cover image Seeker


Arwen Elys Dayton. Delacorte, $18.99 (448p) ISBN 978-0-385-74407-2

In this powerful beginning to a complex family saga, 15-year-old Quin Kincaid, her biracial cousin Shinobu MacBain, and their friend John Hart train on the Kincaid family’s Scottish estate to become Seekers, warriors who slip through space and time. Historically, Seekers used their powers and weapons—chameleon whipswords and nightmarish, sanity-stripping disruptors—to right wrongs. When Quin and Shinobu venture on their first mission, they find they’re destined to be assassins for Quin’s brutal, manipulative father. The novel’s appeal lies less in the slightly futuristic, slightly alternate-history setting, than in the way the nascent Seekers cope with betrayal: Quin and Shinobu flee to Hong Kong, where Quin chooses a path of therapeutic amnesia, and Shinobu plunges into drug use and dangerous salvage diving. Meanwhile, John risks becoming what he most despises as he seeks revenge and possession of his family’s “athame,” the tool that allows Seekers to cut through the fabric of reality. Worldbuilding can be sketchy, but Dayton (Resurrection) excels at creating memorable characters, among them Maud, the “Young Dread,” an ageless child whose mysterious clan is linked to the Seekers. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jodi Reamer, Writers House. (Feb.)