DNF Review: Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton

Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Title: Seeker
Author: Arwen Elys Dayton
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Seeker #1
Pages: 488
Published: February 10, 2015
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Rating: 1 out of 5

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.

DNF at 160 pages, end of part one.

I gave Seeker more than one chance in hopes that it would improve. Unfortunately, I can't find anything positive to say and no longer wish to try.

The world building is poor. The main characters, Quin, John, and Shinobu, are training to become Seekers in a rural, medieval Scottish village. They are the apprentices to the only two Seekers left, Quin's father Briac and her uncle Alistair. Shinobu is Alistair's son and Quin's cousin, but he's also one half of the love triangle, which requires him to repeatedly mention that though they were raised together, they're not first cousins! It's gross. John is Quin's boyfriend, though Briac hates him for mysterious mystery reasons.

Seekers are not adequately explained. They fight with magical whipswords, weapons made of a mysterious metal that rearranges itself into a whip or any kind of sword based on how the owner flicks their wrist. Their biggest fear is the Disruptor, a weapon that shoots sparks that invade a person's mind and drives them insane by disrupting the brain's pathways, so anything a victim tries to do, it's turned around. <spoiler> Except, apparently, kill themselves or give vital clues to one of the kids. That's easy enough to do.</spoiler>

In addition, the world is revealed to actually be a highly technologically evolved future. There are flying cars, and regular cars, and airships where Seekers can't invade. (Why regular and flying cars? Why trains and airships? Why would Briac keep horses? The travel makes no sense.) But the Chinese healer still uses acupuncture needles with mysterious herbs. *coughracistcough*

Scenes are completely skipped. We jump from Quin discovering the Seekers may not be as good as she was taught, to her vomiting and covered in blood from her first mission. John is told he's going to take a train home, he's on his grandfather's airship two days later. People die off camera. I found the pacing odd enough without sudden jumps a month into the future.

There are too many points of view, too many characters, and not enough motivation. The villain has no depth. Almost 200 pages into a book, I should have a far better idea of the plot. It's not for me.

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