17 February 2015

Review: Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton

Title: Seeker
Author: Arwen Elys Dayton
Published: February 10th 2015
Series: Seeker #1
Source: ebook
Pages: 448

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.
Seeker's blurb was really intriguing and it sold me at Hong Kong! I was really excited to read my first ARC since I started blogging again. I went in with high hopes and I tried not to let all the negative reviews get to me. For the first 15%, I thought I was going to be one of the rare few who will enjoy the novel, it was mysterious, intriguing and exciting!

But it soon got pretty apparent that are no plans to explain the basics of the story any time soon and I got really frustrated. It just felt like a poor way to keep a reader's interest. We are forced to continue reading just to know what this book is about (think: an extremely extended book intro), instead of reading to see how the story unfolds.

I DNFed Seeker at 30%.


In which time period is this set in?
What is a seeker?
Why doesn't John warn his friends about what's to come?
What were the great things that the seekers used to do?
What happened to all the other seekers?

There was a serious lack of world building and introduction to conflict.

Super boring, confusing and frustrating.
Seeker is written from a third POV, similar to Throne of Glass, but its execution was poor. Each chapter follows one of the four main characters but we don't get a lot of information but rather more confusion. Some chapters were too short and the transitions between characters were very strange. Just when questions were going to be answered, the chapter ends. (imagine a cliffhanger at the end of every chapter) The issues were never addressed again even when it rotates back to that character.

Case Study #1: Right after Quin goes through the portal to take the test for the oath, (??? TBH I don't really know what's happening) the chapter ends and the next immediate chapter shows the aftermath of the test, entirely skipping the actual test. (I thought I accidentally skipped a chapter) And apparently this test is life-changing because they realise being a Seeker is a bad thing.

A. I still don't know what a seeker does.
B. We didn't get to witness the life-changing event but rather just 'time travelled' through it. This is a very strange way to tell a story that hinges on what a seeker does.
C. Even in the aftermath and over the next couple of chapters, she refuses to talk about what happened. So yes we continue to be left in the dark. I get that Dayton probably wanted to retain some mystery so that you'll be intrigued and continue reading, but its already 22% into the book, throw us a bone!

Case Study #2: We 'time travel' AGAIN and we are thrown one month into the future at 23%. Of course during that one month we missed, Quin learns a lot about her family. "She understood it all now: the wealth behind the estate, how her family survived. And there was nothing virtuous about it." She then goes on to talk about her horse. That is all we get, the carrot dangling continues.

Character wise, there wasn't much development/backstory. We get to know a little about Shinobu and John. Ironically, we seem to know the least about Quin, the main character. TBH, I was too frustrated with the storyline and didn't give much thought to the characters. They did not stand out for me. (These probably came after the 30% mark)


I can see how some extremely patient people might enjoy this (apparently it gets better once you hit 70% of the book) but I am not going to spend 2-3 frustrating hours just to get to the good parts. It feels like this book was originally written in a relatively linear fashion but was later chopped up randomly so that random chunks of the story was removed to create 'suspense'.

We could have been told straight up what a seeker was with some backstory, and then go on to John/Shinobu/Quin's struggles between good and evil. The mystery element was dragged out far too long and I lost patience/interest. (fyi: I am not a fan of mystery novels) 

I have to admit though, the storytelling style is unique and could've been interesting but the execution was poor and I did not enjoy it.

P.S. You can read another review that covers some other issues I had with Seeker over at Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh My!

My rating: DNF
Recommended for mystery lovers (even though this is not mystery, it seems to have a similar style) or patient folks!


  1. Aww, I'm sorry you didn't like Seeker! I powered through the slow parts and I really enjoyed it! You get more of the answers you were looking for later in the book. (: I hope you like you next read better!

    Pearl @ AsteriskPearl's Book Blog

    1. Yea I tried my best to continue reading but I think its storytelling style just wasn't my cup of tea. :(

      Thank you, I hope so too! :)