Review: Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Seeker by Arwen Elys DaytonSeeker by Arwen Elys Dayton
Series: Seeker #1
Published by Delacorte Press on February 10, 2015
Pages: 448
Format: ARC
Source: the publisher
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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.

*Fair warning: There might be mild (or major, depending on how you view it) spoilers in this review. Read at your own risk!*

When it comes to Seeker, the name of the game is curiosity. Because even though I didn’t like the writing, the plot OR the characters, my curiosity kept me reading. Which says a lot since I’m very character-driven and not liking the characters can often mean an automatic DNF. Yet I was so desperate to see what happened and get answers to my many questions that I read the first 150 pages (all of part one of the book) in 5 hours – which is slow for me, actually, but not bad considering how many times I debated DNFing. Yet, it then took me 5 days to finish the Interlude and parts two and three. I didn’t even want to pick it up some days because I’d heard a lot of people say that part two is where they DNF’d and I was nervous to keep going. By the end, Seeker turned out to be an okay book with an intriguing ending.

As I mentioned, I basically couldn’t stand any of the characters. I didn’t totally hate Quin, though she was such a stagnant character for about 90% of the book. Yes, I get it, she was lied to for most of her life by the person she trusted the most. By three people she trusted, honestly… Okay, everyone in her life lied to her or kept secrets. But once she knew the truth, instead of wanting to fight to fix things and make them better, she sort of… sunk into herself and hid from it. She ran away, ignored the problem.. She just didn’t want to deal with it. She comes alive near the end of the novel and I saw a small spark in her that I think will grow in book two, so I’m excited for that.

Shinobu was kind of a useless character… He really didn’t do much, especially in the second half of the book. I mean, the story couldn’t have moved forward without him but that’s really all he was good for. Just as Quin ran from her problems, Shinobu drowned his problems out with various… vices. He left those he loved vulnerable and, sometimes, his running from his problems put his loved ones at even greater risk than if he had stayed and fought. He definitely comes into his own in the end. I think he had the most character growth of the three main characters, to be honest. But that’s not saying much because he was kind of forced – to a certain extent – to clean up his act and help. He had this one “awakening” moment where he realized he had to change, though, so that was good.

John was just an ass. I’m sorry, but he was. He was also the most dangerous kind of villain because he’s so convinced that what he’s doing is morally right and for the greater good that he’s blinded to the consequences of his actions. He hurt people, he killed people.. He let his own men slap Quin around, while still claiming he loved her and wanted her to chose him. He was jealous beyond what was logical of her and Shinobu (and they really didn’t even get together in the book…) and had a nasty temper, too. Really, most of my review notes on him just say “Yeah, he’s an ass.” It’s sad, though, because he had an interesting back-story, but his voice was dull and boring and he was an ass most of the time.

Maud was by far my favorite character. I loved her back-story, her voice, all of it. I was terrified for her at several points, but I’m really intrigued with how her story ended and I can’t wait to see where it takes her in book two. She definitely provided the most entertainment and I kind of wish the book had been narrated more from her perspective than anyone else’s.

There were a lot of secondary characters and it’s hard to talk about them all. But I’ll give a few quick shout-outs: Briac was horrible and I wanted to punch him. I mostly wanted to punch Alistair, but then I felt bad for him. Fiona was an intriguing character and I would have loved to learn more about her. Gavin was.. odd.. But I’d love to learn more of his back-story. Same goes for Maggie and Catherine. And I think that’s everyone… Oh, The Old Dread, as well.

I think my biggest issue with the characters, aside from not liking/connecting with them, was that they all changed SO drastically from part one to part two. The only ones that really didn’t change were John and Maud. But Quin and Shinobu acted like completely different people in part two. Honestly, part two was like a totally different book altogether, not just character-wise. And the interlude felt unnecessary – most of that information could have been interspersed into the rest of the book. As weird/boring as part two was, part three actually picked up and was very interesting. A lot of epic things happened and some of my favorite moments were in part three. Some of the characters got more interesting, some of them got what they deserved and some of them finally achieved character growth.

Despite all the things that annoyed me – the characters, the plot, the writing – I couldn’t stop reading. Yes, I contemplated DNFing SEVERAL times. Yes, I complained about the bad parts a lot (in my defense, the bad parts were TRULY bad…). But there was still something about this book – as small as it might have been – that kept me reading. Like I said in the beginning of my review, my curiosity got the best of me and I was determined to see it through to the end. And, to my complete shock, the ending was kind of intriguing! Book two’s release date is a year off, so I’m not sure if I’ll read it or not, but the ending of Seeker definitely picked up enough that I’m considering it.

Would I recommend Seeker? I wouldn’t go out of my way to recommend it and I can’t claim I loved it, but I would definitely say give it a shot. The love triangle (which felt forced, in my opinion) was compared to the love triangle from Hunger Games. So if you liked Hunger Games and you like books that focus more on the romance than the world, then this may be the book for you and you might want to read it. If you do, I truly hope you enjoy it more than I did! It wasn’t AS BAD as some said it was, but it definitely wasn’t amazing. Others might love what I didn’t. I would never tell someone not to read a book they were interested in reading. So read it! Give it a try and see for yourself! It might surprise you and end up being one of your favorite books of 2015!