Saturday, 30 November 2013

Book Review: Captivate by Vanessa Garden

Title: Captivate
Author: Vanessa Garden
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: 1 January 2014
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback
Genre: YA Fantasy
Source: Review Copy from Publisher



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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...
(Goodreads Synopsis)



Captivate started slowly and I wasn't sure if I'd enjoy it, but about a third in, I suddenly found myself getting more and more drawn into the story and by the halfway mark I was keen to see how it would end.

The book takes a different slant on the mermaid idea, defying expectations right from the word go. The characters are perhaps a little too stereotypically YA at times as I found myself anticipating their every move, having seen a similar thing countless times before, but the plot interest made up for that and created an overall enjoyable read.

The only thing I would say is that I felt the problem facing Marin a little inflated since I could easily think of ways to deal with the issue that didn't involve kidnapping one young girl. I was also confused as to how one girl would solve the long term issues... but I put that aside and tried to just enjoy the adventure.

I might not rush to reread this book, but I would definitely read future books in the series and I can recommend this underwater tale to YA fans of books such as Hush, Hush and Fallen who are looking to leave the skies and take to the seas.

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