Friday, January 15, 2010

Review: Captivate

Book cover
Title: Captivate
Author: Carrie Jones
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Paranormal
Pub Date: January 2010, Bloomsbury USA
Hardcover, 288 pages
Book Source: purchased from


Zara and her friends knew they hadn't solved the pixie problem for good. Far from it. The king's needs grow deeper every day he's stuck in captivity, while his control over his people gets weaker. It's made him vulnerable. And now there's a new king in town.

A turf war is imminent, since the new pixie king, Astley, is moving in quickly. Nick nearly killed him in the woods on day one, but Zara came to his rescue. Astley swears that he and Zara are destined to be together, that he's one of the good guys. Nick isn't buying it, though Zara isn't as sure -- despite herself, she wants to trust the new king. But it's a lot more than her relationship with Nick that is at stake. It's her life -- and his.

My Thoughts

Well, I am sorry to say that this sequel to Need just did not live up to my expectations. It was almost as if it were a different person writing the story this time around, in my opinion. While Need truly was captivating and left me anxious for the next book in the series, Captivate failed to do that at all for me. I found the writing, language, and many of the returning characters to be strangely annoying in this book.

But back to my comment about it feeling like this book had a different writer... The language and speech by the characters just felt so different in this book--they were suddenly overly-sophomoric, even for high-schoolers--and only on rare occasions did I see glimpses of the characters I enjoyed in Need. And to be absolutely candid, Nick and Zara made me want to throw up--several times I found myself thinking, "If he calls her "baby" one more time..." In fact, at a certain key point in the story, which I will try not to give away, I found myself actually rooting against Nick... That is a far cry different from the way I felt about him in the first book.

With respect to the returning characters there is very little character development that I could detect. I did enjoy Astley's character and what he brings to the table. Cassidy almost felt like she was thrown into the mix after the story was written. I didn't feel that she added much to the storyline at all, even though she supposedly should--for the bulk of the book she mainly served to be a cause of jealousy for Issie with respect to Devyn. One character that just wasn't used enough: Betty, Zara's grandmother. I loved her sharp wit and rough edges in Need and she was all but missing from Captivate.

The bright spot: There is still potential for the third book to be a winner, even though I found so much about this one to be disappointing. In fact, that is the one thing that really saves my rating for this book at all. Jones' plot for Captivate truly had potential, but I felt like the writing totally dropped off and there was a loss of coherency. And if one has to choose a team, which I am not usually one to do, I am most definitely Team Astley right now. I just hope that the third book resonates with me more than this one did.

My rating: 3 stars

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  1. It's always sad when books in a series aren't written on the same level. I've read several series where I really enjoyed the first or even the second book then couldn't get into them after that. Thanks for the honest review.

  2. Yeah, I was really surprised by this one, I gotta say. I liked the first book so much that I had high hopes for this one to be even better but it just didn't work for me.

  3. Hm...I didn't even really like the first one in the series, though I was going to read Captivate to give it another chance. Maybe if I go in with low expectations.

  4. Well, to tell you the truth, Melissa, most of the other reviews I've seen rate it more highly than I did. It's possible it could just be me and a few others who didn't enjoy this one. Many people have said it's better than the first.

  5. I still need to read this one, but it is good to know not to expect the same quality as the first.


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