Author: Carrie Jones
From the back of the book:
“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 one day, 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.”
There is only one thing that dampened my enjoyment of this book, and that is the lack of a satisfying ending. Instead, we get a little break in the action, while the gang regroups to plan their assault on the pixies. Need had a great ending, and if the story hadn’t continued, I would have been content with the knowledge that Zara had put a stop to the pixie threat in her neck of the woods. With Captivate, we get a pause, a place to take a breath, and a long wait until the next installment of the story. It didn’t seem fair that I became all caught up in the story, only to be put on hold.
Carrie Jones once again uses the setting to effectively create an atmosphere of isolation and danger as Zara, Nick, Issie, and Devyn battle with the pixies again. Zara’s solution from the previous book has caused her quite a bit of personal grief, because it is against everything that the idealistic girl stands for. She is all into Amnesty International and writing letters to overbearing dictators, but here she’s gone and become one herself. By locking them in the pixie king’s mansion, she’s ensured that the pixies live a painful life tormented by their need. That is so not Zara, and part of what makes her such an interesting character is that she has to deal with her guilt and her self-recrimination when she is forced to do things that go against her belief system.
When a new pixie king comes to town, Zara’s life is thrown into turmoil again. There is a pixie war waiting to happen, and it’s all Zara’s fault. By trapping her father in the house, she has created a power void, and now there isn’t just one new pixie king looking to expand his territory – there are two. Astley is young and has recently become a king, and his first priority is making Zara his queen. I liked this new introduction to the cast, and I still can’t tell whether he is good or evil. Zara finally, recklessly, has to put her trust in him, because she has been backed into a corner and has no other choice. Zara will do anything to save her family and friends, even sacrifice herself, and all of the difficult decisions she makes are convincing and even heartbreaking. How much would you be willing to give up for someone else? Zara is willing to give up everything. I love her nobility and her sense of righteousness. She’s such a great character.
It was a little painful reaching the last page of the book. Things were just starting to get really interesting! Norse mythology was folded seamlessly into the plot, and a battle for the survival of the world made it hard to accept the non-ending. The countdown for the next installment has begun, and I hope the wait won’t be too long.
Captivate will be in stores Jan 5, 2010
Review copy provided by Bloomsbury