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Book Reviews

Review: “Captivate,” Carrie Jones

January 26, 2011

I received this book for free from Bloomsbury Australia in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: “Captivate,” Carrie JonesCaptivate (Need #2)
Written by Carrie Jones
Published January, 2010 by Bloomsbury
273 pages
Provided by: Bloomsbury Australia
Genres: Faeries, Urban Fantasy, Werewolves / Shifters
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three-stars

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.

While I was very impressed with Need (the first installment in this series), Captivate fell a little short. At times I felt the characters were more than juvenile, though the plot lines and danger in this story really upped the game. Hopefully, Entice will make things come full circle and redeem everything I had a problem with.

The first thing that came to mind with reading Captivate was character growth. There was none. Zara seems as headstrong, stubborn and clueless as she was in Need. Sure, she’s battled pixies and formed a close friendship with some weres, but I don’t think she’s really gotten it yet. In Need, that was tolerable as she was still trying to get a grip on things, but as this is the second novel, I was expecting a whole lot more.

There’s something that annoys me about weak(er?) protagonists that constantly throw themselves at danger. It’s really not a smart move even if your heart is in the right place. And Nick, who I loved in the first book seemed to niggle on my nerves a lot in this one. I’m not one for pet names, so whenever Zara and Nick would call each other ‘baby’, especially in the heat of battle, I would inwardly cringe. For me, it put a huge red circle around ‘high school romance’ and I believed less and less in their love as the book went on.

The redeeming factor for me was the introduction of the new Pixie King, Astley. I liked him from the start and I really think Carrie Jones made the right move here. I especially love Astley’s flaws despite his high standing as King; his failed landing attempts, his inability to weave a proper glamour under pressure and his love of retro cafes.

I’m also thinking I’m going to like the new addition to the crew, Cassidy. We don’t see too much of her, but in the final scenes I feel as if she’s going to inject something new. Is and Zara unfortunately rubbed me the wrong way the whole time.

So why am I still giving it 3 stars? Well, a 2 star rating would feel too harsh against the things I did enjoy. A lot of things could’ve been chopped and changed as far as the plot goes and how it unfolded, but I’m taking Entice out of my bookshelf right now and putting it on top of my ‘to read’ pile. The whole ‘Ragnarok’ and gathering of fallen warriors of each side really has my interest piqued. I’m just crossing my fingers for a more grown-up read this time around.

With some luck (spoiler warning), now that Zara is pixie-fied, she’ll grow up hard and fast and start making some clever decisions. And it wont hurt that Astley, as her King, will be there alongside her all the way.

Recommended to: If you enjoyed Need, you will like Captivate enough! I’m still a firmer fan of the first novel.

About Carrie Jones

Carrie Jones likes Skinny Cow fudgsicles and potatoes. She does not know how to spell fudgsicles. This has not prevented her from writing books. She lives with her cute family in Maine, but she grew up in Bedford, NH where she once had a séance with cool uber-comedian Sarah Silverman.

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