Dec 27, 2013

ARC Review--Captivate by Vanessa Garden

In a glittering underwater world, nothing is as it seems...

For the past twelve months since her parents’ death, seventeen-year-old Miranda Sun has harboured a dark secret — a secret that has strained the close relationship she once shared with her older sister, Lauren. In an effort to repair this broken bond, Miranda’s grandparents whisk the siblings away on a secluded beach holiday. Except before Miranda gets a chance to confess her life-changing secret, she’s dragged underwater by a mysterious stranger while taking a midnight swim.

Awakening days later, Miranda discovers that she’s being held captive in a glittering underwater city by an arrogant young man named Marko...the King of this underwater civilisation.

Nineteen-year-old Marko intends to marry Miranda in order to keep his crown from falling into the sinister clutches of his half-brother, Damir. There’s only one problem. Miranda is desperate to return home to right things with her sister and she wants nothing to do with Marko. Trying to secure her freedom, Miranda quickly forms an alliance with Robbie — Marko’s personal guard. However, she soon discovers that even underwater, people are hiding dangerous secrets...

I received this ARC from the publishers via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, I was in no way compensated for this review.

Vanessa Garden's Captivate was in itself, quite a captivating story! Although, in honesty, it didn't start out as such. It took awhile to grow on me and by the halfway point I was finally getting into the book and by the end, I found myself very intrigued and wanting more.

Miranda is your average girl with average looks--typical of YA heroines I suppose, but here we get details and find that she does seem to be more of the average variety. Especially compared to her glamorous older sister. It's been almost a year since their parents died on Miranda's birthday and she's been harboring a secret about their deaths fro awhile and just as she's about to confess all to her sister while they take a swim in the ocean, Miranda is kidnapped from someone below.

She awakens and finds herself in a strange land, her kidnapper by her bedside. She's freaked out and even moreso when she learns she it to be the king's wife in order to help populate the city. Apparently, most women here cannot get pregnant so they must take someone from above to help populate the city, so Marko, the king, can still be in rule.

Surprisingly, this was not a total Stockholm Syndrome love story. Miranda didn't fall in love with Marko with the drop of the hat. If fact, she kind of hated him for awhile. It was just assumed that she would be okay with this marriage and childbearing idea. Miranda wants nothing more than to go home and it seems that Robbie, her kidnapper, sympathizes with her and she plans to exploit that sympathy to the fullest.

Now you might be thinking, oh gawd, not another love triangle. Believe me, I was too. But it didn't really seem to be one between Robbie, Miranda, and Marko. Miranda just wanted to go home so badly, she wasn't thinking of starting a romance with anyone. And that's what made the story a tad more interesting. True, a romance does begin to blossom--won't say with who--but it was the nice, slow building kind. None of that insta love that becomes so tedious--yet can still be equally enjoyable!

There are a few other plot devices set up in this one to make the story more engaging, such as the evil brother Marko has. And there's a sister too, who likes to give Miranda a hard time. Definite plotting going around, but it's hard to tell just exactly who are nefarious villains are. Marko's brother for sure, since it's stated that he is a villain--so to speak--but there seems to be a few spies working inside the castle.

There are a few other little tidbit mysteries too that may or may nor mean something. Just little details I caught that were repeated, so who knows what will come of it. Towards the middle of this book, I wasn't sure I was going to like it, but past midway I was really starting to enjoy it. The ending was a bittersweet kind that definitely makes me want to pick up the second book asap, but that's going to have to wait obviously! There are still many more mysteries and secrets within this tale that have yet to be revealed or resolved, so I think I might be sticking around for awhile now!

Overall Rating 3.75/5 stars--the awkward rating again, for it was one that started out pretty slow, but definitely picks up

Captivate releases January 1, 2014

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