Author: Carrie Jones
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Series: Need #2
Release Date: January 5, 2010
How Received: Library
Summary: 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 that is at stake. It’s her life – and his.
After reading this book, I was left wondering what the heck happened. The writing went down a notch, the characters morphed into one-dimensional fillers, and the romance was not that believable. There was a drastic change from Need to Captivate, one I absolutely didn’t like.
Captivate picks up a few months after where we’re left off with Need. Captivate didn’t transition well from its predecessor – we’re pretty much thrust back into the story without character descriptions or at least a little synopsis of what happened before. I couldn’t even remember how Zara’s, Devyn’s, or Issie’s appearances looked like.
The writing style was just atrocious. Sentences were short and fragmented, and there were barely any worthwhile descriptions. Sometimes even mundane aspects would be written into the book – do we really need to know that Devyn grabs a drink of water, or that Zara goes pee? What does that really bring to the storyline other than filler? All of the characters sounded the same – if there hadn’t been “Zara said” or “Issie said”, etc, I wouldn’t have even been able to tell who was talking. Even their personalities were inconsistent – Astley has a certain way of talking, and after a while Zara started talking the same way. Uhh, I was pretty sure she had never spoken the way Astley did throughout any of the novels.
I think Carrie was trying to portray “out-casts” and minorities in this novel. Everyone had dreadlocks or cornrow’s or hair dyed green in Mohawks. Okay, I get that she wants diversity in her town, but it was never like that in the previous novel. I had to roll my eyes after yet another person was introduced that had dreadlocks.
Zara pissed me off this time. Every time she spoke, I wanted to either strangle her or throw the book across the room. I mentioned this in my review of Need, but good GOD is she stupid. She gets so many warnings from the pixie kings but she ignores them. If she had only paid heed to them, none of the stuff that happened would have happened, and a bunch of people wouldn’t have gotten killed just because of her sheer stupidity. The best part? She has the gall to blame the pixies for what happened, but hot damn was it her fault. She’s so dang self-absorbed and whiny; if she could have sacrificed one person or herself, none of the innocents would have died. She’s all about protecting people from the pixies, but what she did endangered them. She never thinks about her actions. All she does is “research” that comes up inconclusive or just gets solved by Devyn. I couldn’t even feel sorry for her after what happened to Nick. And her reaction to losing Nick? Oh, I’ll just grab a sword and try to take out as many pixies as I can, but get swarmed in the process and only really inflict ONE minor injury and then have to get rescued. URGH.
The other characters pissed me off too. It was like Carrie had a list: Nick – protective, “macho”; Devyn – “nerdy guy who researches a lot”; Issie – “eccentric who loves bunnies but is clumsy and weak”. They were so one-dimensional this time. What happened to my vivacious Issie from Need? The only two characters I liked were new: Cassidy and Astley. I couldn’t not like Astley, but if I say why I might spoil something. Same with Cassidy. But in both cases, they were refreshing next to the gang of four.
I was definitely not emotionally connected to any of the characters this time around, aside from Astley.
The plot was okay, but sort of dull. Nothing too twisty this time – the only “twist” happened with Cassidy. Need was suspenseful – Captivate just wasn’t. Pacing was alright – not too action-packed, and only lagged in the beginning. I have to admit that the read got better after Zara finally agrees to Astley’s suggestions, so I’m still holding on to hope that the third novel will be better than this one.
Cover Musings: As with Need, I think this cover is gorgeous. That teardrop is definite foreshadow.
"My skin starts to feel like thousands of spiders are crawling on it, doing an Irish step dance." (pg. 55)
Pixie TipPixies do not look like Tinker Bell. Although they occasionally wear tutus. Seriously, who doesn’t? (pg. 10)
Pixie TipA pixie’s true skin color is blue. Cookie Monster, Grover, and other lovable Muppets are also blue. Do not confuse the two. Muppets don’t kill you. Usually. (pg. 71)
Overall Thoughts/Final Musings: If I could describe this novel in one word, it would be “Bleh”. I’ve always heard people complain about sequels not living up to their predecessors – this book is definitely one of those sequels. Captivate definitely went downhill from Need. The characters were downright annoying, especially the main character (who did stupid and unnecessary things that just got her in trouble), and the romance was totally... unbelievable. I can safely say I’m more Team Astley, but in the sense that I want Zara to die and Astley to get his happily ever after. The read was so monotonous – I had to force myself to keep reading in hopes that it would get better, which it did the last third of the book. That was the book’s saving point, or I definitely would have rated this a 2. This book definitely had a lot more potential and just fell short.