Friday, 17 August 2012

Fated by Alyson Noel

About the book 
Fated is the first book in a new series by Alyson Noel. It was published by Macmillan Children's Books on 24th May and the book is 464 pages long. 

Lately strange things have been happening to Daire Santos. Animals follow her, crows mock her, and glowing people appear out of nowhere. Worried that Daire is having a nervous breakdown, her mother packs her off to stay in the dusty plains of Enchantment, New Mexico with a grandmother she's never met. 

There she crosses paths with Dace, a gorgeous guy with unearthly blue eyes who she's encountered before...but only in her dreams. And she'll get to know her grandmother--a woman who recognizes Daire's bizarre episodes for what they are. A call to her true destiny as a Soul Seeker, one who can navigate between the worlds of the living and the dead. Her grandmother immediately begins teaching her to harness her powers--but it's an art that must be mastered quickly. Because Dace's brother is an evil shape-shifter who's out to steal her powers. Now Daire must embrace her fate as a Soul Seeker and find out if Dace is one guy she's meant to be with...or if he's allied with the enemy she's destined to destroy. 

What I thought 
Having read all of Alyson Noel's 'The Immortals' series, I was looking forward to reading something new and exciting from her. Fated is the first book in Noel's new series, 'The Soul Seekers'. 

What makes this book different from any other that I have read in the YA genre is the Native American setting. From the back of the book and knowing more about the plot, I couldn't wait to see what could be done with spirit animals, shamans and visions. The beginning of the book shows protagonist Daire experiencing some problems. Due to seeing things that she shouldn't and doctors now knowing what is wrong, Daire is sent away to live with her Grandmother (who she has never met before) in Enchantment, New Mexico. This is where Daire's new life and adventure begins. 

Daire has had an interesting life in her 16 short years but this is what makes her such a good character. Up until the point where she goes to live with her Grandmother, Daire has moved around between film sets with her make-up artist mother but because of this, she has never known a normal, stable family life. Fitting in is hard for Daire in Enchantment but this shows the great qualities that her character has. I really loved exploring Daire's life as she went through so many changes and experiences new and different ways of living. 

Daire's Grandmother Paloma is actually the person to explain everything about Daire's gift. Being able to travel between the worlds of the living and the dead is something that runs in their family. The explanations regarding this were by far my favourite aspects of this book. The world that Noel has created is extremely intricate and complex but it is also so magical and exciting at the same time. Fated is so far from what Noel created in 'The Immortals' but in the best possible way, 

Of course, in the middle of Daire finding out who she really is and what she can do, there is a love interest. For months, Daire has been dreaming about a particular boy and it turns out that he lives in Enchantment. The boy from her dream has a twin though and one of them is good while the other is evil. The dreams warned Daire against some bad things happening but because of this, she constantly has her guard up and is unsure of who she can trust. Romance isn't the most important thing in this book so it takes a back seat to other things. However, what romance we did get was sweet, well-written and believable. I really liked Dace (the good twin) and I can't wait to see what will happen with him and Daire next. I have a feeling that their romance and being together will have a massive impact on the rest of the series. 

Fated is so much better than 'The Immortals' series in so many ways. Noel's writing has improved and thankfully, the protagonist isn't an idiot. Just from this first book I can see that this is going to be a favourite series of mine and I desperately want the second instalment already.

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