Friday, June 16, 2017

Saturday #Review - Seeker (Riders #2) by Veronica Rossi #YALit #Fantasy

Series: Riders # 2
Format: Hardcover, 352 pages
Release Date: May 16, 2017
Publisher: Tor Teen
Source: Library
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Veronica Rossi's new fantasy adventure in the Rider series -- Seeker .

When Daryn claimed she was seeing “visions” during her sophomore year of high school, no one believed the truth. She wasn’t losing her mind, she was gaining the Sight—the ability to see the future. If she just paid attention to the visions, they’d provide her with clues and show her how she could help people. Really help them. Daryn embraced her role as a Seeker. The work she did was important. She saved lives.
Until Sebastian.
Sebastian was her first—and worst—mistake.Since the moment she inadvertently sealed him in a dark dimension with Samrael—the last surviving demon in the Kindred—guilt has plagued her. Daryn knows Sebastian is alive and waiting for help. It’s up to her to rescue him. But now that she needs the Sight more than ever to guide her, the visions have stopped.
Daryn must rely on her instincts, her intelligence, and on blind faith to lead the riders who are counting on her in search of Sebastian. As they delve into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems and where Samrael is steadily amassing power, Daryn faces the ultimate test. Will she have to become evil to destroy evil? The very fate of humankind rests in the answer.

Seeker is the second installment in Veronica Rossi's Riders duology. In the first installment in the duology Riders, we met 18-year old Gideon Blake. Gideon had just lost his father, joined the US Army to become a Ranger, died in a bizarre accident, and ended up becoming one of the incarnations of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, War. The other Horsemen are Conquest (Jode), Famine (Sebastian) and Death (Marcus). We also met the girl who brought them all together in order to fight against demons known as the Kindred, Seeker Daryn Martin.

Things didn't exactly go as planned in the previous novel. The affects are still being felt some (8) months later. From the missing Sebastian, to Gideon losing his hand, to Daryn choosing to go her own way. In Seeker, Daryn takes a larger role, and one of the alternative POV's that Rossi uses to tell her story along with Gideon. Daryn lost the ability to see the future, but not her desire to bring back Sebastian from the demon realm. Daryn has been consumed by her guilt since Sebastian was pulled into another reality thanks to a demon known as Samrael. Daryn is the key to opening a portal and bringing Sebastian back. In order to bring Sebastian back, Daryn finds that she will need all the help she can get, and that is where Gideon, Jode and Marcus, now working for Natalie Cordero, come in.

Gideon is another character who has a wide variety of flexibility as a character. He's arrogant, he's a leader, he's fierce, he wears his heart on his sleeve, but he is protective of not only his fellow Horsemen, but Daryn as well whether she wants it that way or not. Gideon, not Natalie, is the real leader of this group. Gideon is more willing to take chances, and go the extra mile if it means getting Sebastian back, and paying a certain demon back for his transgressions against not only is team, but Daryn as well.

What makes this such an interesting story is Daryn, as well as the curious creation of the Shadow Realm where everything you see is subjective to your own experiences and memories. Memories that really make you stand up and pay attention to what is happening. Daryn is fierce, but isn't impervious to making silly makes. She and Gideon have a connection whether or not they will finally admit it or not. That connection may be the one thing that keeps Daryn from being bogged down with self-pity, and self-loathing for standing by and watching Sebastian dragged into the Demon Realm. 

One of the more fascinating aspects of this story is the Four Horsemen, their horses, and the weapons that they can draw. Each of them have horses that are as different, as the riders themselves. Gideon (Riot), Marcus (Ruin), Jode (Lucent) and Sebastian (Shadow). The other thing that binds the group together is the fact that in order to take up the reigns of one of the Horsemen, they all had to die in one fashion or the other. I really believe this makes for a stronger bond that keeps the group from tearing itself apart. The ending leaves zero doubt that this is the final installment in the duology. Even though there are avenues for other characters, Daryn and Gideon's story & romance have come full circle. While the ending is also pretty apparent, and there is a fair amount of teenaged angst involved, I still enjoyed this duology.

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