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 king named Marko.
Nineteen-year-old Marko intends to marry Miranda in order to keep his crown from falling into the sinister clutches of his 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 have secrets too, dangerous secrets…
If you’re looking for a fun, fluffy fantasy read, Captivate is perfect. The writing didn’t have any annoying tics, which was wonderful as the writer simply focused on telling the story. It had everything I like about YA books, being a romantic, fast-paced, plot-driven tale, not delving too deeply into characters, but that’s fine by me as I was looking for a light read.
It begins with Miranda getting kidnapped while swimming in the ocean. She’s just an average teen, except for her tragic past where both her parents died in a car accident for which she blames herself. There’s also her rivalry with her older sister Lauren who is considered “the good-looking one” while Miranda is curvy and not as pretty.
Well, it seems her looks are not that important anymore as Miranda finds herself in a world where she is the queen bee. The underwater civilization of Marin is desperate for a young woman to marry their king and produce some royal heirs.
At first I thought Marin would be a world of magical mermaids or some kind of undersea people, but they’re actually just people who had discovered a place to live under water. It was a bit disappointing at first that this world wasn’t magical, but in the end I liked the concept because it was brought to life in such detail.
The coolest thing about Marin is they wear daggers in their boots. It sounds a bit uncomfortable, but I’m sure it would look cool.
Maybe because of lack of real sunlight, the women of Marin have become barren, and that’s where Miranda comes in. She’s supposed to make a royal baby, otherwise Marko’s evil brother could legally claim the throne.
Of course, Miranda is completely disgusted with the idea of being used as basically a royal womb, but she befriends Robbie, the guy who had kidnapped her. Gradually, she becomes more and more attracted to Marko, and then Robbie begins to feel like the third wheel.
At this point I was confused, because there was so much attraction between her and Robbie at first that I seriously thought Robbie was the hero. Usually, you can spot the hero a mile away, but both Marco and Robbie are very handsome and heroic, which makes for a more unpredictable than usual love triangle.
With his history of family abuse and his sad piano solos, Marko reminded me of Christian from Fifty Shades of Grey. What is it about bad-tempered dudes?
I liked him, though I was still put off by the fact that he nearly went through with the plan of kidnapping a random girl and forcing her to marry him so she could father his babies. I mean that registers pretty high on the creepiness scale.
After a while Miranda comes to agree that “it was their only option,” but seriously? They couldn’t have at least tried to first talk to some women and see if they possibly wanted to visit an underwater world? Maybe some mail order brides could have been sent for? Of course, that would have been a totally different book, but still, I’m not letting them off the hook (haha) that easily. That scheme was definitely fishy. Okay I’ll stop now. 🙂
The person behind this plan is actually Sylvia, Marco’s sister. She makes for an interesting vilainess because we are still not totally sure what her motives are in this first book in the series. Sylvia is Damir’s twin, and Miranda strongly suspects that Sylvia is secretly trying to help Damir gain the throne. However, she is also very attached to Marko, so I can’t wait to find out what her plans are. And what the heck is going to happen with Robbie?
This was a very satisfying novel, and I’m definitely going to read rest of the series.