Expected publication: February 10th 2015 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
So first of, if you advertise something as “for readers of A Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games” then you are setting a book up for failure. Nothing can compare to one of the best epic fantasy and the most successful dystopian series there currently are. It’s simply disappointing if Marketing and PR people feel the need to be so unimaginative and unoriginal. I don’t understand why you have to compare a new book at all?
Secondly the book itself is not written well. I had a hard time coming to terms with the story. What exactly is a Seeker? What world are the characters living in? Those are questions that remain mostly unanswered. Apparently, a Seeker seeks the truth and protects, but how and from what? Quin doesn’t know either, her teachers (which are her father and her uncles) are misleading her, the one who knows and could have told her, refrains from doing so because of selfish reasons. And then comes the moment when she takes her oath as a Seeker and is being sent on her first mission. The scene begins, there is a meadow, a house, she is scared, end of scene. Next Quin is horrified and vomiting, she’s covered in blood, skin and brain from her “prey”. Her mission as a Seeker is apparently to assassinate men, women and children, to murder for money. She is nothing more than a mercenary. Since this was set up to be such an earthshattering experience for our main character, I would have liked to know what exactly happened. Because as it is written, I was not horrified. To be honest, when I was reading this scene(s) I was like: wait what? I really thought that I must have skipped some pages. But they were not there. I felt duped. Hinting at something by omission is a stylistic element that works fine in movies but just doesn’t work as well in books.
The world building in general is rather minimalistic. We start of somewhere in Scotland on a private estate surrounded by forest. From the descriptions it could have been everything from Middle Ages to Regency to Futuristic Simple Life folks. We are never told anything about this world or the time. Later Quin is somewhere in Tokyo and learning the art of a ying/yang healer. This Tokyo also is something out of a fairy tale. No real time/history references either. There are mentions of movie stars, flying ships over London, corporations next to magically changing weapons and mystical beings. All this is very confusing and somehow misleading for a reader.
The world lacks depth and detail in mythology and background history. The story features some very crass plot holes and a love triangle. And not even the decently interesting characters could elevate my rating. I simply did not like reading it, I did not finish it and I can not be compelled to read the next book in the series. “Game of Thrones” or “Hunger Games” this is really not.