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.
The last book I read by Noel was the first installment in the Ever series after which I promptly decided that I didn’t care much either for the story or Noel’s writing. However, Fated presents an interesting mix of mythology that immediately caught my attention and when Caitlingss gave me an ARC, I may have done a dance in the secrecy of my room. And for the most part, (we’re moving onto the review proper now), I am extremely impressed by the improvement in Noel’s writing. Her descriptions, her imagery are bang on and, while a bit dense, do establish the mood and atmosphere perfectly. So yeah, nice surprise there.
I also liked Daire for a while which was another surprise. I thought she seemed kickass even if she kept on talking about how smooching the hottest guys in North America was no big deal for her. Hm. Yes. And the mythology as I had been expecting was very intriguing. I don’t actually know too much about First Nations mythology so learning about it, albeit in a somewhat structured and creatively meddled with way, was interesting. I also liked how Fated is so dynamic. There is movement, there is action and there is adventure.
My biggest (and ultimately overwhelming) problem with this novel was that Daire started to annoy me about a third in and didn’t really stop until the book ended. I liked her blase` attitude until it spiraled downhill and it’s not even her fault. I did not like the romance in this novel. It seemed overly melodramatic and if Noel had toned down the whole “soul-mate” thing that was not said explicitly but so subtle there were elephants, I would have liked the book a whole lot more. There was the potential for a really good book in this novel but I feel, personally speaking mind you, that to get that good book, you would need to extricate it carefully from all the sentimental and overly cliche tropes clogging it. That said, I believe other people who are not as picky about their romance as I am will enjoy this novel a lot more than I did. Don’t take my word for it. No really, don’t. Go read it and make up your own mind.