Soul Seekers, Book One
By Alyson Noël
Available now from St. Martin's Griffin
Alyson Noël made a big splash with her paranormal debut, the Immortals series. I haven't read that series, so I don't know how FATED compares. I do know that I enjoyed FATED.
The opening is somewhat confusing. Daire is out with a movie star and somehow knows movie stars but isn't one herself. (She turns out to be the daughter of a makeup artist.) Then things get confusing for Daire as well as she starts to see sinister images and freaks out, as anyone would. Her visions are not nice and not even antipsychotic medicine helps.
Then her paternal grandmother calls demanding that Daire come to Enchantment, New Mexico. Daire knows nothing about the Santos family since her father died before she was born. But now it is time for her to accept her family's legacy and become a Soul Seeker. As a Soul Seeker, Daire helps keep the balance of the lower, middle, and upper worlds. But there are those who wish to disrupt the balance so that they might rule.
Daire is off-balance for most of FATED. She's living in one place and going to a normal high school for the first time. She's worldly, but doesn't know how to deal with the small-town lifestyle. Luckily she meets some cool people quickly. The love interest didn't quite work for me - it's very fast and there isn't much depth to Dace. He's just nice guy and it's a Romeo and Juliet situation. Whatever. I did appreciate that there wasn't a shoehorned love triangle with one guy who clearly had no chance.
I liked the use of Native American traditions. It makes sense given FATED takes place in New Mexico and it gives the book something different from the other paranormals flooding the YA market. I don't know much about indigenous culture aside from some folklore, but nothing leapt out at me as being horribly racist.
The love story was lackluster, but I enjoyed reading Daire's personal journey in FATED. I wouldn't say no to reading the second volume of the Soul Seekers. St. Martin's Griffin is obviously excited for this release, so if you're on the fence I recommend checking out the series website. You can also find out your spirit animal.