Book in Review: Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton

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Title: Seeker
Author: Arwen Elys Dayton
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: February 10, 2015
Format: ARC
Pages: 448 pages

Summary: (via Goodreads)

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.


There's a certain sadness to this book. It wasn't a tragic story, nor was it a touching one. Well, I guess it was tragic. In the sense that these children were brought up thinking they were training for a noble cause, then figures out they were lied to, then Shinobu's father dies, all in the span of about a week. But the way it was written, it wasn't a tragedy. It was an event in their lives. It was scary to picture that a child could hate their father so much that they would wish him dead or leave him to suffer when death was the most merciful option. And yet I liked this book. I liked the world-building. I liked how the book had this oddness to it, this uniqueness. The setting and the plot were great, but the most interesting thing for me was the characters. Some were great, some weren't, yet all were real people with feelings and minds of their own, they weren't just characters. I believe that the best way to express my feelings toward this book is to tell you about the characters and how they are to me.

Quin
I thought Quin would be an interesting character. A female heroine who could beat her boyfriend in a fight, who was incredible at fighting, whose main motivation was not romance. She sounds like someone I'd love to read about. She never lived up to what I hoped for. I was disappointed with her actions. She may be strong physically, but mentally and emotionally, she was lacking. What really frustrated me was her relationship with John. I just couldn't connect with her. She would feel guilty about not helping John, then she'd waver a bit, then she'd think something bad about him, then she'd run away. She's always running away. For a girl who's supposedly strong, she has a million weaknesses. And what kind of person would you have to be to not even care that your father could be killed even if he is a world-class douche? I also felt like she was lacking in character development.

She knew the sight of her father bleeding should bother her, but Quin could not stop herself from feeling a fierce satisfaction at his pain. Briac would kill any of us if he had to, she thought, finally admitting the truth to herself.
If there's something good about Quin, though is that she, at least, eventually figures out the right thing and still has good virtues despite being taught to kill.

The Young Dread
Now here's one of the bravest girls I know. She isn't normal, but something in her remains human even when her companions are as monstrous as ever. She's smart, strong, and brave. He also developed from someone who just followed the Middle Dread into someone who would dare attack him just to do what she thought was right. She may be silent, but she has a great heart that was willing to restore the good of the world when no one else would. I loved her and thought that she was one of the best people in this book.

She saw it then. Her master could not rid himself of the Middle Dread. The reason was a mystery, but the fact remained: her master was tied to the middle. He had been looking, for a thousand years perhaps, for a Young Dread who would do what was right.

John
John is an excellent example of how someone good becomes a villain. He wasn't necessarily treated as the villain here, but in my eyes, he was well on his way to becoming one. I didn't like him, not at all. He reasoned, and he reasoned, and he reasoned. None of his methods were good, but he always thought to himself that he was doing the right thing. That he was bringing back the goodness in the world and giving justice to his family. His mindset was so twisted. I thought that it was good example of character development that turns you bad.

John thought he wanted the same thing- a noble purpose, justice- but he'd already seen Briac's path, and he was willing to set his feet upon it. He was like a sword that had been bent at the moment it was forged. Such a blade would always be bent, as John's heart was bent by the life and the death of the mother he'd never wanted to speak about. At this moment, he was still the John she had known, but he wouldn't stay that way if she helped him now.

Shinobu
He's actually my favorite character in this book. He did wrong things, he turned into someone who his past self would have been ashamed of, he thought he was worthless. This guy. He changes and changes and changes, but there's a part of him that remains the same. That part just shines through all the crap he's been through. He's always Shinobu, with that loyalty, noble heart, and wit. Even if it may not seem like it, he's always doing the right thing. He wasn't shown outright as a very important character, but as you analyze it, you see how important he was to the entire story.

One day I'll forget to eat, forget to check my air tank, take too many pipes at the bar. I'm not a Seeker. I don't even think I'm a person anymore. I'm a ghost waiting to die.

I think that most of them had fantastic, yet subtle, character development. Through all of its faults and shortcomings, I liked this book. I was connected to most of the characters. I loved the world building. I appreciated the changes in the mindset of every character, whether it is good or bad. It was an enjoyable read that made me think deeper about what something could possibly mean and what someone's motives might be.

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