Genre: YA, Dystopian
Ever since Kitty Doe was kidnapped and forced to take over the life of the Prime Minister’s niece, her frustration and irritability has been growing. She hates everything about her new life–her fiancee, her diet, the clothes she is forced to wear and the mannerisms she is compelled to adopt. More than the superficial though, she hates the substance of who she is forced to be and the corrupt game of politics she must play, just to stay alive. Nothing is getting easier. She begins to suspect that there is more to the Prime Minister’s decision to use her as the replacement for Lila Hart than meets the eye, but when she is accused of treason and sent to Elsewhere it seems like she won’t even have the chance to find out the truth about her past. She believes in the rebellion, but there is nobody she can trust, and it seems like she may be forced to pay for it with her life.
Captive is the second book in the Blackcoat Rebellion series by Aimee Carter. You can read my review of the first book, Pawn, here.
I really liked Pawn. The story kept moving and kept me guessing. I was really excited when I started to read Captive. The action definitely kept right on going, but I felt like the plausibility took a decided turn for the worse, like everything was done solely for shock factor. I read the whole book, but towards the end I was pretty over it. The middle book in a trilogy is the hardest one to get right, in my opinion. You can have a stellar first book, and even a great conclusion, but that middle book is a doozy. I get it. The middle is hard. You have to go ahead and use the momentum you built up in the first book to get somewhere productive, and still leave enough room to ramp up for the grand finale. It’s like a midflight refueling. It feels kind of sketchy but necessary to make it back home. So, even though I wasn’t a huge fan of this book, I’ll still be reading the next book in the series. It’s basically impossible not to.
Things I liked in Captive: I really liked the unfolding drama over where Kitty actually came from. That felt like the main story in Captive to me. Secondary, of course, was the development of the actual rebellion, and that was good too. The main plot points progressed reasonably. Thinking back on it, it was really just little, unrealistic twists that peeved me so much throughout this book. Which brings me to…
Things I disliked: I’m sorry, but I still don’t like her boyfriend. Especially after the 3rd or 4th time somebody “killed” him but he didn’t really die, just came back into the story a little later so that somebody could threaten to kill him again and get a little more leverage over Kitty. Okay, so maybe that didn’t happen 3 or 4 times, but it felt like it. It was just so completely unbelievable. And I still don’t like him. Kitty’s a pretty good character when he isn’t around–fairly strong and decisive–but whenever he shows up, she turns into a whiny, dependent child. It’s not a good look for her, and it’s no wonder she can’t find anybody she trusts. Nobody can trust her, because her moods are completely dependent on the existence or nonexistence of her boyfriend. I really was happy when he died the first time. I thought it would be the turning point in her attitude, but it really just made things worse, and then when he reappeared (without any good explanation for his so-called death, I might add) she was worse again… you get the idea. I won’t keep on with the spoilers, but that particular vibe really irked me through the book. I hope, for your sake, you don’t find it so aggravating.
Overall, Captive was not as good as Pawn, in my opinion, but it is a stepping stone towards (I imagine) a third and final installment in the series. If you enjoyed Pawn, you kind of have to read Captive, and if you read Captive, you’re pretty committed to reading that 3rd book, so hang in there with me. Have you read both books? What did you think of Captive? Let me know!