For 17-year-old Seeker, Janie Grey, ridding the Baltimore streets of the undead is an inherited duty passed down from her Cherokee ancestors. Seeker Training Lesson #1: Never trust the undead. After her father's tragic death, Janie creates her own life lesson: Love isn't worth the risk. Both lessons are easy to follow until she encounters the flawed Kai Sterdam. At first, she believes he is the hybrid she is trained to hunt. But, when he has human traits, she determines she doesn't know what he is. As Janie's intrigue over who Kai is pushes her deeper into his mysterious past, she discovers a shocking truth that is even more harrowing than the evil they are up against. It's a secret Kai wants to keep hidden, especially from Janie.
- Paperback | 294 pages
- 133 x 203 x 17mm | 336g
- 26 Sep 2011
- Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
- North Charleston SC, United States
About Taryn Browning
Taryn Browning graduated with a BS in Education from Towson University and went on to earn a MS in Reading from Hood College. She lives in Virginia with her husband, two young sons and their dog. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, spending time with friends and family, dancing, music, movies, and the beach. Visit her at www.tarynbrowning.com, on twitter and facebook.
Our customer reviews
A fast-paced plot with edge-of-your seat action wasn't enough to save Dark Seeker from a lack of world-building, a weak heroine and a borderline abusive romance. My first problem with Dark Seeker is the lack of world-building. Why are Seekers allowed to hunt the undead from such a young age (fourteen, according to Janie)? Janie mentions that she has already experienced ages 14-17 once, and is now on her second time going through those same ages. Why does this happen? How does this happen? Do Seekers wake up one day and are all of a sudden a few years younger? Janie's mother used to be a Seeker - why isn't she out patrolling with her daughter as backup? Why would an organization entrust the safety of an entire city (Baltimore) to a teenager? Wouldn't it better serve their cause to have several Seekers in one area, who are all slightly older and more experienced? What's the history of the Seekers - how did they come to be? What power does the Chapter hold over them? NONE of these questions are even touched on, and I found the plot lacked credibility because of the lack of answers. My second issue lies with the protagonist, Janie. Having been trained from a young age how to be a Seeker, she shows a remarkable lack of respect for all of her training the moment she meets Kai. After being rescued by Kai from a daychildren attack, Janie first threatens to kill him, and then strikes up a conversation with him about how he's different from other daychildren. For the rest of the book, Kai mysteriously shows up in time to save Janie from every single fight she enters - and she needs him to save her. It's not like she had the situation under control, and his presence was unnecessary; without Kai, Janie would have been dead within the first few chapters. Not only does Kai need to rescue Janie from several situations, some she knowingly enters without being prepared out of pure stubbornness, Janie spends little time actually fighting. She is constantly reaching for her Cherokee dagger, entering into her "fighting stance" and then being knocked unconscious before she can show off any of her moves. How I'm supposed to believe she has persevered for seven years without Kai's aid, or that she has been extensively trained to combat the undead is completely beyond me. I guess I erroneously assumed that someone trained to kill the undead would be capable of doing that job. My biggest issue, however, has to do with the "love" story (and I'm using the term love EXTREMELY loosely). Dark Seeker suffers from a frightening trend in YA fantasy, that of a borderline-abusive relationship that is portrayed as being romantic. Kai is constantly telling Janie what she can and can not do, what situations are too dangerous and whether or not she is allowed to go somewhere without him. He is constantly picking her up and carrying her, ignoring any protest she gives about being able to walk on her own. He shows up in her room, and refuses to leave. He forcibly restrains her in several situations, and she admits that she is completely powerless to move because his strength far surpasses her own. When Janie tries to break off her relationship with him, he practically begs her to stay with him because he can't live without her - she's the first person he's been able to tell his history to and it would destroy him if she were to leave him. By the end of the book, Janie is encouraging his thoughts of being unable to live without her. "Without you, I don't want to live." She drew back from him. "Do you mean it? Don't say it if you don't mean it." THIS IS NOT A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP! To top it all off, Kai reveals a secret that most people would have a hard time forgiving. After the initial shock wears off (in all of five minutes), Janie is telling him that he is forgiven and needs to let go of his guilt - meanwhile Kai is going on about how he's not good for her and that she will eventually resent him. So for the rest of the book Janie is distressed over whether Kai will be able to forgive himself and whether he will stay with her. Ugh, the melodrama was so over-the-top I couldn't help but roll my eyes. How did Kai revealing an almost unforgivable truth turn in to Janie begging him to stay with her? Shouldn't it have been the other way around? Lastly the writing was oddly disjointed and very poorly structured. I had a hard time sorting out when it was night versus when it was day, whether they were at Janie's school or her house, whether it was Janie or Kai talking, etc., - everything seemed to jump around without warning and I was constantly caught off-guard. I wanted to like Dark Seeker, but as I'm having a hard time coming up with anything positive to say, I'm left feeling quite disappointed.show moreby Pretty Little Reader
Firstly, thankyou Taryn Browning for providing me with a copy for review! This has not affected my review in any way. Janie is a Seeker, she has been trained to rid the streets of the undead and of super creepy vampire-demon halfbreeds called Daychildren. One night out Seeking, she is completely unprepared for what she would have to fight, until Kai comes along, saves her and finishes them off. Okay, so first thing I have to clear up: Janie is not one of those "heroines" that are supposedly tough and kickass but actually don't do anything but whinge and moan to the guy about having to be rescued. This instance is a one off. Throughout the book, Kai (who I seriously have a crush on now) tries to protect her and warns her against the undead and Daychildren, this is sweet because the way he says it isn't all "You are a woman, you can't handle this", he is simply concerned but Janie still tells him to shove it and that she can handle it herself, which she can! Janie is a great character, Browning has developed her so well - she is tough, stubborn, has lost and never loved and she is actually very emotional. Underneath all of her tough exterior, Browning has written her in such a way that reflects that she is still a teenage girl going to highschool. Janie is easily one of my favourite characters in a novel, I probably wouldn't befriend her instantly though, because I'm scared of her (but shh). And Kai. Oh, well I love him. Enough said. He is incredibly emotional, and the things that he has been through is so gut-wrenching and raw that you understand why is he so protective and you understand why he is the way he is. Anyway. Kai is hot, and sweet, and all-round awesome. This also made me laugh so hard it parts, like, the ghetto gangsta vampires and Janie thinking of 'Bloods' and 'Crips'... HA! I laughed out loud with this because it put the best visual in my head - A vampire with a gangsta lean, a red bandana and ghetto jeans just casually strolling toward Janie, possibly listening to Lil John or Snoop Dogg on an iPod. I think the only issue I had with this was the insta-love. I think that was my fault though, because the pacing was *so* fast (which was great by the way), I couldn't keep up with the timing in the novel and still thought it had been a few days until how long it had really been was mentioned at the end! So really, it wasn't insta-love, it was just me not being able to keep up haha! Oh, and Browning's writing seriously pulls you in. For example, "In a flash, his teeth sank into her neck. Muscle man held her firmly as the newbie bit even deeper into her vein" OUCH. Reading that actually made my freaking neck hurt. *shudders* Ooooh, another note - I REALLY want to see more of Abram and Albania (wow, so many cool 'A' names). Overall, Dark Seeker was original and refreshing and I'm pretty freaking eager to read Dark Beauty and whatever else Taryn Browning has to offer!show moreby Taneika
Dark Seeker is a book about Janie Grey, who has a duty of killing the undead. The reason why she also very much despises them, is that one of the undead's actions resulted in her own father's death. Janie is a very powerful character. I really enjoy reading about her because she is so strong, and doesn't trust anyone, and is very brave. When Janie meets Kai, things start to shake up. Kai is a very interesting character with the typical bad boy aura. When Janie meets him, she is confused about what he is. He seems to be part of the undead, but also has human characteristics. The revealing of Kai made me hooked more as suspense evolved in the story. Even though Janie promised herself to not fall in love, thats what is happening with Kai. Their relationship together is so lovely and exciting to read about. I loved how Taryn wrote every chapter with new exciting events that keeps you wanting to read more. Dark Seeker is Taryn's debut novel, and I just want to give a big clap to her. Its such a great book that I loved, and I am looking forward to reading the second book of the Seeker series!show moreby Juhina & Farah
Dark Seeker is a great beginning to a promising series. Ms. Browning has created a group of characters who are riddled with conflicts and filled with emotions. The world they fight to survive in is an everyday world plagued with paranormalcies unbeknownst to humans. Janie Grey is charged with Seeking these life-depleting creatures and ending their terror against mankind. Problem is, things are changing amongst the vampires and Daychildren. Janie now has to choose between the worst of two worlds. I enjoyed the uniqueness of Dark Seeker. After so many vampire books, it can be difficult to create something new and refreshing. A big round of applause goes to Taryn for accomplishing this task. I loved the Blood/Crypt spin she put on this story. The "turf battle" between the Vampires and Daychildren oozed of gang type struggles. Who's the strongest, who can "turn" the most people, who can acquire the most assets...these types of never-ending controversies. Instead of the common one-on-one pairing, Ms. Browning threw in another player notching up the action and adversity to a whole other level. Janie is a strong heroine. She has been raised to kill first and ask questions later, which is exactly what she does until she meets a certain smoldering dem_, Day_, hum_ ...ah hell, who knows what to call Kai. He is something Janie's world has never seen and Janie knows he is trouble; but, like all trouble, she has to know more. Kai will cause emotions to surface in Janie that she has kept locked away since her father was murdered by one of these creatures she Seeks. Not all these emotions will be all happy and fluffy. She will have to overcome things she had never dreamed of in order to accept the past and move into the future. Kai will be dead center around everything. I loved the relationship between Janie and Kai. Now the whole Imprint thing with Matt was a little unbelievable for me. I just didn't feel the love and devotion that I thought I should with that type of link. I am definitely interested to see where Taryn takes this relationship as well as the relationship between Luke and Ava, two of Janie's best friends. This book is action-packed which makes it a difficult book to put down. Janie definitely grows as a protagonist, becoming stronger and much surer of the life she wants. However, Janie is not the only character who matures...several of the secondary characters grow and learn to accept that the world is not everything they once believed it to be. It is so great seeing adults open their minds and grasp that change isn't always a bad thing. Okay, okay...I won't start my preaching but you get the point. Many of the books I have read recently have left me unsatisfied in their ending...especially when part of a series. While I completely understand the need for unanswered questions to bring the reader back for more, I tire of never really knowing anything until the last novel. I have to say this is NOT the case with Dark Seeker. I was ever-so-greatly pleased with the ending. No...I won't tell you about it, but it did satisfy my needs and left me with enough curiosity to pick up the sequel.show moreby Kristin Aragon
When I first glimpsed at this cover I was sure it was an adult UF book. It\'s not. However, it would appeal to the older YA readers. You will find intelligent characters, engaging storylines and strong world building in Taryn\'s Dark Seeker. In the world that Taryn has built, we have Vampires, and these are not sparkly, dancing vampires either. They\'re mean and they WILL bite you! We also have Daychildren which are demons turned to vampires (I know, right? Like, totally awesome!). As for Seekers, that\'s what Janie is - our protagonist. Basically, if you\'re dead, and you\'re still walking - Janie will kill you! She\'s good at it too! Janie is a wonderful character. She\'s tough and she\'s stubborn; she has known loss and is afraid to love. She\'s a well rounded character with flaws and insecurities that make her incredibly likeable as well as realistic. Kai is introduced shortly after the start of the book and he is one heck of a sexy male! He\'s mysterious, protective and often irritating. I love the guy! He\'s the perfect supporting character and fits really well with Janie\'s personality. We do have a bit of a love triangle, however it\'s not a typical \"Oh my, who will I ever choose\" triangle. It\'s original and has a great twist to it that I really enjoyed. Imaginative and well thought out, the world building in Dark Seeker is deeply satisfying, if a bit complicated at first. Entering a new world with new rules and new lore is often hard to grasp. I had difficulty differentiating between the Vampires and Daychildren at the start. Not what they were per say, but which was more evil, which wanted to rule over the other - those kinds of details always seemed to slip my mind. Fortunately, the politics of the world building are well spread out throughout the book so I was able to get a clear picture of it all fairly quickly. I was also happy to uncover that this first book in the series is most definitely NOT just a set up. It has a plot, an exciting climactic ending and a glimpse of what is to come. All in all Dark Seeker is fantastic start to a very promising series that will adhere to fans of The Mortal Instruments series.show moreby Giselle
DARK SEEKER by Taryn Browning is a fun, fast-paced read with a whole new breed of vampires and one of the hottest guys to hit YA fiction. I absolutely love the world Taryn Browning created. Seekers hunt vampires, but this isn't the sort of mythology you're used to. Browning added a whole new spin onto it, but I don't want to give anything away. Let's just say that her new breed of vampires will take the species to a new level. I also loved the way she incorporated Native American lore into the story, by relating it to the Seekers. Speaking of our Seeker, the protagonist Janie is a great character who will be a fabulous role-model for teenagers. She's strong, spunky, and isn't afraid to say what's on her mind. She's also a great vampire hunter. Taryn Browning excels at writing fight scenes, and when Janie is battling vampires you'll feel like you're right there beside her, rooting her on to win. Janie doesn't do everything alone though -- her mom Isabelle and her mom's boyfriend Abram serve as excellent mentors throughout the book. I saved the best for last .... KAI! I loved Kai. He is ... well, I'm not going to give away what he is, because that would spoil the story for you, but he is HOT! However, it's not only his looks that make him appealing, but his personality as well. He and Janie have some fabulous witty banter, but you'll also get to see a deeper side of him when Taryn gives you a few glimpses of what's going on from his point of view. His love story with Janie is sweet, and will also leave you wanting more. DARK SEEKER was a fantastic debut novel, and one that I highly recommend. I can't wait to read the rest of the SEEKER series to see what Browning has in store for us!show moreby Michelle Madow