I recently received an opportunity to review a book for young adults. Seeker, by Arwen Elys Dayton, was recommended to fans of series like Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games. Since I enjoyed both those series and the premise of this book sounded like something I might enjoy, I decided to take the powers that be up on their offer.
As the novel opens, we meet Quin Kincaid, a teenager in training to become a Seeker, righter of wrongs, purveyors of justice. Training alongside her are her third cousin (sort of) Shinobu McBain and her secret boyfriend John Hart. Trained by the combined effort of her father, Briac, and Shinobu's father, Alistair, Quin can't wait to take the Oath and begin her life as a Seeker. She has already mastered many of the skills required, such as the use of the Whipsword and control over her mind. Once the Oath is taken, she will learn so much more.
Unfortunately, on the day of their final trials, John does not fight his best. Truth be told, Briac has always had it in for John and was looking for any opportunity to fail him. He never wanted to train John in the first place and only took him on because it was John's birthright as the son of a former Seeker. After his failure, John is cast out and Quin and Shinobu begin their Oath ceremony.
John knows what lies in store for Quin and Shinobu, but is unable to warn them. In fact, the valiant call of the Seeker that has been drummed into the trainees is all a lie. There is no honor in what they do, using magical tools to help them travel to their perceived enemies and gather power and fortune in whatever ways necessary. Quin and Shinobu only learn the truth during their first mission as Seekers and life for them will never be the same again.
This novel is captivating. The more I read of Seeker, the more I wanted to read. I simply couldn't put the book down. I was annoyed at first at Quin's naiveté, but grew to admire the character as the novel moved forward. I loved learning little by little along with the main characters just what being a Seeker was about. I grew to hate Briac Kincaid as much as John, Quin and Shinobu did. Briac is not a nice man...not in the least. I enjoyed the mystery surrounding the trio known as the Dreads, especially the Young Dread, who also has become disenchanted with all she believed a Dread was supposed to uphold.
I know that Seeker is listed as a young adult novel, but I found that the subject matter and relationships contained within this novel's pages suited me - long past the stage of a young adult - quite well. Arwen Elys Dayton has a talent for story weaving, creating a tale that is descriptive enough that the reader can see every moment in his/her mind's eye. Seeker contains characters that you can relate to, like, or downright hate. Dayton keeps the reader hooked by creating a mystery behind what it really means to be a Seeker or a Dread and reveals piece by piece of a tantalizing mystery that keeps the reader hooked until they can learn it all. And she manages to write in some intense action and a decent romance as well.
Seeker ends leaving the reader yearning for more. Fortunately, it's an open ending, basically screaming for a sequel. I for one can't wait for that. I would also like to point out, for all those looking for a cool novel series to turn into a film series, that I believe Seeker would translate incredibly well into a television or movie genre. Congratulations, Arwen Elys Dayton, you've got me hooked. Please don't leave me hanging!