Series: DEATH SEEKER #1
Author: CECY ROBSON
Publication Date: SEPTEMBER 24, 2019
ABOUT THE BOOK
Fae was once a flourishing paradise. Until Death turned greedy and destroyed it, targeting the creatures who inhabited it. Those who survived escaped to Earth’s realm, but Death wasn’t far behind…
Olivia Finn is just another pixie trying to blend it among humans and hide from the death hounds who devoured her family. Clinging to the talisman that keeps her veiled from those who hunt her, she believes she is safe…Until Death finds her and discovers she’s immune to its grip.
Now that Olivia’s power is unearthed, she is sought by Fae who see her as their savior and stalked by dark entities compelled to destroy her. Can she trust the King of the Dead who has sworn to train and protect her? Or should she obey her instincts that warn he desires more? Olivia can no longer hide from Death. To survive, she must seek it.
I can say that this is my favorite Urban Fantasy book so far, hands down the best. It was a very enjoyable story for a first book in a series. I’m looking forward to read the next installment. Honestly, I never read anything like this before although I’m familiar with the Life and Death concept that the author used in the story. Overall it was just brilliant.
This is a story about Olivia, a pixie from the fae realm that lives on earth. Olivia and the rest of the fae has to live in the Earth realm while trying their best to hide who they really are in order for them to survive from their enemy, Cathasach and his hounds, the Cù-Sìth. One disastrous night triggers her dormant magic and the same night also she found out that Ryker—an attorney she work with—is actually Death, the Grim Reaper. Ryker made it his mission to train Olivia so she will be ready for Cathasach’s next attack.
I loved the concept of the story, the whole Life and Death thing is unique. It reminds me a lot of The Arcana Chronicles by Kresley Cole. Here, the Life and Death are Olivia and Ryker, whereas in The Arcana Chronicles, Life and Death are Evie and Aric. Both books are unique but I prefer the Life and Death concept in this book, I find it to be much better and very well-written, and also it has a clear explanation on some of the things regarding Life and Death. For example, why Olivia has strong connection with Ryker compared to Cathasach while Cathasach is also Death just like Ryker. And how many version of Death exists and why Ryker is so different than Cathasach in so many ways.
The whole explanation makes everything so clear and it also helps me understand the plot so easily. I can see that the Scottish folklore is the biggest inspiration for this story which makes the story more enjoyable and interesting. It’s hard for me to find books/book series that are based on or inspired by either the Irish/Scottish folklores, except for Juliet Marillier’s books. So I’m happy to see that this book has the elements that are based on the Scottish folklore. Also this story is a mix of real world and mythology which makes the setting of the story so unique.
I find that the world-building is brilliant and well-developed. Even though anything that happens in the book takes place on Earth and not in the supernatural realm, but the creatures from the fae realm still keep their traditions with them, and it make the story feel like it takes place in a supernatural realm. Also the whole magic parts that involved changing a whole scenery was truly so captivating, it seriously surprised me how the looks of a normal place can easily changed into a magical place.
As for the magic, each of these creatures possessed different kind of magic from each other. In the story, there was an explanation on how these creatures changed their looks so that they can easily fit in with the humans, and how they survived after escaping from their realm, and how they escaped in the first place and also the reason why they had to move to Earth in the first place. I feel bad and sorry for these creatures, they suffered a lot and trying to survive is already hard enough and even on Earth, their kinds are still getting attacked by their worst enemies. It was a huge mess and the whole situation was very chaotic, I was so nervous for the fate of the main characters the whole time because the villain of the story gave the most scariest vibe.
The story was written very well and it does have a great flow, amazing pace, and unpredictable plot. It does have a good plot twist, but even with the twist, I can still predict what’s gonna happen. As for the betrayal in the story, I knew who betrayed Olivia and Ryker. It must be someone close to them, and their first meeting with those who they are close to clearly showed who will betray them later in the story, so it wasn’t surprising when the story revealed the traitor’s identity. Even though I managed to correctly predict some of the things in the story, the story still kept its great quality.
There was a great ton of actions in the story, and let me say this, it was very intense! The author did well in describing and writing the action parts, it was an incredible actions and I hope to see more of it in the next installment, but make it an upgrade version of this one. I want to see Ryker and Olivia fight their enemies with their full powers and doesn’t hold back at all, that would totally be badass. Ryker doesn’t hold anything back as far as I can see in this one, but I hope he uses his full Grim Reaper’s power and doesn’t get hurt or injured in the next book, I mean he is a Grim Reaper for a reason. As for Olivia, she has a long way to learn on how to reach her full potential.
I liked the tone of the story, it was a balance of both light and dark. I don’t prefer one from the other, both works just fine by me and this book proved that it can work so well with both. Lastly, I want to say that the dialogues are fun to read. The characters; especially Ryker and Olivia, both were given great dialogues. And the most thing that I loved about their dialogues are the fact that they sometimes speak in Gaelic. Truthfully, Gaelic is the most beautiful language I’ve ever heard, but sadly not many people speak it anymore and it is being considered as an old language. I do speak Gaelic a little bit so pronouncing some of the Gaelic dialogues aren’t that hard for me. I was so happy that the author included a Gaelic language in the book. As for the POV, the story only has a single POV, understandable why the author chose to go for it because this is Olivia’s story, and she is the one who tells the story. I wish the next book has a dual POVs, from Olivia and Ryker since he is just as important as her, and I truly want to know what was in his head all the time and what are his thoughts on the whole situation. It would be great to have a dual POVs for the sequel.
This book featured some amazing characters, but the main ones are Olivia and Ryker. I liked the others too, especially Stevie, Frankie, and Jane, these three grew on me a lot. I’m still wary of Bill, I’m not sure if I can trust him yet. These characters are great, and they do have an amazing dynamic. Seeing them helping out Olivia, protecting her and so on warms my heart. It shows just how much they care for their own kind.
Olivia is a pixie who thought she lost her magic all those years ago when she along with her kind moved to the Earth realm. Everyone believed she has the ability to kill Cathasach and his hounds, the Cù-Sìth. She basically went from someone who doesn’t have magic—and has to rely on her talisman to save and shield her—into someone who suddenly possessing a magical ability that can single-handedly defeat her enemy. I’ve seen this in so many books before, but here it was different. Other books have a protagonist who doesn’t have powers and suddenly possessing powers and become powerful, which to me is very unrealistic. But this book has Olivia as the main protagonist who suddenly got her powers back and still struggling with it. The portrayal here is more realistic compared to most books. Her magic has always been there, but it has been dormant for years and somehow the tragedy at the club triggered it. I was glad that she got her magic back, so now she can defend herself without the help from the others. Despite being the only hope to save her kind, she still struggles with using her magic and how to control it. So, I didn’t expect her to become a powerful protagonist all of a sudden by the end of the book.
I liked that the story involved Ryker training her most of the time so that she knows how to use her own magic on her enemies. She put a lot of hard work on her training and didn’t stop until she feel confident enough to use her magic without someone guiding her. She is a great protagonist for the story, not only that she is a hardworking and kind-hearted person, but she was also portrayed as someone who is secretly broken due to all the loss she experienced in her life. I truly feel bad for her! She has a bright personality and sassy attitude. She can be a bit bossy too at times and she always have a great sense of humor. Olivia is definitely a heroine that people will love, she was a fun and hilarious character. I hope her character still remain the same in the sequel, except maybe pull an upgrade on her ability of using her magic. She was weak in terms of fighting, even her magic can be unstable sometimes and she needs to have a better control over it. It was pretty delightful to finally see Olivia using her magic and still trying to figure out her abilities.
Ryker is an attorney and he worked with Olivia on a case before, so these two aren’t strangers. He is the Grim Reaper which means he is basically Death, but his version of Death is different compared to Cathasach’s version. He’s not evil, but he can be very scary sometimes. He’s a great hero just as Olivia is a great heroine. He saved her, protected her, and healed her broken heart all the time. It was very sweet of him to do that to Olivia. As a Grim Reaper, he is pretty powerful and strong, even though it was shown like twice that he got injured, but still nobody can deny that he is actually strong and powerful. I loved seeing his protectiveness toward Olivia and his stunned expression when she’s not afraid of him.
Learning about his backstory makes me see things more clearly about his character. He was alone for a long time and he was just trying to find his peace and in order to achieved that, he needs Olivia to do it. He is also a great trainer, he puts a lot of work training Olivia for sure. Knowing that he is Death, I thought he couldn’t eat human’s foods, but apparently he can which was surprising to me. I loved that he’s not a bad person and totally not evil, but the ending makes me nervous of what’s gonna happen to him. Overall, Ryker is a great character with a nice personality, and seeing him smile for a little bit and always smirking melts my heart. He’s the most swoon-worthy hero after all and even got a good sense of humor. I’m looking forward to see which direction the author will take his character to, let’s just hope he stays consistent like he did in this book.
As for the villain, Cathasach, the author managed to make me hate his character. I just disliked what he did and his motive. He can be vile too but mostly he was just so irritating. I was so grossed out by what he plan on to do to Olivia, I’m honestly disgusted. Cathasach loved messing up the lives of the fae, but I find his reasoning on attacking the fae to be so weak. For the majority of the book, he sent his evil hounds to do his bidding, seeing him in action is very rare. His evil hounds are so scary compared to him, every time his hounds came to attacked Ryker and Olivia, I can feel the shift in the tone of the story, it went from light to dark real quick. Any parts with the hounds in it are all so intense and it gave me anxiety.
As for the romance, it really test my patience. I was rooting for Olivia and Ryker, and I’m happy they do get together at the end, but the romantic part just doesn’t have a lot of rooms in the story. Part of me was glad it doesn’t have any romantic scenes because I don’t want the whole romance to overshadow the main focus of the story, and then there was a part of me that wish to see Olivia and Ryker being a bit intimate early on or like in the middle of the book. The little kiss at the end made me happy, but I’m scared of what will happen to them in the sequel. Judging by the little chaos that ended the story, I hope both of them can defeat their enemies and most importantly, I hope they can stay together like being a permanent couple.
I loved their friendship, things was very rough for them at first but they were strong enough to face any challenges that gets in their way. They basically protecting one another, and it was sweet that they cared deeply for each other. I loved their banter a lot, Olivia is a sassy lady, and Ryker is just a bit grumpy. Their different personalities are what makes every scenes with these two so hilarious. They were being so sarcastic sometimes and I’m just enjoying watching them battling one another with their clever words and comebacks. These two aren’t enemies, they are more like friends with a great chemistry. So I’m here for the friends-to-lovers trope! I’m ready to see their relationship evolving in the sequel.
I truly appreciate how great the story is, and it was an enjoyable and fun read. I’m looking forward to see what’s next in store for Ryker and Olivia. If people wants to read a great book inspired by a Scottish folklore but with urban settings that have both light and dark tone for the story, then I suggest pick this one up. I’m sure a lot will be entertain by this great story and also by the characters, especially the main ones.
Cecy Robson is an international and multi-award winning author of over twenty-five character driven novels. A registered nurse of eighteen years, Cecy spends her free time creating magical worlds, heart-stopping romance, and young adult adventure. After receiving two RITA nominations, the Maggie Award, the Award of Excellence, and a National Reader’s Choice Award nomination, you can still find Cecy laughing, crying, and cheering on her characters as she pens her next story.