Friday, 27 February 2015

Seed by DB Nielsen

Review by The Mole

The story is billed as "Twilight meets A Discovery of Witches" - neither of which I have read. The synopsis however had me interested:

Seventeen-year-old twins Sage and Saffron Woods who become embroiled in a thrilling quest when an artefact, long sought after, suddenly reappears in present day southern Iraq – a land long considered the cradle of civilization, ancient Mesopotamia. With its unearthing, a centuries-old conflict is reignited; a conflict that takes the sisters from the British Museum to Paris to the Vatican Secret Archives and the catacombs in Rome. In a race against time the twins discover not only deeply hidden secrets of the ancient world but embark on a journey of self-discovery and coming of age that uncovers their own passionate feelings for unearthly immortals.

With no "magic" and no vampires I was curious where the comparison came from.

The story is not truly about the twins, but about Sage, with Saffie sort of helping, supporting, defending and goading Sage onwards. The plot has huge potential in my opinion but sadly lacks an editor.

When Sage first meets Gabriel she becomes like a gushy, silly teenager - but one that is worse than I have ever seen, heard of or read of before. I started to get the opinion that this was not meant to be a normal very naive reaction by a teenage girl to a very attractive man - but that the author was trying to add another layer and an editor could have helped with that.

At other times we are rewarded with historical facts (I assume they are facts but I haven't checked them) and this kind of thing tends to happen frequently in modern "quest" thrillers - but here it felt like they were coming like machine gun bullets with little time for the reader to assimilate them in to order or relevance. Relevance? Yes,at times it felt like the author was showing off her knowledge - although this is probably unfair comment. Once again a good editor should have been able to assist.

RANT OVER! Putting those issues to one side, I did keep reading. Why? Because overall the book was entertaining, intriguing and had that something that holds the reader's attention.

By the end of the 400+ pages it seems that relatively little has happened except the development of the characters, Sage becoming more aware of her own role, and the development of the relationship - both personal and quest-wise - between Sage and Gabriel. But what of Saffie? And her parents? You can feel that there is something more going on with all of them. We don't end on a cliffhanger and we have made no real discoveries about artefacts or what to do with them - but still I read on.

This is a very good story that YA readers will enjoy - despite the complete absence of sex. (I hope that's not a spoiler.)

Publisher - LBLA Digital
Genre - YA fantasy

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