don’t like it, I am pretty sure the Netgalley gods will understand, because it hasn’t been getting a lot of good reviews. Some though, so maybe you’ll have better luck than I did? I hope so, because then you can tell me about it! 😉

  8. Wow, first of all Google doesn’t even know what it is?!? Sorry, that part just made me laugh.

    I must say after your review I’m really glad I didn’t request this book, I was really on the fence because I wasn’t sure it was my kind of thing and now I’m sure it’s not. The thing that I think would put me off it the most is not being able to tell if it’s set in the past, or present, or future. I’ve read a couple books like that and I hate not knowing, most the time it just feels like the author never even gave it a thought and it just bugs me. Plus, I have to feel like I know the characters or I just don’t care.

    A round of applause for finishing it though! =)

    • Hahha they sort of knew? But yeah, when you have to Google parts of a story, things aren’t going great 😉

      That was the thing, there was no indication of when this was at all! Not even in the end. And thank you, I will admit, I was kind of proud of myself for finishing!

  9. I thought this one was exciting and unpredictable but I did have A LOT of questions. In fact, “a lot” is probably an understatement. You are right to point out that not much is explained and that can be frustrating. It’s ultimately what brought down my rating. I think I will give the next book a chance but if we don’t get answers, I am probably cutting my losses.

    • I do think some people will like it. For me, I am a reader who needs more information, and can let action slide sometimes. But without it, I just couldn’t get on board. I find myself oddly attracted to the next book though (which is really why I gave the book stars at all, honestly), so maybe I will give it a chance. The idea is unique though!

  10. An athame is a ritualistic knife. However, the book should explain that. This does NOT sound like my type of read. Congratulations on finishing. By the way, was it you that tagged me in a post?

  11. I was worried about your status updates. Good job? finishing. I hate it when the author holds everything back and I’m just sitting there all confused. I also like it if in the first two chapters I know when-ish a book is taking place. I know this one! An atheme is like a ritual dagger. (They used them on Charmed) I’m glad the end picked up a bit. Although the lack of answers would bug me. Can I just say how glad I am I didn’t request this? (sorry!) I hope your next book is great to make up for this one!

    I hate being confused, but if I make it through a couple of chapters I usually can’t quit. And if it’s a review book I feel too guilty giving up.

    • Hahah thanks! The thing is, the questions were not ever answered! I used to watch Charmed, but I usually zoned out during the fighting stuff 😉 And yes, be glad. Because it was LONG and I felt bad not finishing it!

  12. I just posted my review today about this book and I was just as confused as you were. I had to stop halfway through and look at the reviews posted on Goodreads to find out if it was worth finishing it. It was though. I did like the last part of it but that book was just bouncing all over the place. It could have been so well done too but it just fell flat and I just wanted it to end but it wouldn’t!!! AHHHH!! LOL

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