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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

ARC Review: Fated (Soul Seekers #1) by Alyson Noel

I had high hopes for this book, as this is Alyson Noel's new series. It was good enough to at least make me interested.

Title: Fated (Soul Seekers, #1) by Alyson Noel
Pages: 306
Release Date: May 22nd 2012
Published by: St. Martin's Press
Source: Publisher
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository


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.
Life started to take a turn for the worse when Daire had a weird episode in Morocco. Traveling with her mother who was a make-up artist, Daire has spent most of her life alone, and then she suddenly started having visions that don't make sense. The public thinks she's crazy, and just when she needed help the most, a grandmother she didn't know about appeared, offering to help her know more about her dreams and how she can get her sanity back. But Daire was not losing her mind, instead she found herself facing something greater than just losing grip with her reality. She might need to save the world

I will be honest and say that I was a bit underwhelmed. I struggled with a lot of things in this book, and the first was with Daire. I find it easier to read books if the characters are agreeable and relatable, especially the leads. It was hard to like Daire and connect with her. There was little about her that I liked. She was rude, judgmental, mocking and stubborn. Something about her personality just rubs off the wrong way. If you can't connect with the characters, how will you expect the readers to enjoy the story? But Daire redeemed herself a little bit in her quest to embrace her Fate, that she's a Seeker. The dialogues also felt a little jumpy, but I did like the moments of spunk Daire and her friend Sochee have in their moments together.

The twins, Cade and Dace lend the book the intriguing edge it needs. One was evil, one was kind. One was dark, one was light. They were destined to do different things. These blue eyed, dark haired brothers were polar opposites, and they both coax different reactions from Daire. It was quite amusing to see Daire respond to the brothers, one of the redeeming factors of the book, if I may say so.

The typical high school drama is there, and for me, it was a little bit expected. The queen bees and the rebels were present, the standard friend who is as unique as Daire, even the angst and the sting of being a loner. They were a bit cliche and predictable. Lita and the rest of her friends are exactly what you expect popular girls should be, mean, territorial and pretty. Also, the inclusion of mystical characters like The Bone Keeper, the traditions of the day of the dead, and a few other elements that could have made a solid foundation of the story if only there were more time to introduce them well to the readers.

What some of the characters lack, the richness of Alyson Noel's writing highlighted the mystical and intriguing appeal of the Navajo culture and all of the related lore wrapped in Paloma's long and detailed history, of shamans, spirit animals, communing with one's spirit and a myriad of practices and influences were fascinating enough to hold a reader's attention. It was one of the good aspects of the book, a great setting and a great description of what Daire can see and feel.

I was looking for something that will make me say 'wow', because the book held a lot of promise but if there was, I did not quite feel it. There were moments of great intrigue and tension but readers had to get through the first 100 pages to get into it. The pace is pretty slow at the start as Alyson Noel's descriptions of Daire's heritage will give the readers information overload, but all of it is needed to further understand what Fated is all about. I hope in the next book we see more of the potential of the characters brought out and I wish for more heart stopping scenes like what the last 50 pages of the book has. It was a steady read until the sudden tension towards the end pushed the story forward and left the readers with quite a few questions leading to the sequel and a satisfying ending.

Overall, it was quite a decent start for a new series. Although I did struggle reading at times, the reading experience as a whole is good!

My rating

Content (plot, story flow, character):
More, please. This book needs a lot more spark and conflict than what it already has. I hope it improves in the sequel. I am willing to give this a chance!

Okay: Liked, but The Goddess demands more!

Book Cover:
You know what to expect in the book (the rich background!) just by looking at this cover.


  1. Surprising I LOVED this book which I'm thankful for since I wasn't exactly a 'fan' of Noel's Immortals series. Can't wait to get my hands on the sequel. Anyway great review!

  2. So disappointing when a book doesn't wow you. I haven't read any of Alison Noel's books, but the twins definitely interest me.


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