{Book Review} CAPTIVATE by Vanessa Garden

» 24 December, 2016 » 3.5 Star Review, Young Adult, Young Adult Fiction » 0 comments

{Book Review} CAPTIVATE by Vanessa GardenCaptivate by Vanessa Garden
(Website, Twitter, Goodreads)Series: Submerged Sun #1
on January 1st 2014
Genres: Dating & Relationships, Death & Dying, Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology, Love & Romance, Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult, Young Adult Fiction
Pages: 300
Format: eBook
Amazon three-half-stars
In a glittering underwater world, where danger lurks behind beauty and power...

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 love mermaid books. Seriously adore them. I was excited to read Captivate because that’s what I expected: a mermaid tale. That is not, however, what I got. Instead, Garden introduced me to an underground world for humans, a prince, and a dying world looking for their salvation.

Miranda Sun was taken from her world above the sea a few days shy of her seventeenth birthday. When she woke up, she was trapped in a room with eerie mermaid paintings and a bodyguard named Robbie. I liked Miranda and sympathized with her character. She acted as anyone would after being taking from his or her world via the ocean: slightly amazed and suspicious and untrusting. She had a good idea of what to expect from the people in this world, and I loved the story being told from her point of view. I kept wondering whether the allure of the lights in the city would draw her in, or if she would long for the city on her own.

Miranda had a lot of hidden feelings about her sister, Lauren, whom she thought was perfect and could do no wrong. She let some of those feelings come to the surface and had to come to terms with how she saw herself, too. Lauren didn’t play a large role in the novel, more of an enigmatic presence. What I knew about Lauren I learned from her sister. I’m interested to see how her role in the Submerged Sun series progresses.

I didn’t expect a love triangle, but I love those. Like, a lot. Maybe they’re unrealistic, so sue me. I liked Robbie from the beginning. He had an infectious spirit and a genuine concern for Miranda, even going as far as to contemplate helping her escape. Marko was the guy that Miranda wanted to hate but couldn’t; maybe that’s why I liked him so much. He wasn’t what she thought him to be, and I loved reading as Miranda saw past her original reservations and fell for him. I wished there had been a bit more between Marko and Miranda in the romance department. I shipped it, falling for Marko myself, but in a way it would have made more sense for her to have had fallen for Robbie. At the end, I understood Marko and Miranda and how they worked.

If you love Beauty and the Beast, this is the book for you. It had the unwilling captor, a pretty girl who devoured books, and a man she saw as a monster with a timeline. I love any and everything under the sea, and while it wasn’t a mermaid story like I had expected, it was a new and exciting world.

Magic, mystery, and maybe a few mermaids…the rest of the series is high up on my TBR!

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About Vanessa Garden


A bookseller and Young Adult author, Vanessa loves nothing more than immersing herself in the exciting world of books. When she is not raving about her favourite reads with customers, or mentally casting actors to play the characters in her next novel, she enjoys hanging out with those she loves most.

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