Captive by Aimee Carter continues Kitty’s fight for survival in a future where the results from a test determine your entire future and worth to society and she is about to find out just how dark her country’s secrets are in Elsewhere. If you haven’t read Pawn, I definitely recommend stopping now and going to check out that review instead since there are some crazy awesome plot twists that you don’t want to spoil ;-). I know Pawn was a fairly divisive book, so really if you enjoyed Pawn, you’ll love Captive, but if you didn’t, Captive continues in the same style though darker, so you’ll have to decide for yourself whether to continue the series.
Note: I read an advanced copy of Captive. Some things may have changed in the final version.
Captive by Aimée Carter (The Blackcoat Rebellion #1)
Published by Harlequin Teen on Nov. 25th, 2014
Genres: Dystopia, YA
Page Length: 304 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
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For the past two months, Kitty Doe's life has been a lie. Forced to impersonate the Prime Minister's niece, her frustration grows as her trust in her fake fiancé cracks, her real boyfriend is forbidden and the Blackcoats keep her in the dark more than ever.
But in the midst of discovering that her role in the Hart family may not be as coincidental as she thought, she's accused of treason and is forced to face her greatest fear: Elsewhere. A prison where no one can escape.
As one shocking revelation leads to the next, Kitty learns the hard way that she can trust no one, not even the people she thought were on her side. With her back against the wall, Kitty wants to believe she'll do whatever it takes to support the rebellion she believes in—but is she prepared to pay the ultimate price?
- You know how there was that absolutely horrible place where human prisoners were hunted by society’s elite, Elsewhere? Well Captive takes place mostly in Elsewhere and hunting humans is just the beginning of how twisted this place is!
- Captive makes it clear very early on that no punches are going to be pulled just because it is YA. There are realistic and brutal consequences for Kitty no matter how good her intentions are. It was only because the book wasn’t ending immediately that I had any hope for Kitty’s survival, let alone anyone else. It was exactly that tension that made me finish Captive in nearly one sitting.
- While Pawn has Kitty walking a political tight rope, Captive gets much darker at times because Kitty loses pretty much all the protection she had in Pawn. I really appreciated the suffering that she went through both physically and emotionally though, since it makes Captive much more realistic than many YA stories where horrible things happen and the heroine just shrugs them off because she’s TOUGH.
- The second half of Captive is crazy action-packed. It was at pretty much the halfway marker that I stopped planning on doing other things for the evening and realized that I just had to finish.
- I applaud Captive for including teen sex in a discrete (fade-to-black), but safe (discussion of protection and being ready) way. I hope to see this more and more in YA because it is kind of ridiculous to pretend that teens in love would never think about having sex… especially when they could die tomorrow!
- I really loved how the romance was handled in Pawn and am delighted to report that there will definitely not be a love triangle and that Carter continued to portray Benjy and Kitty’s relationship beautifully. There is no relationship angst, no mixed feelings, simply a strong established relationship that is a backdrop to the much more relevant plot points of trying to survive. More YA like this please!
- The beginning of Captive is very heavy on the info dumps to remind the reader of everything that happened in Pawn. This means that you don’t have to worry about rereading Pawn and could even get away with jumping right into Captive if you so choose, but it wasn’t done all that smoothly and I found myself annoyed and bored.
- While the end of Captive was break-neck action, the beginning takes a while to get going. I almost wish that we had just been thrown into the middle and had flashbacks to explain what happened, since during the first third of Captive I was really struggling to keep going another ten pages.
- There were a couple of times in Captive where I made ridiculous expressions of exasperation about Kitty’s decision making. It just seemed a little unbelievable that she wouldn’t think of a much better alternative that I could see working. Fortunately it only happened twice I think.
Captive is a wonderful sequel and beautifully avoids second book syndrome by being even more horrible to the main characters and diving right into the gruesomest bits of this futuristic society. Captive does take a bit to get going, but if you loved Pawn, stick with it because Captive is sure to leave you dying for book three!
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
Captive by Aimee Carter
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