Actual Rating 3.50
Review can also be seen here:
I bought this book mainly because I saw it featured a Latina protagonist. I was weary of Ms.Noel after all I'd heard from the "Immortals" series, but I saw reviewers who claimed they hated that, but thought this serious was better, so I took a chance. "Fated" centered around Daire Santos, a girl who finds out she is a "Seeker", a mortal being who's role in life was a type of bridge between the life and death. But upon learning this about her heritage, she soon finds out there are those who work for the side of evil, and her goal is to prevent evil from gaining more power.
I won't lie, I liked the story, but most of the time it was rather boring. As far as plot and storyline, it was lacking. The pacing at points didn't have enough action to keep a reader interested at times. The consistency and reliability just didn't click for me either. I also look for world building, when a book is this culture oriented. The details were cool, but they just didn't paint a good enough story for me.
Daire is half Latina, which I assume is Mexican, or someplace close to Mexico, though it's never stated. The reason why I have an issue with this detail not being consistent, is because most of the lore is Native American. Before you jump on my back, I realize that there are a ton of indigenous tribes in Mexico. But their culture is much different than the colonized "Spanish" speaking part of Central American culture. Yes, both are both Latino by definition, but since her heritage isn't specific, I, at times wondered if the book wanted her Latino, or Native American. Which you can very well be both. But again, it never states if she is more an indigenous tribe Latina. Every attempt to classify her culture was shoved into the term "Hispanic."
The predictability was "eh". Nothing too exciting happened, so it was hard to have something to predict.
The characters and their development, well, I'll just say there is better development than others. I read a few reviews and people found Daire un-relatable because she was so candid with her mother. I have to disagree. Daire was the most relatable I've seen in a character as far as upbringing. I too have a young mother, whom I refer to by first name. I don't think it's fair to say that makes her un-relatable, as not everyone's parents have figured things out before adulthood.
The backstory had a few plot holes for me, and the villain just didn't live up to the word "villain". He didn't seem well thought out, and I just didn't fear him or understand him, or feel anything for him. Her love interest is his twin brother. I didn't dislike either of them, but neither have chemistry with Daire. But one plus are great secondary characters. Xochitl, a blind girl Daire befriends whom can see energy was wise and a great sidekick. Lita, who was the school's mean girl was also a great addition. So many times in books, when a new girl arrives, the prettiest girl in school just has to torment or just be plain mean to combat her ability to be unable to accept change. Lita was that mean girl at first, but she realized she was being silly, and with time, she began to see Daire as cool.
There is conflict, but most of the time the conflict just doesn't involve enough action, characters interacting to make the story interesting. The story itself is VERY unique, however. It incorporates several cultural aspects( Latino, Native American, and even the state of New Mexico. States to me are like little countries, so they themselves have their own culture).
The grammar I have no issue with. It's traditionally published and it shows. The language is satisfactory, the POV is clear and the balance between dialogue and beats didn't bother me. I also had no issue with the editing.
This book does much better at diversity than anything. The main character, love interest, villain and sidekicks and mentors are almost all people of color. They're written with little stereotypes so I didn't feel as though I was reading a "race" specific book. Although I cant let a small detail slip through my fingers. Daire on three occasions mentioned that being pale or white meant you couldn't look like "Latina." By that definition, I don't either, so I wasn't happy with that. People are quick to say latinos can be black, but are hesitant to mention that can be white, asian, arabic, all the colors of the rainbow as well. So that seems pretty misinformed.
This book definitely required a ton of research, it had so much folklore and cultural references, I wont ignore that it probably required tons of research. It also didn't seem like a forced effort. I mean, it's New Mexico. There are probably more POC than anything else, but I'd have to research that ;p
I do feel as if it empowered POC in lead and minor roles, but everyone seemed to have "aquamarine" , green or blue eyes. What are brown eyes out of style or something? Brownies make up most the population. So it just seemed weird for all these unique eye colors to be floating around, when many of them were races associated with brown eyes.
The title is fitting, though it's plain. I wont take away for that. The cover is alluring but it is a bit misleading. Daire is pale with green eyes, and the girl looks as if her eyes are brown, and she has a little color. So we whitewash covers that feature darker shades, and brown-wash the ones that don't? Seems rather odd. The character names were cool outside of Dace and Cade. Their names were just too similar to distinguish them at times. Im a twin, and I cant stand "twin" names, lol. The descriptions of characters were the most clear I've read in a while so no complaints there.
This book was just ok. I liked it, but I didn't love it. Im curious to what an "Echo" is, so I will read the sequel if nothing else.