Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Book Shelf: Fated (The Soul Seekers #1) by Alyson Noel

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Immortals comes a breathtaking new saga brimming with magic, mystery, and an intoxicating love story that will steal your heart away. Meet The Soul Seekers.

Strange things are happening to Daire Santos. Crows mock her, glowing people stalk her, time stops without warning, and a beautiful boy with unearthly blue eyes haunts all her dreams. Fearing for her daughter’s sanity, Daire’s mother sends her to live with the grandmother she’s never met. A woman who recognizes the visions for what they truly are—the call to her destiny as a Soul Seeker—one who can navigate the worlds between the living and dead.

There on the dusty plains of Enchantment, New Mexico, Daire sets out to harness her mystical powers. But it’s when she meets Dace, the boy from her dreams, that her whole world is shaken to its core. Now Daire is forced to discover if Dace is the one guy she's meant to be with...or if he’s allied with the enemy she's destined to destroy.

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Fated is the first book in Alyson Noel’s new Soul Seekers series and is a delightfully enjoyable start to what looks to be a promising series!

I have to be brutally honest here and say that I wasn’t a fan of Alyson Noel’s Immortals series. I tried, I really did, reading the first two books however giving up halfway through the third as it was unfortunately not for me. Keeping that in mind, I wasn’t sure what to expect when beginning Fated so I’m happy to say that I while it didn’t exactly blow me away I did enjoy this book.

In my mind Fated started off slow and take me a while to really slip into the gist of the story but I found that Noel mixed Native American and Hispanic traditions, myths and culture with a lovely tale of danger, growth and family.

Overall the characters were alright; likable but without the real depth I prefer from my characters. As our heroines Daire is again, likable, and her voice isn’t one that’s too hard to follow. For the first novel in a series, Daire undertakes a lot of growth in Fated and at this point I’m not sure that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Either Daire will become one killer heroine in the future, or Noel has rushed the growing up process that I’m usually so fond of in YA books.

It was nice to see an author step outside of the traditional family and explore a more unique and dysfunctional one. The relationship our protagonist Daire sported with her mother was one that featured great maturity woven together with the normal mother/daughter relationship that was influenced by the young age at which Jennika gave birth to Daire. The relationship between Daire and her grandmother Paloma was another one I enjoyed seeing but felt wasn’t explored enough. This could have been such a thrilling relationship but while the love, respect and friendship developed, I didn’t really feel it like I wanted to. It seemed like one moment Daire hated and distrusted her grandmother and the next she loved her. This seemed like a plot hole to me.

As our villain Cade is fitting, however nothing about him really screams out to me. Dace, Cade’s twin and Daire’s love interest I did like, but once more I would have liked to see more of him. His relationship with Daire on the other hand seemed rushed—the theme of the day for this book and me at times. And it also seemed to story and too intimate for so early in the series. Then again, I did notice that with Even and Damen in the Immortals too, so that just may be Alyson Noels writing style. Xotichl was fabulous as Daire’s new visionary impaired friend and Paloma did shine as her grandmother.

I am quite intrigued by the prospect of Cade and Dace’s relationship. With such a torrid conception, these two have quite the interesting history. Noel leaves much to the imagination with hints towards Dace’s origin and nature coming into play. Just what is an Echo and what does it mean for him?

The setting for this book was a standout for me. Noel writes in such detail that it’s is impossible not to get lost in the town of Enchantment at times. From the great wilderness that surrounds it to the traditional reservation, there was so much culture throughout Fated that I just ate up.

While the ending comes on fast, it’s quite heart racing and with mystery surrounding Daire’s destiny as Seeker and Dace’s meaning as an Echo, I’m interested in reading the next book. Fingers crossed it lives up to the first.

Source: Sent for review by Pan Macmillan Australia. (Thank you guys!)
Format: Paperback ARC.
AU Release Date: Available now!
Buy it: Booktopia // The Nile // The Book Depository
Recommendation: Fans of Alyson Noel already will adore her new series.
Cover: It's quite catching. I love the colours!
Will I read sequel/continue with series: Possibly. I do have questions I'd like answered, so we'll just have to see.......

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