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Captive by Aimee Carter ARC {4 Stars}

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 Aimee Carter ARC {4 Stars}

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
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
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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?

4 Stars

Strengths:

  • 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!

Weaknesses:

  • 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.

Summary:

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!

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya

 

 Captive by Aimee Carter

© 2014, Anya. All rights reserved.

Comments

  1. I’m glad to hear the author avoided love triangle territory…but I’m still not sure I’m willing to give Kitty another chance. Those failures to even attempt finding a better solution can really kill a character for me. :(
    Kel @ Booked til Tuesday recently posted…Art It Up! – BookmarksMy Profile

    • This sequel definitely succeeded at being similar to book one in that if you liked book one (because you can ignore character flaws such as that, it apparently doesn’t bother me ;-P) then you’ll like book two and same if you disliked book one, so I think you’re making the right decision :D

  2. Despite the info dumps the premise has me intrigued as to the strengths you mentioned. Fantastic review, I will add this to my list!
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…Maybe This Christmas by Sarah MorganMy Profile

    • Book one was definitely better about the info dumps, I think that she just wanted to make sure everyone remembered all the crazy awesomeness that happened, haha! Thanks :D

  3. haha Even more horrible to the main characters? LOL
    Tabitha (Not Yet Read) recently posted…Review: Afterworlds by Scott WesterfeldMy Profile

  4. So is it better than Pawn, it sounds better than Pawn? I liked Pawn but I didn’t lurve it. So I am a bit curious about the second book and your the second review I have seen of it that makes it sound worth reading. :)

    P.S. Never heard of your blog till Berls from Fantasy is More Fun had you on her Day of Thanksgiving where she is thanking blogs she likes. :) I think I can see why she likes this one. :)

    Stormi
    Stormi Johnson recently posted…Review of Christmas on 4th StreetMy Profile

  5. We had Pawn checked out at my house for a while but neither my wife nor I ever got the urge to actually read it.
    Nathan (@reviewbarn) recently posted…Blogoversery: Two yearsMy Profile

  6. I’m eager to read this one! I liked Pawn but I’m pretty sure this one might work a tad better for me. So happy you liked it.
    Kristen@My Friends Are Fiction recently posted…Site Design Change- Things look a little different around here…My Profile

  7. I agree with everything on here, except the weaknesses bothered me a lot more, and Benjy and Kitty together is pretty much my anti-OTP. I just wish Knox could be the main character and get it over with!
    Kayla @ The Thousand Lives recently posted…Sci-Fi Genre Breakdown Collaboration with Nara: Part III of IIIMy Profile

  8. So I got this book 2 weeks ago in a basket at a book con. I am going to have to remember that there is an info dump and prepare before I read it. Not my normal read but I truly am curious about the story.
    Felicia the Geeky Blogger recently posted…Blogger Confession: 20 Things You Didn’t Know About MeMy Profile

    • Have you read the first one? It is a fun dystopian series that makes me glad I don’t have to take any more standardized tests, haha!

  9. I’m glad you liked it. I hate info dumps but other times I really need a reminder. I like when it’s mixed in a bit more. I need to dig into this book. Like so many.
    Jen recently posted…The Hazards of Mistletoe by Alyssa Rose Ivy #RDL #BookReview #Excerpt #GiveawayMy Profile

    • Yeah, especially if it’s been a while since I read book one, it is nice to get a recap, just want it to be graceful!

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