I hadn’t planned on writing books reviews for Cats & Coffee, but I adore talking about books, writing, and publishing. I am an editor, after all. It seems fitting to include the occasional book review on this geeky blog!
Without further ado, all me to introduce The Seekers.
The Seekers by Cait Ashwood is a fantasy novel that takes place 900 years in the future. Audrey, a young woman from 21st century America, is whisked way to the future by a group of Seekers. These Seekers have been tasked with locating ancestors of the only women able to heal an ailing, post-nuclear Earth. The intrigue and politics is more than Audrey or the Seekers bargained for, and Audrey must come to terms with her destiny.
Maybe I’m a sucker for anything related to post-nuclear Earth, but I *love* this book. I read it in just a few days, an accomplishment for me with all of the other things I do throughout the day! The language is clear and easy to read, something I appreciate especially when I’m reading at the end of a long day. Besides that, Ashwood includes several new phrases and words that the future humans use. She masterfully integrates them into dialogue and internal monologues, making their meanings clear and obvious on the first read.
World Building and Characters
Besides the readability, the world building and character development are phenomenal. The cities, the Groves, the different populations, and even the political players are presented carefully–never too much information to spoil their true motives or purposes, but enough that the reader sees the world unfolding as the newcomer, Audrey, does. As for Audrey herself, her journey through this new time shows her growing from an anxious, young widow to a confident, strong leader.
The secondary characters–Hound, Deuce, Ace, Quad, Jess, and Lindsey–are just as important to the story as Audrey. The Seekers are Hound, Deuce, Ace, and Quad, and their role not only as guides for Audrey, Jess, and Lindsey, but as political actors are simultaneously complex and enjoyable. Jess and Lindsey are other girls from Audrey’s time and city, and their bond as a group of three facilitates Audrey’s growth and the mission to heal the planet.
I wasn’t initially expecting magic to play a large part in the book, and I’m still not sure I’d call it “magic.” However, one of the driving factors for both the characters and plot is a power that Audrey, Jess, and Lindsey possess. They’re able to enter a trance and locate what Ashwood calls “taint.” It’s what is poisoning the Earth, and the girls have the ability to cleanse the taint from the planet. It’s a truly unique feature I haven’t read in other books, and I love this idea!
The girls aren’t the only ones with powers. The Seekers are able to “phase,” or teleport, to other locations. They can also time travel. Both forms of “magic,” as we’ll call it, feel natural to the characters and play an integral role in the overarching plot.
Ashwood never goes into detail on how these powers work. Maybe that’s because the humans don’t know how they work, but I’m certainly curious! I’d love to see a prequel or short story that explains how humanity developed these powers.
I would give this book 4.5/5 stars. The writing it lovely, the world is well designed, and the characters are relatable and strong.
If you like fantasy or science fiction books, go buy it! It’s available on Kindle Unlimited and in paperback.