Monday, April 6, 2015

Review: Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton

Three young people are being trained to use mysterious artifacts that allow dimensional travel - they think to protect the world from tyranny. In truth, their elders are nothing but mercenaries. It all falls apart when one of them is denied initiation.

This is an intriguing YA story, but one which offers little new. There is the currently-obligatory love triangle, a lot of violence (some of it gratuitous), a subplot about the destructive nature of drug abuse. It's not bad, but other than the method of traveling through "There," another dimension in which time doesn't always move at the same rate, it isn't all that original.

The author presents us with multiple POVs - all of them young people. Maud is the most interesting character (and, sadly, the one we see the least of). The themes of revenge and justice are important in the novel, along with the concept of who, if anyone, should play God. And we get an interesting look at Hong Kong, a city the author seems somewhat fond of.

Unfortunately, the description of the real world is somewhat lacking, to the point where it took me far too much of the novel to realize it was the near future (I think). Maybe if the book had its maps (missing from the ARC I received) it would help.

However, unlike a lot of books marketed as YA lately, this one really is. Growing up and coming of age are central to the story. It's well written and the characters are interesting, so I can deal with its minor flaws.

Book received at World Fantasy Con.