3 out of 4 stars
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Skylar Caellum and what's left of her family were members of the United Survivor Republic (USR), a majority percentage of the masses living in squalor, hunger, penury, decadence, and experiencing constant death. Her father and older brother had died, leaving her with her mother, Joanne, and her younger brother, Kyle. Skylar was preparing for the trials, a very tasking and dangerous competition that would enlist her into the elite community made up of only five percent of the entire population. This same competition claimed the life of her elder brother, Liam. Still, entering the competition was the only way she could see to save her family from deterioration at F Block, the decaying community where they lived. She had dreams of moving them to A Block, where life was rumored to be blissful.
But that was not her only dream or desire. Skylar despised the government and hated the mass subjugation, starvation, and inequality it was perpetrating, and wanted to change that. She got selected for the trials with her best friend and trainer, Brent. They also made new friends in Alice and Timothy along the way despite Liam's stern advice not to make any friends or get attached to anyone. Meanwhile, Brent became very close to Fiona. Their closeness made Skylar begin to question whether her feelings for Brent were more than friendly.
Seeker 5 by Tayma Tameem is a sci-fi adventure novel with a post-apocalyptic/dystopian feel. The plot was set in the spoils of the old world, after the fall of civilization. Interestingly, the author narrated the story from a third-person point of view. This afforded me in-depth inspection and insight into some characters and their thoughts. Although this story's main focus was Skylar, other characters like General Garner came into the spotlight every once in a while. I appreciated that the author gave me a chance to be a part of the characters' development, especially Skylar. Right from her days at Block F, Skylar's strength of character, determination, leadership skills, selflessness, and love for her family were front and center. Her leadership skills were fully showcased and honed at the trial, especially in the Outlands, where she managed to lead her team without foul play or cheating. In all, the author developed a robust character that many people could look up to.
I didn't like that Seeker 5 started amazingly but went downhill after Skylar's recruitment. At a point, it seemed to me like she'd gotten relaxed while in the trial base at Block A, forgetting the mission that brought her there in the first place. The hate she had for the government was underutilized. It wasn't as intense as I expected it to be, especially given that her brother and father had died because of the wretched system put in place by the said government. Also, given that Liam warned her against making any friends while in Block A, I was also expecting some form of betrayal from any of her friends. But sadly, the author did nothing with that information; there was no hint of a scandal, no shocking incident, no event development around it whatsoever.
The best thing I liked in this story was the romantic tension between Skylar and Brent. While there was Fiona on the one hand, I couldn't help but root for Skylar and Brent. The bond they shared went back decades and was comparable, if not closer, than a relationship between siblings. The author did not feel the need to sexualize the plot to sell me or any other reader on the romance, which I thought was neat.
This was a good book overall, but I felt it lacked a little excitement and intrigue. With such a promising storyline, it wasn't as thrilling as it could have been. The author crafted a nice plot and well-developed characters, but this story's event development could have been better.
What I hated the most about Seeker 5 was that it wasn't professionally edited. There were a plethora of avoidable errors in the EPUB version that I read. Due to this and the subpar event development, I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. It was still an enjoyable read and worth my time. I can't give it a lower rating because I have read books that are much worse—books that Seeker 5 would easily blow out of the water. I would recommend it to teenagers and young adults who are lovers of sci-fi adventure.
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