Book Review: Seeker

Author: Arwen Elys Dayton
Format: e-ARC
Synopsis: 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.

Review: If I gave stars, this would get a 3.5. It’s enjoyable and better than average, but flawed.

Arwen Elys Dayton’s Seeker is a rich fantasy novel, with developed, complex, flawed characters. The story is told from different points of view, some over the course of centuries. I won’t call the narrators unreliable, as they told the truth as they saw it, but their truth was far from objective. I found myself understanding and agreeing with a character’s viewpoint and motivations one chapter, then disagreeing and seeing him as a villain upon seeing him from a different characters perspective.

Seeker started out a bit slow. Especially because all the foreshadowing made it clear that a lot of action was coming. There was such anticipation built that every chapter of build-up felt a bit dragging. Once the action started, though, it was breakneck. Other sections later in the book dragged on a bit, too, again because of the building anticipation. I just wanted to slap the characters into action a few times. I was also confused about the time-setting of the story. When Dayton jumped into one character’s past, she gave specific dates to establish how far in the past we were. But the story’s present time is very unclear. Many of the aspects of their world are very futuristic, but some are modern or even historical. It made the fantasy world harder to picture.

My favourite character was Maud. She provided an interesting perspective, being both very much inside the world of Quin, Shinobu, & John and still an outsider. I look forward to seeing more of her in the next installment.

Overall, this book is an impressive young adult story and I’d recommend it to fans of fantasy who have the patience & dedication to keep reading until the action picks up.

Book Review: Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Fangirl

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Format: ebook

Synopsis:  A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Review:  Of all the books I’ve read this year, Fangirl is probably my favourite.

Me, this entire book.

As a sidenote, I am a fangirl. Fandom is something I get and something I love. I grew up in the Hanson fandom and still have friends I only met because we were fans of the same fanfiction. You might think that’s weird, but Rainbow Rowell doesn’t. So, that might be the reason that I found the story relatable and compelling. I think, though, that the characters in Fangirl are realistic enough that even readers who don’t see themselves as fangirls, will find someone with whom to identify in this story.

One thing I really like about the way Rowell writes is that her characters are flawed in a very relatable ways. I like the way her love interests aren’t all absurdly attractive. They are normal, often average-looking people and they do stupid things and they are still worthy of love that actually feels like real-life love.

I guess there are people in the world who wouldn’t like Fangirl, but I can’t imagine that those people are reading my blog. Read it.

Oh – I found out after reading it that the Simon Snow parts of the book are narrated by Max Caulfield, aka Rex Manning.

say no more, mon amore

So, obviously I’m going to have to consume this book all over again as an audiobook.

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