Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Review: Seed by D.B. Nielsen

Title:  Seed (Keepers of Genesis #1)

Author: D.B. Nielsen
Publisher: 7th May 2015 by LBLA Digital
Pages: 432 pages
How I Read It: ARC ebook
Genre: young adult, teens, fantasy, mystery
My Rating: 3.5 cups

 A brilliant new adult paranormal romance with action, adventure, suspense and supernatural fantasy. SEED is the first book in this gripping new epic adventure series sure to appeal to young adults and crossover fiction readers who enjoy an assured blend of romance, fantasy and history. SEED and the other three novels in the Keepers of Genesis series (SCROLL , SWORD and STONE) should appeal to readers of Becca Fitzpatrick, of Stephanie Meyer, of Cassandra Clare’s MORTAL INSTRUMENTS series, of Lauren Kate’s FALLEN books, of Danielle Trussoni‘s ANGELOLOGY as well as to quest/thriller novels by Dan Brown, Matthew Reilly, Steve Berry, Simon Toyne and to fans of Indiana Jones, National Treasure, The Mummy or of Lara Croft’s adventures. 
One thrilling quest, twin sisters and their sweeping and adventurous romances, a perilous rivalry, intriguing exploration of some of Western culture's greatest mysteries, a magical tale of angels and demons throughout the ages. Incorporating historical facts intertwined with myth, fantasy, fascinating esoterica and love story, SEED is a captivating read which marks the arrival of a wonderful new voice in YA and crossover escapist literature.
My thoughts:
This book really has me stumped. There is a lot to like and there is a lot to cringe about. The story revolves around Sage, a seventeen year old girl who gets swept up in the middle of an ancient mystery upon coming across an artefact.
In the beginning the book lover in me was enthralled with all the book appreciation tie ins. Sage's bookish nature was something I could relate to:
"I often lost myself in .... worlds where the Lizze and Heathcliffs, Aragorn and Hamlets ... were intimates of mine".
There is no doubt, however, this is a 'young adult' tale. There are such mixed genres here that I would think some YA would find it hard to wade through. Let me explain. At times there is so much history I likened it to the detail provided in 'A Discovery of Witches' amplified. Yet, before the page is turned, a lovesick teenager has me cringing and I think of certain 'unlikeable' parts of 'Twilight'. The romantic aspect is a little hard to swallow at times with her infatuation with St. John and how perfect he is reading like her secret diary.
Let it be said from the beginning, there is a great deal of historical content that borders on information 'dump'. If you don't like your history you may struggle with this. And it is such a strange eclectic mix of historical detail and trivia:
"Chaldea being, in the Hellenistic context, historical Babylonia, the eleventh dynasty or sixth century BC" "a tavern like the Prancing Pony in The Lord of the Rings".
A great deal of research has gone into this and the archeological aspect is fascinating.Yet, I have to admit that the mixed genres did not work for me. To go from supposedly serious life threatening situations to sightseeing in the blink of an eye, left me baffled:
"What about the Grigori? How can we simply go sightseeing at a time like this? Shouldn't we have a plan of action?"
At times it's not quite believable, too 'teenagery' for me and bordering on amateurish. For example when Sage's life was saved at one stage, she claims, "it meant so much to me" - um yes! He just saved your life! And Sage being the 'Wise One' did not sit comfortably with me. Within a page you can go from intense drama to childishness.
"Despite my heartache, I found that my Mum's enthusiasm was infectious and that I was actually getting excited about the festival."
As you can see I had a great deal of trouble reconciling the many genres and different levels of maturity presented throughout the story. It's a shame because I see such potential (if only Sage had been in her 30s like Diana in Discovery of Witches) as the whole underlying concept is fascinating. If you are interested in archeology or religious history then you will love the detail. Conversely, those seeking a light YA paranormal may feel swamped. I also did not like the ending which I found rather abrupt. Nothing was resolved therefore you just have to read the rest of the series I guess. It was somewhat of an anticlimax with the spoken threat never really eventuating. 
So back to where I started. This book really has me stumped and I'm not sure what to think. 

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.

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