By: Julianna Scott
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Published: February 4, 2014
I am back with a review for another ARC through Netgallery. This time I will be talking about Julianna Scott’s second book in the Holder series: The Seers. I have to admit that I was slightly confused reading the first couple of chapters because I did not immediately recognize that this was part of a series. I turned to my friend the Internet and found out it was indeed not a standalone book. So I quickly found a copy of the first book, read that, and re-read the opening chapters of this book before moving forward. I honestly did enjoy the first book The Holders so I was more than looking forward to the chance to get a sneak peak at the next book in the series. I think had I not enjoyed the first part, it would have taken me a longer time to get around to reading this one. Under the cut, will be book blurb followed up by my thoughts of the book: including comparing this series (so far) to the Rebuild of Evangelion movies, and compare The Seers to The Hobbit and The Empire Strikes Back. Trust me, it will make sense! Also I do my best to keep spoiler-free as possible.
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 for 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.
The Holders series seems to be a bit of a mash up between X-Men and Harry Potter aimed at a young/teenage girl audience. Despite the fantasy theme in the series, Seers definitely has a strong paranormal tone to it that does not take away from the fantasy or romantic parts. And the romantic parts, as one who is not a strong fan of it, did not take away from the storyline or my enjoyment of the book as a whole. I also did not find any of it annoying or “bang my head on the wall” frustrating. Definitely the romantic parts are sweet, cheesy, and sappy as they involve teenagers and aimed to that audience, but I did not find it to be a negative experience.
Along with the romantic elements, we have the topic of sex come up in Becca and Alex’s relationship. Just because both of these two are young does not mean that they are immune to their natural horny nature or impluses. Nope, but of them are horny for each other and wish to develop their relationship to that level. Becca even mentions of going on birth-control in preparation for the moment. Alex, on the other hand, we learn through Becca that he wants the moment to be romantic and be meaningful, not just some random shag-fest between the two. Becca, agreeing to Alex’s thoughtful romantic gesture, makes sure to point out Alex is somewhat evil in that he takes great amounts of pleasure of teasing and tormenting her before pulling away. Becca returns the teasing and tormenting, as seen early on, in a different way. It feels organic and real to me.
That being said, the actual moment of sex is very romantic, flowery, and poetic and lacks detail about the physical event itself and that was a bit disappointing. Both characters are old enough to have that vocabulary and it can be assumed that they have varying levels of sex vocabulary; either would be able to give names to what was happening between the two. I think teenagers are old enough to be reading sex scenes that provide some detail about the act without it having to be explicit.
A complaint some have had about the first book was that it was predictable. And it was, let’s be honest but I do not think Julianna is looking to do something absolutely revolutionary. I think of the first book as a lot like the first movie in the Rebuild of Evangelion movie series. WAIT! WAIT! Just go with me on this. The first film is very much a retelling of the first six episodes in the animated series. It did not add much new material and it was very predictable. The second film is where the new twists and turns start to show up. The Seers definitely cannot be described as predictable as new elements and twists are added that the reader did not see coming previously.
The story is told through the point of view of the main character Rebecca, or Becca as everyone calls her. I have enjoyed reading her progression through the two books and how she has grown and matured. She is someone who deeply cares for her extended family members and is equally protective of them. Because of this caring nature, Becca immediately is revolted by the upper class mentality in Bhunaidh society, in particularly to how it is seen in the treatment of individuals of those within who do not measure up. She is not distracted by the wealth and status of it at all. Becca is fierce and emotional, but does not seek to create drama around her. She calls a lot of people out on their bullshit and right in front of them. Sometimes when she does it, she does not have the entire story but in the moment Becca is right to call them out for it, and if she finds out later that what she thought she knew and understood was wrong, she does apologize for her actions. Becca does not see herself as without a fault and not above being wrong. She is able to go back and apologize for her actions when she learns that she was wrong.
The end wraps up some of the stories that started in the story, while leaving some that started in this book and the previous one still in motion without feeling frustrated at the end or on a cliff hanger. You know, like how The Desolation of Smaug ended. There are happy moments in the ending, since the group does experience success in their mission and do make significant discoveries by the end of the story. However, at the same time, there is a feeling of deep sadness as if they did lose as something traumatic does happen to one of the characters. If I was to compare the end of this book to anything, I would compare it to the feeling of the ending of The Empire Strikes Back.
Hyped up for this book yet? You can pre-order the book on Amazon, Chapters, and Book Depository. If you want to read The Holders first, you can buy it here, here, and here. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and opinions when the book comes out next month.