Published: February 4th 2014 by Strange Chemistry
Format: eARC, 343 pages
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After nearly being drained of her ability and betrayed by a man her father trusted, Becca Ingle was left with one clue -- Ciaran Shea. He holds the key to the downfall of the power-mad Holder, Darragh, and can ensure the safety of both Holder and Human kind alike... but is he willing to help?
Becca, Alex, Jocelyn, and Cormac set out Adare Manor to meet with the Bhunaidh, an aristocratic group of pure blooded Holders of whom Ciaran is a rumored member. However, when Becca discovers that they might not be the only ones after the information Ciaran has, everyone begins to wonder if Bhunaidh might not be as uninvolved with Darragh as they claim.
A race to uncover Ciaran's secrets begins, where the line between friend and foe is blurred, and everyone seems to have their own agenda. Becca will have to call on every ability at her disposal to uncover the truth, all the while knowing that sometimes the answer is more dangerous than the question.
Having absolutely loved every aspect of The Holders, I am surprised that I didn’t enjoy The Seers as much. A lot of this comes from my disappointment at the narrating protagonist, Becca.
It’s been established that Becca is super-special and is the most powerful Holder ever. Her coming was even prophesied! I’d found her hot-headed in the last book, but in this one I found her difficult to like. Becca’s a girl who fights. She reacts to everything by acting self-righteous, and never backs down from protecting those she sees as needing it. Becca thinks she can push and bully everyone around her into her way of thinking, and although I’d thought she’d learnt in the last book that this is not how to deal with people, she’s back it at in The Seers. Her attitude made me uncomfortable from basically the first page, where she was judging the Bhunaidh without ever having met any of them. They’re to be hated just because they’re rich.
When Becca gets to Adare Manor, things get even worse. Confronted by fine clothes and rich furnishings, air-kisses and expensive perfumes, Becca decides that she hates all the aristocratic, pure-blooded Holders, even though none of them are ever anything but nice to her (she’s convinced they’re being fake). She even goes as far as to hate Bastion for absolutely no reason (although I understand her frustration that no one believed that she’d seen him at her old school). But the part I really struggled with is that she hated Shannon on first sight.
After briefly entertaining the idea of being friends with the only other girl she’d seen of her age at the Manor, Becca makes abrupt judgements about Shannon just by looking at her eyes, and then spends the rest of the book avoiding her, and later swapping insults with her. The author never called Becca out on this either, in fact it turns out Becca’s snap judgement was rewarded because Shannon irrationally hated her too! I really don’t see why Becca and Shannon couldn’t have been friends.
Speaking of friends, the only other female given time in the book is Becca’s friend Chloe, who is bouncy and excitable and loveable. I wish her storyline was something more than falling in love! I think this is a lost opportunity for the author – instead of introducing a few more capable male characters, she could have introduced another dazzling female. On another note, Steven is awesome.
Becca’s relationship with her father is again furthered naturally throughout The Seers, with both of them learning to how to talk to, and trust, one another. Jocelyn is a really cool character and I like seeing a softer side to him when he’s with Becca. He does a lot of sweet things for his daughter that she, in her self-centred little bubble, doesn’t see.
Becca’s self-centredness also impacts on her relationship with Alex. I loved their romance in the last book, but The Seers had me second-guessing the whole Holder-bonding thing. Alex is Becca’s Anam, and she is his, but until now, I hadn’t really thought about how they might not actually be great for one another outside of the magic that drives them together. They had some issues to get through in this book, with Becca basically taking Alex’s feelings for granted and mistakenly assuming that he’s as secure in their relationship as she is. I don’t think the author has convinced me that there is something outside of the butterflies-short-of-breath-rapid-heartrate feeling between them.
On the other hand, I think the issue of sexual attraction has been handled maturely in the book. The author doesn’t side-step it, she meets it head on and acknowledges the hormones as natural. The eventual act itself was prefaced with a bit of preaching (in the vein of 5-star-hotels and amazing suites don’t matter, what matters is Becca and Alex and their love) but otherwise handled well.
The plot of the novel was easy to follow and enough twists and turns to engage me. It allowed for the powers of the supporting characters to be exploited, which was great because I got to see how other powers worked. I did tire of Becca never knowing what was going on. In the first book I understood her ignorance, but in this book I just kept thinking that if she’d spent less time daydreaming about Alex during her lessons, she might keep up! I’m assuming she’s been having a crash-course in the whole Holders and magic thing, so her constant ignorance doesn’t make sense. I guess the author is using Becca’s ignorance to tell her readers what’s going, but it’s a clumsy technique and makes Becca seem unintelligent.
I think The Seers is a great read for fans of the series, and readers who want a different kind of paranormal series should pick up The Holders. I am eager to read the next book, to find out what happens, but I am weary of Becca’s attitude and hope she matures and stops acting like a spoilt princess all the time.