Review of Seekers by R.A. Denny

“Bring the seals together in Tzoladia and you will learn their secrets.” An intriguing, yet simple quest. But nothing is ever that easy. 
Killer monkeys lurk in the woods. Treacherous watchers skulk the underground tunnels. An evil emperor’s minions control the archipelago city. 
Brina is proficient in archery. Moshoi skillfully wields the swords he crafts. Amanki has mastered sailing. But those skills aren’t enough. The three young adventurers must make choices. Choices that mean life or death. Choices with no safe answer. 
The Society of the Word has given them tools: wise sayings, moral stories, mysterious prophecies. But their faith will be tested. Will the star guide them to their destiny or lead them to their doom? Who will survive?

Last month I became completely drawn in by this world when I read book 1, Refugees.  I felt that book 1 was very much a set up for things to come and the payoff in book 2, Seekers, was definitely there!  This book felt more evenly spread over the journeys of the 3, Amanaki, Brina and Moshoi.  I really enjoyed this as I wasn’t left for a long time wondering what was happening with the others as often each of their chapters end on a small cliffhanger. It also really brought home to me that no matter what bad choices they think they are making from one time or another, their journey is actually the same even though they are miles from one another.  I found myself noting the same issues of loss, joy and peril and although manifesting itself differently in each case it really brings home the sense of destiny in their journey and that they are truly on the same path. I also really felt endeared by their naivety, they have all led very sheltered lives but then are thrust upon this journey which leaves them vulnerable because of their trusting nature.  Prominent in this story also was the theme of guidance, either by way of the star or their travelling companions who are their compasses it seems to keep them on the right track when the travellers find themselves being pushed to choose between morality and their journey.

The one thing that this books has in spades is excitement, the first part is non stop in picking up where book 1 finished and it continues to be an amazing page turner.  The world building and attention to all the little details in each of the cultures remains a pleasure to read and never feels overwhelming or like an info dump.

There are some shocking scenes in this book, which I have to say I wasn’t expecting, given it’s coming of age nature. Quite vivid mental images and also some which are left to the imagination seemed out of place.  I understand that a sense of fear and horror had to be built but unfortunately it left me feeling a little uncomfortable.  There does seem to be an underlying sinister tone building under the surface though, with the feet of the webbies being removed in book 1, similar happens here and it’s got me wondering what will be coming next!

I am finding this an immensely enjoyable journey bringing to together many facets of what makes us who we are and exploring areas of humanity and theology, whilst remaining a wonderful and entertaining read.

4*

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