Author: Alyson Noel
Reading level: Young Adult
Size: 306 pages
Release Date: May 22nd 2012
Publisher: St Martin’s Press
Stand Alone or Series: The Soul Seekers #1
First Line: “First came the crows.”
Summary (from GoodReads):
Lately strange things have been happening to Daire Santos. Animals follow her, crows mock her, and glowing people appear out of nowhere. Worried that Daire is having a nervous breakdown, her mother packs her off to stay in the dusty plains of Enchantment, New Mexico with a grandmother she’s never met.
There she crosses paths with Dace, a gorgeous guy with unearthly blue eyes who she’s encountered before…but only in her dreams. And she’ll get to know her grandmother—a woman who recognizes Daire’s bizarre episodes for what they are. A call to her true destiny as a Soul Seeker, one who can navigate between the worlds of the living and the dead. Her grandmother immediately begins teaching her to harness her powers—but it’s an art that must be mastered quickly. Because Dace’s brother is an evil shape-shifter who’s out to steal her powers. Now Daire must embrace her fate as a Soul Seeker and find out if Dace is one guy she’s meant to be with…or if he’s allied with the enemy she’s destined to destroy.
I really enjoyed this first book in a new series by Alyson Noel. I was unfamiliar with her other work but had heard good things and Fated lived up to them.
The story built slowly, gradually letting us in on Daire and her gift/curse as she’s sent by her mother (as a last resort) to live with a grandmother (Paloma) that she doesn’t know…but who seems to know her and what is going on with her all too well. Noel takes a bit of a meandering path as Paloma tries to teach Daire what she needs to know to survive this family legacy and then the end rushes upon us and suddenly the tale is over.
At times I felt very frustrated that Daire and Paloma did not seem to take this whole situation as seriously as I would have. Daire seemed to have a devil may care attitude from the beginning which did get a bit grating and Paloma put her grandaughter in so many dangerous situations with little or no preparation that I had a hard time finding it completely believable. Despite all this, or perhaps because of it, both of their characters did seem to have quite a bit of growth through the novel…especially in their interpersonal relationship. I credit Noel’s writing style and prowess also for keeping me engaged with the story and Daire’s journey despite the slow pace.
Daire is not only on a mystical journey but also one of self discovery and growth as are all teens, she is trying to navigate her way through going from being a world traveler living out of a suitcase and being schooled online and to finding herself in a small town living with a woman she doesn’t know and attending high school with all it’s drama, cliques, etc. The secondary characters like Cade, Clayton, Xotichl and Lita are wonderflully fleshed out and add so much to the story.
The romance aspect of the story was a tad disappointing…. Dace was a very underdeveloped character in my opinion and the whole soul-mates/insta-love thing rarely wows me unless done incredibly well…and sadly that was not the case here. However, look to the romance between Xotichl’s and Auden and you’ll have your swoon-worthy moments.
The biggest draw for me was the setting and mythology. I found both to be fresh and to add so much to the story. I loved the way Noel wove so much Native American tradition and lore into the book. It gave it a richness and a depth that it would otherwise have been lacking and kept me hooked and reading until the end.
All in all it was an enjoyable read and I’m hoping that now that the backstory is laid out and the characters drawn that the series will only improve. I’ll look forward to the next in the Soul Seekers series!
Was it worth my Time?
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