Review: Captivate

Monday, November 28, 2016
Title: Captivate (Submerged Sun #1)
Author: Vanessa Garden
Genres: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: August 10, 2016
Purchase Links: 

In a glittering underwater world, where danger lurks behind beauty and power...

For the past twelve months since her parents’ death, seventeen-year-old Miranda Sun has harboured a dark secret — a secret that has strained the close relationship she once shared with her older sister, Lauren. In an effort to repair this broken bond, Miranda’s grandparents whisk the siblings away on a secluded beach holiday. Except before Miranda gets a chance to confess her life-changing secret, she’s dragged underwater by a mysterious stranger while taking a midnight swim.

Awakening days later, Miranda discovers that she’s being held captive in a glittering underwater city by an arrogant young man named Marko...the King of this underwater civilisation.

Nineteen-year-old Marko intends to marry Miranda in order to keep his crown from falling into the sinister clutches of his half-brother, Damir. There’s only one problem. Miranda is desperate to return home to right things with her sister and she wants nothing to do with Marko. Trying to secure her freedom, Miranda quickly forms an alliance with Robbie — Marko’s personal guard. However, she soon discovers that even underwater, people are hiding dangerous secrets...  

Having read the synopsis, I immediately had high hopes for Captivate, and I was not disappointed. I loved the idea of an underwater civilization, but I think the image that entered my mind was quite different from what I expected. I guess I was expecting a civilization of mermaids and other mythical creatures, but found myself reading a story about humans living under water.

This, I think, was one of the most striking points to me. I really loved the way the world was built, and I could feel Miranda's fascination with the underwater civilization. With all the vivid descriptions, I was captured with it and could imagine all the beauty that surrounds the characters.

The relationship between Miranda, Marko and Robbie was a complicated one, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I seldomly knew what was going to happen next, and anticipated the every moment where I would get off guard. Although, I found the development for the romance quite not enough. I could feel the thoughts of Miranda that were in turmoil, but I sometimes don't agree with the decisions she makes. Also, I felt the romance was starting to grow, but then Miranda already found herself falling in love. Until now, I couldn't quite capture the reasons on which the romance is really grounded. There were also times when I felt like nothing much was happening, but already found myself almost finished reading the book.

Despite this, I enjoyed the dynamics between characters, and loved the strong emotions that they experienced. I was able to easily connect with the characters, and really loved the support system that secondary characters showed. It felt like everything just came together so smoothly and mixed up together as one whole thing.

I guess as the title suggests, I was entirely captivated with the beautiful underwater civilization, the sweet romance, the short but intense action scenes, and how realistic everything is. I am truly looking forward to see how everything will unfold. I hope to get to read the next installment, soon!

A bookseller and Young Adult author, Vanessa loves nothing more than immersing herself in the exciting world of books. When she is not raving about her favourite reads with customers, or mentally casting actors to play the characters in her next novel, she enjoys hanging out with those she loves most.


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