Disruptor by Arwen Elys Dayton
Book Three of the Seeker series
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: February 7, 2017
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher
Summary (from Goodreads):
For readers of Sarah J. Maas and of Marie Lu’s Legend trilogy comes Disruptor, the sequel to Traveler, the thrilling conclusion to the Seeker series.
Quin has spent her life as her father’s pawn. She was trained to kill and manipulated to guarantee her family’s power. And now that she’s broken free of that life, she’s found herself trapped again, hostage to a plot that has been centuries in the making.
It’s taken generations for the pieces to come together, and finally all is in place. Her best friend Shinobu’s mind has been corrupted, the Young Dread has aligned with her enemy John, and the bloodthirsty Watchers are being awakened and gathered. Now there is nothing that can stop the force of time.
But Quin will no longer be a pawn. Quin is a Seeker. She stands for light in a shadowy world. She will face the vengeance of the past and its enemies and save herself and the ones she loves, or she will die trying.
What I Liked:
I've enjoyed Seeker and Traveler, for the most part, and I'd been eagerly awaiting Disruptor for about a year (exactly so, actually!). I am so pleased to say that I enjoyed this conclusion novel, and that it wrapped up the series perfectly. All three books have been good, but Disruptor is easily the strongest novel of the series.
This book picks up pretty much where Traveler left off - with Quin trapped There (the in-between, no-space), and Shinobu controlled by his focal. John is training with Maud, the Young Dread, and he is beginning to see that to become a real Seeker, he must take a different course than he was previously on. Quin meets an unexpected ally in the in-between, whereas Shinobu meets a dangerous foe. Quin, Shinobu, and John are worlds apart, but their paths will collide one more time as shadowy secrets are brought to light and history unfolds.
Finally, FINALLY, we get the whole story. Finally things start to fall into place. This conclusion brings everything to light - the history of the Dreads, the history of the Seekers, insight to the medallions, why the Seeker tech is so advanced even though it appears that Seekers came to be in the Middle Ages. I love how all of the pieces of the puzzle came together. I'm the type of person that needs and demands explanations, especially when it comes to a sci-fi/fantasy world - and Dayton definitely delivered.
As with all of the books in this series, the world-building is flawlessly crafted. I personally think that this world of the Seeker series is unique, in YA and otherwise. The idea of the athame and the magic might not be, but the world, the constructs, and the bizarre history are incredibly different in comparison to other "similar" YA books. Plus, the setting is mainly in Scotland, which was awesome. How many YA novels are set in Scotland (and don't have to do with fae)?
This book is told from many different POVs - which could be a good or bad thing. I thought this aspect worked for this novel (and the entire series), but other readers might not love multiple POVs. But Dayton does a great job with this. The story isn't just about Quin, John, and Shinobu. Maud is a very important character, as is Dex (new to this story), and Nott (recurring character).
Quin has a bit of a different role in this book. She is stuck in the in-between (There), so she isn't in the thick of the action. She isn't trying to take down this person or that, and she isn't running for her life. Rather, she is trying to get out of the in-between and find Shinobu. But to do so, she needs Dex's help. Dex is a man who rescues her in the in-between. He's a little unstable mentally, but he has a wealth of information and is very important in the story, especially towards the end. But back to Quin - while her role isn't as primary as it was in the other two books, it is critical to the story. We learn so much from Dex because of Quin's persistence.
Shinobu gets the worst end of the stick, in this book. His mind is controlled by the focal, and he can barely remember if he saved Quin, or if he left her, or if she ran from him (he left her). And then he is taken in and deceived by a dangerous enemy, who tortures him to keep him in her control. But Shinobu is strong both mentally and physically, and in bouts of clarity, he knows that he needs to find Quin in the in-between and protect her from the one controlling him.
John... John changes the most, in this novel and the series in general. Remember how he was out to get Shinobu, and almost killed Quin? He is not that guy anymore. He has been training with the Young Dread and he has been saving Seeker children. He isn't trying to destroy Seeker houses anymore - he is trying to save them. John is no longer a villainous character; I like how Dayton turns his character development around, and molds John into a better, redeemed person.
And he really earns that redemption, towards the end of the book. John used to hate Shinobu, but John is the one that tries to rescue Shinobu from the true villain of the story.
There are two romances in this book! Quin and Shinobu are separated for most of the novel, but they each spend the entire novel trying to fight their way back to each other. I usually hate that romantic separation but it really worked in this book, for some reason. I like those two together (the reunion was sweet). There is another romance, between John and Maud! That was more subtle and barely-there, but it's sweet.
The ending of this book (and series) is very, very satisfying. I felt like all of my questions were answered, and I loved where all of the characters ended up, in terms of development. I felt like each character also ended up where they needed to be physically (the epilogue! Gah!). I love it when an author doesn't feel the need to have a heartbreaking ending to the series.
What I Did Not Like:
Overall I thought the pacing of the book was good, but I will say that the beginning was a little slow. I didn't remember a lot from Traveler, so it definitely took me a few chapters to get back into the story. After a while though, I was zipping through the pages. I couldn't put the book down!
Would I Recommend It:
If you've made it this far in the series, or even if you've just read Seeker, finish the series! It's a series that gets better, and doesn't really suffer the sequel slump. There wasn't anything too disappointing about the series, except maybe the love triangle scare from Seeker (which disappears immediately, in Traveler and after, and looking back it was quite a harmless "love triangle"). If you like science fiction and fantasy, this series combines both in an intriguing and thought-provoking way.
4 stars. I'm interested in seeing what new projects the author will share with us next! I would love to read more of the sci-fi/fantasy blend, but I also think the author would do well with either genre alone, or something completely new. No matter what, I'm here for it!
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