Review Blog

Jun 20 2010

Captivate by Carrie Jones

cover image

Bloomsbury, 2010. ISBN 9781408807415.
(Age 14+) Captivate is the second book in the series following Need, which should be read first to gain an understanding of the characters and what has happened. After imprisoning the pixies and their King, Zara and her friends find that this is not a satisfactory solution. More pixies are arriving, lured by the opportunity to take over the King's realm and rule his followers. Zara is confronted by a new King, Astley, who declares that there are both good and bad pixies. He believes that he is good and that Zara is destined to be his Queen. Another dark King appears and suddenly everything that Zara loves is at risk.
Jones spends a lot of time in the book working up the romance between Zara and Nick with some minor romantic moments with Devyn and Issy. Although there are some amusing moments in the relationship, I found it a bit cloying. However this is important background for the action and decisions that Zara has to make about whether she will become a pixie queen. She has to decide whether she can trust the newly arrived King, Astley, who I found to be rather a shadowy character. I would have liked more in-depth characterisation here, as it was unclear whether he is a worthy King for Zara or even a new love interest. An extra minor character, Cassidy, adds some tension to the group dynamics.
Jones tosses in some Norse mythology, this time looking at a Valkyrie who takes away dying warriors to Valhalla, the kingdom of Odin. I found this addition to the faerie mythology a bit strange but it is necessary to the plot. This time the author prefaces her chapter headings with hints on how to deal with pixies. These Pixie tips are often amusing and add a lighthearted touch to the tense action and strained relationships. The humour is a welcome addition to this type of story.
This is another light, easy to read paranormal book, which teenagers will enjoy. There is a cliffhanger ending that ensures that the third in the series will be picked up. Teens who like this story may like to move onto Marianne Curley's The named, which is well written and has lots of action.
Pat Pledger

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