Synopsis: 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?
Huge thank you to Harlequin Teen and Netgalley for this ARC!
Man, I remember liking the first book SO MUCH and this one just… what happened?! Kitty was annoying and Knox was a dick and half of the political stuff just didn’t seem to make any sense. All Kitty and Knox did was argue and fight and threaten to kill each other (srsly Kitty, enough with the ‘if this happens I’ll kill you!’ ‘if that doesn’t happen I’ll slit your throat!’) And there were set-ups and double crosses that made me think ‘how does that even work?!’ and I just had no idea where any of this was going half the time.
I guess a lot of it just felt forced to set up the rebellion that happens at the end. And to give us a new aspect of the dystopian society to experience. Most of this book takes place in ‘Elsewhere’, which is a place that Kitty got taken to to ‘hunt’ humans in the first book. Elderly people, IIs and IIIs, Extras. But there are also other horrors in Elsewhere… such as a human butcher shop! Now, I actually like the dystopian society in this book (well, not like it, but I think it’s one of the more interesting ones and I guess less annoying ones out there), but I felt like this book was just trying to force the issues a bit sometimes.
And I guess that’s my biggest complaint about this book. Everything feels a little forced. Middle book syndrome? Possibly.
I really hope the last book makes more sense and wraps things up in a satsifactory way!
Admittedly, I liked Pawn, but I wasn’t in love with it the way a lot of my friends were. Pawn definitely had some refreshing elements within the water-down YA dystopian genre, but it wasn’t without some glaring flaws. Captive, however, is definitely a good book, but goodness does it take it’s sweet time to get interesting.
Part of Captive‘s problem is that it suffers from the middle book syndrome that some trilogies face. This book is all build and exposition, and not enough in terms of getting to know the characters more, feeling a lot less personal in my opinion. Kitty is still a fun protagonist, but she had her moments in this book that really irked me, and her obsession with Knox, yes I get it, no I don’t think it’s worth it. In one chapter alone his name came up over fifteen times and it was a lot of Kitty being obsessive and it got a bit borderline irritating for me. I get it, he scorned you! Let’s not keep thinking about it and may be do something about it!
A lot of the political intrigue that made the first book interesting was quite lost here. In fact, there were numerous instances where I was raising my eyebrows or just shrugging off what was happening because it didn’t make sense but the book wanted you to roll with it. Some of the political stuff also felt heavy handed, which I didn’t think was necessary given that Carter really well established how the dystopia worked in the first book. Elsewhere is interesting, quite creepy, and I loved the atmospheric elements to it as a place. I loved a lot of the description and when you learn what is actually happening there, it’s quite creepy and I think the descriptions painted in this novel is quite graphic, but really interesting.
I’ll give Captive points for being a very atmospheric book, but when it was about Kitty and Knox squabbling, I found myself groaning because that’s all it felt like it was. I wanted more relationships to be built in the story (and more Benyj! He’s interesting!) and I wanted to get more personal conflict as well, which I felt like the book kept swaying back and forth on. This definitely is a middle-book and it suffers from the problem of being the ‘middle book in a series’, but hopefully Queen will make up for all of Captive‘s shortcomings.