Author: Arwen Elys Dayton
Series: Seeker #1
Quin has been training to be a Seeker her whole life. She dreams of the good she’ll be able to do when she finally claims that designation for her own. But the night she’s sworn in, she learns the truth. And what was once a treasured dream is now a nightmare. Now she has to decide what to do, whom to trust—and how she’ll live with herself.
Aside from a confusing setting that’s probably a short ways into the future (never specified, but given that there are aircars, it’s certainly not here), this starts strong and keeps going. Quin is idealistic and weak-willed (a product of her overly-controlling father), but she’s got her heart in the right place. It just takes her a long time to summon the strength to act out of that and not habit or fear.
I didn’t like how Shinobu failed, and fell, but I was glad that by the end he’s realized what’s important and gets back on his feet. He, like Quin, suffers from a lack of determination, and like Quin tries to run away any way he can from the reality he doesn’t want to confront.
Although I felt like those were plausible responses, they were also annoying coming from two warriors. Theoretically all three kids have trained for much of their lives, but Quin and Shinobu don’t act like it for a good chunk of the book. They both break with discipline.
John, though, was a lot more fun. He’s the failure, but his focus never wavers. His inching down a slippery slope is obvious even to himself, but he’s too caught up in what he wants and has planned to try to find a different way. And really, when Briac (Quin’s father and a total monster) has the ability to come after him and kill him just about whenever he wants, John’s course makes a lot of sense.
I liked the Dreads the most, though, especially Maud. The bits of her backstory are intriguing. She’s unpredictable and very powerful, and can be mistaken as mentally deficient because she has a much different way of thinking.
The powers were less impressive than I had initially hoped (except for the Dreads). Having some great place of potential like There and only using it as a travel shortcut feels like it ought to be selling the place short. So I hope future volumes expand on this. (And props to the Brian Greene quote at the beginning!)
Overall I can see where people wouldn’t care for this, due to such a large part of the plot being Quin and Shinobu deliberately trying to erase themselves, but personally I enjoyed it. I rate this book Recommended.