[ARC Review] Seeker – Arwen Elys Dayton

Seeker (Seeker, #1)

Author: Arwen Elys Dayton

Series: Seeker #1

Publication Date: February 10th, 2015

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Number of Pages: 448

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Romance

Source: Netgalley

Links: Goodreads | Amazon


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.


I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

There will be spoilers throughout this review!

Err….. I was supposed to finish this book more than two weeks ago. I was supposed to finish it and put up a review before the 10th of February.

But life got in the way and here I am more than two weeks later writing up a review.

Now this book had low reviews on Goodreads. Like 3.14 Stars low. I scrolled down and looked at the rest of the reviews and it seems that most people DNF’d the book. I don’t know if it means that I have a really good tolerance for “bad” books or if I gave it more of a chance….

Anyways, in my opinion, the book was honestly not that bad in terms of enjoyment. I liked reading it a lot, but not because I thought it had some fantastic writing. I liked reading it because some of it was so badly entertaining that I found myself laughing at some of it. It’s kind of like a bad soap.

The characters…. aren’t the best. I can easily say that I hate John. I thought he was a cowardly asshat that couldn’t make up his mind. He was selfish and indecisive. He kept saying that he didn’t want to hurt Quin but would continuously ask her to sacrifice everything for him. I don’t think he ever actually loved her because if he did, he wouldn’t force Quin to give him the athame. He’s a twisted character that I think we’re supposed to feel remorse for, but I always just found him really pitiful and worth hating. On the other hand, Quin is a freaking Mary Sue.

Shinobu MacBain. Okay he’s literally my favorite character from this entire reading experience because he’s just so goddamn stupid. His entire character was really entertaining. He’s half Japanese and half Scottish. He has some of the worst battle tactics that I have ever encountered in a book. He’s a drug addict at some point. He falls in love with his 3rd cousin. He tries to take her out of his life. He fails. He tries to commit suicide but instead is given some performance-enhancing tea drink. He accidentally allows his crush’s mom to get kidnapped. He’s just so stupidly entertaining to me.

Something that was really badly done in this book was the romance. We’re given a love triangle in the first fifty or so pages and expected to believe this established relationship between Quin and John. Love triangles are already a plot device that are hit and misses. Throw in a badly executed established relationship and the entire thing reeks of lazy writing. I didn’t believe that John and Quin loved each other and I didn’t believe that Shinobu loved Quin. The entire book, John tries to convince to come to his side because he lurvs her. Please. I doubt it. Scaring your ex-girlfriend into joining you is so romantic. Later on in the novel, Quin suddenly can “see” Shinobu as a man because John kind of goes evil. It’s sudden and has no buildup. She decides that she wants to kiss him and suddenly develops a crush on him. No buildup and poor execution. I’ll take a pass on the romance this time.

(Though I hope for Shinobu because John is literally the definition of a pitiful douchebag.)

The biggest problem that this book has is that everything is introduced really confusingly. The setting is confusing (I think it’s Scotland) and everything is told, not shown. After reading through a number of reviews, I found that usually, people DNF’d the book because it was difficult to understand the purpose of the Seekers, backstories, and worldbuilding. And on this aspect, I have to agree. From what I got, Seekers are supposed to be like knights for the world. Their sole purpose is to spread goodness by saving people. They are in clans of families, kind of like royalty and nobles. But in recent years, Seekers have begun to violate the laws and corruption runs rampant throughout. Dreads, a magical, mysterious group of people are supposed to be the one that protects the upholding of these laws, but they do not act accordingly. And of course, John, Quin, and Shinobu are wrapped up in one of these conflicts. But that took me almost 2/3 of the book to figure out and I’m not even sure if it’s right. I think I understand what the book is about but I’m also 99% positive that I didn’t get it the way the author intended.

On the other hand, there was no plot, and what existed, was hard to follow. There’s three parts. Part 1 takes place from the end of the training to the thing that caused these characters to all split up. Part 2 follows the characters one year after the explosion and when everything comes back to haunt them. Part 3…. is when they have the big battle during the same year as Part 2??? I don’t even know. The pacing is weird. The timing is weird. The chapters are short and written from different POVs, none of which are particularly engaging.

I’d say to pass this one. I liked reading it because of Shinobu and the entertainingly bad plot. But I wouldn’t recommend it to anybody.

2/5 Stars


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