Arwen Elys Dayton,
(Random House, 2015)

I'm of mixed minds about this one.

Seeker, by Arwen Elys Dayton, is very, very dark. I understand that it's being aimed at a YA audience; I'd suggest older young adults, because aspects are both bleak and really, really violent.

It is definitely a page-turner, however! The plot is intricate and twisty, and not exactly resolved in this volume, specially as how the history of the Seekers impacts the present. While that's alluded to, it's not at all explicit -- even when it has a huge impact on what's happening in the book. I liked that.

The world here is mostly our current one, but with both science fictional and fantastic elements. And maybe a pinch of steampunk! While this can be jarring at times, it is jarring in a way that made me think.

The character development, particularly of the three young protagonists, is very nicely done. They each meet their challenges differently, but plausibly. John, in particular, is both scary and plausible in how he kept considering himself a "good guy" even when murdering, stealing and torturing; he is that blinded by his own self-interest. Scarily accurate these days!

As a reviewer, this is the first book I've gotten with a whole advertising campaign behind it, including special shipping materials. I was amazed! Mostly the publishers just stick the books into mailing envelopes. Anyway, there's push behind this one, and I am not sure how much it deserves that; they are clearly aiming as a new Hunger Games of some sort, though with less radical a message.

I did find it a page-turner, even though the various points of view do sometimes get unwieldy. It has interesting things to say about cults of secrecy, and how they can be co-opted. But it is very dark indeed, so I'd suggest it for older teens at the youngest.

book review by
Amanda Fisher

7 March 2015

Agree? Disagree?
Send us your opinions!

what's new