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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

"Filler" Book Fails to Captivate

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

(Although this review will contain no spoilers for Captivate by Carrie Jones, it may inadvertently reveal plot surprises from Need. As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.)

So, even though I didn't love, love, love Need by Carrie Jones (you can read my review here), I still put Captivate on reserve at my local library. Reading this second book actually made me less enthusiastic about the series, reminding me that it's not super original, it's not extremely well-written, the characters aren't stunning in their depth, nothing like that. The books are quick, entertaining and just a teensy bit different from every other YA urban fantasy out there. In other words, the series is okay, average, nothing to get too excited about.

Captivate begins a short time after Need ends. After Zara White and her "special" friends (all of whom are shape shifters of some sort) trap all the evil pixies in the woods, they can rest easy. Sorta. While on patrol, Nick spots something suspicious - an unfamiliar male pixie. Zara knows that no pixie can be trusted, but this one's got some definite appeal. Even though she knows she shouldn't, Zara lets him out of Nick's trap - she can't just let him get taken by the sinister winged creature that comes to collect him. In exchange for his freedom, Zara demands information. The pixie - whose name is Astley - gives her the chilling lowdown: A pixie turf war is about to break out in Bedford, Maine.

War means that Zara, a half-pixie princess-in-the-making, will have to choose sides. Should she support her father, who she knows to be a manipulating liar? Or Astley, who claims to represent a new breed of pixies, one that poses no dangers to human beings? Or should she shun the entire pixie race? Her body seems to be deciding for her - it's rapidly turning blue, the color all pixies hide under their glamours. With strange creatures on the loose, her wolf in danger and a disarming new pixie in town, what's a half-pixie, half-human high schooler to do?

In my mind, Captivate is one of those series "filler" books, one in which not a lot really happens. It basically exists to bridge the gap or to fill in information between two other books in the series. I do, however, like some of the things Jones does in this book. The character of Astley, for one - I like that he brings some competition to Zara and Nick's cheesy relationship, adding to the depth of the novel on more than one level. I still think the plot, background and characters need some serious developing. In the meantime, the books are engaging enough. Just don't expect anything truly unique or mindblowing.

(Readalikes: Need by Carrie Jones; Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater; the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer; The Dark Divine by Bree Despain; the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare; and a million others)

Grade: C

If this were a movie, it would be rated: PG for mild language, violence and some sexual innuendo

To the FTC, with love: Another library fine find

1 comment:

  1. I just started this one and I am practically gagging over Nick and Zara. I'm glad to hear that at least there is some change in that. I felt Need wasn't that good, so I will probably end up thinking similar things about this one.


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