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Review: Fated by Alyson Noel

Friday, April 5, 2013
Alyson Noel

4 Stars: A Good Read
Series: The Soul Seekers #1
Paperback: 368 Pages
Publication: November 13, 2012 by St. Martin's Griffin
Original Publication: January 1, 2012

Strange things are happening to Daire Santos. Crows mock her, glowing people stalk her, time stops without warning, and a beautiful boy with unearthly blue eyes haunts all her dreams. Fearing for her daughter’s sanity, Daire’s mother sends her to live with the grandmother she’s never met. A woman who recognizes the visions for what they truly are—the call to her destiny as a Soul Seeker—one who can navigate the worlds between the living and dead.

There on the dusty plains of Enchantment, New Mexico, Daire sets out to harness her mystical powers. But it’s when she meets Dace, the boy from her dreams, that her whole world is shaken to its core. Now Daire is forced to discover if Dace is the one guy she's meant to be with...or if he’s allied with the enemy she's destined to destroy.

Wow! What an amazing book! Well written and almost quite satisfactory, though the characters could use more development. I am biased concerning some of the content (Shamanism) because it is exactly what I like to read about.

When I just picked up the book, and read the description on the back cover, I balked at the phrase “beautiful boy.” It was like a foreshadowing of the insta-love found in the tale. I was actually taken aback at Daire and Dace’s first encounter. It went too fast, too far, and was too shallow. The thing that really gives depth to their relationship is the fact that their bond was not only based in the physical world, but it was also established in the spiritual realm.

Daire, the protagonist of the story, is the sixteen-year-old daughter of a travelling makeup artist. Her story begins at the rising of disturbing experiences that can either be classified as visions or a psychotic break down. Daire actually exasperated me when I first “met” her. I did not like her closed-minded attitude towards life’s experiences (like love) and towards the people that were trying to help her. I actually wanted to slap her. She also has a bad reaction when her gradnmother reveals that Daire is a Soul Seeker, someone with the ability to cross the worlds between the realms of the living and the dead. Once the angsty beginning was over, Daire is okay. The only other problem I have with her was that she doesn’t let the love between her and Dace flourish, resulting in the loss of some very potential scenes that would have made the romance feel stronger. It is only towards the middle and end that the strength within Daire is fully shown.

Dace, Daire’s soul mate, was – meh. He is a bit two-dimensional and mild, but very kind and loveable, and I love the story of how he came into existence. Dace is the good son, and Cade is the bad son. Cade is your standard antagonist, evil to the core. He too isn't fully fleshed out. My impression of him was: Oh yeah! I’m bad! Be bad with me too. The Grandma, Paloma, is real nice. She’s sweet and your typical Hispanic granny. Paloma is a stand in mentor and a mother to Daire, who feels that she was the one doing the mothering to her own mother. As for her real mother, Jennika is not able to provide a feeling of safety for Daire, though she made me giggle with her crazy ridiculousness. Jennika clearly never left her teenage years behind.

The Shamanism is surprisingly accurate. This semester, I am currently taking a Primal Religions course where we have studied Shamanism. While I was reading this book I was astounded at the level of accuracy dedicated to describing this way of life. I feel that the way the author writes about it is very elegant and not all that exaggerated and unbelievable. It just goes to show the quality Ms. Noel devoted to researching the subject. I appreciate that she did not haphazardly throw some facts together, but went above and beyond basic research to provide a solid foundation to this book.

I really enjoyed this book and I would recommend it despite my misgiving with the romance. I look forward to reading the second book, which judging by the title, sounds like a more thorough exploration of Dace’s character. For me, it is the accurate portrayal of Shamanism and the fact that it is very well written that took this story from a 3 star to a 4 star. I look forward to reading the second book, where I hope to see a more thorough exploration of the characters.

A copy was provided by St. Martin's Griffin.

2 comments on "Review: Fated by Alyson Noel"
  1. This one sounds really good! I keep seeing the book in stores and I think it's really pretty and now I have to admit that it also sounds good!

  2. This book sounds interesting. I've seen many bad reviews about this one a while ago, but I'm happy you liked it! :) The Shamanism sounds good :D Great review.



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