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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Review of The Last Seeker by Fleur Camacho

An interesting read. I loved the characterization of the kids in this book. Tristen as the klutzy, awkward teen who has trouble focusing on what he's "supposed" to be focusing on, and who is dealing with a lot of trauma in his home life. Ailey is a sweetheart, as is her boyfriend Brooks, for befriending Tristen and treating him well despite his awkwardness. I thought Isolda was a typical teenage princess, impatient and confused by Tristen's waffling.

The time travel was cool , and I liked seeing the trio work together to adjust and make themselves useful. Without giving anything more away, I thought things progressed well to the resolution - such as it was. This is definitely a first installment of a serialized story, so there are things that are not resolved in this book. But I'd say the main arc of this story is complete, and there is enough left open to interest a reader in coming back for the next installment.

What I didn't like: a little too much time spent on the angsty teenager stuff for my taste. It is character building, but it just goes on a bit too long. I also didn't get a good sense of how much time was passing after they return to the "present" and some family drama happens that causes Tristen to withdraw from his friends. It read like months and months pass, but I got the impression it was maybe a couple weeks, really? Not clear, and I found that distracting.

The other thing may yet come into play in future books, but I kept expecting some reference to the original Tristan and Isolde - like maybe their souls were tied to the ancient lovers or something. I found it a bit distracting that no one even acknowledged that their names mirrored those of the storied lovers. It's a small quibble, but I can't help thinking their names are not an accident, and I kept waiting for that confirmation.

Finally, the writing was a tad stilted in places. Quite engaging overall, and I was definitely drawn into the story, but in some places the writing just banged out with little grace. Not like there were tons of errors - in fact I only marked a few - it mostly gave the impression that the author might not be a native English speaker. It was just a little distracting in places.

I believe I will seek out (pun intended) the second book in the series. This one was definitely worth my time. I would give it a PG-13 rating for (mostly) implied violence, and dramatic treatment of battles.

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