Sunday, 16 November 2014

Captivate by Carrie Jones

The Need Series

Published: January 5th 2010
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Website: Series website

            Zara and her friends have successfully kept the pixies of Bedford in their house in the woods, keeping them from killing more boys. Zara knows that a better solution is needed, but her problem solving is cut short when a new group of pixies move in to seize the territory. She meets a new pixie who could possibly be the shining example of a good pixie, unless it is all an act. When she loses Nick and has to get him back, she will have to trust the new pixie and change herself.

Plot spoilers – read at your own risk!
            The plot here is rather small – Nick dies in the beginning of the novel, and Zara needs to get him back from Valhalla to protect Bedford from a new group of evil pixies. They have to do some internet research to figure out how to do this. To accomplish all this, Zara has to make a choice and that leads to big changes, and that’s it. The end of the book is the big change, so you have to read the next installment to get the consequences and benefits.

            The gold on the eyes and the gold tear can be interpreted as deceit and trust. There is always the threat of deceit from many sides in this book. Trust in this book and the rest of the series plays a significant role. Closing your eyes and trusting/relying on others to not deceive you is a recurrent theme in this series.

Chapter Headings
            While the first book has phobia info, Captivate has Pixie Tips, and I quite like them. Two of my favourites are:
            “Pixies can be annoyingly cryptic. Don’t talk to them. They’ll confuse you and laugh about it later like movie villains and physics teachers.”
            “Hero: you might want to be a hero if and when you and your friends are attacked by pixies. Remember, though, that heroes often die.”

Norse Mythology
More plot spoilers -- read at your own risk!
            A huge problem I have with this is the mythology. Valkyries collect souls, not bodies. Nick should not have been physically picked up and taken to Valhalla. His body should have remained, and if Zara acted quickly enough, she would have to theoretically return his soul to his body before it decomposes. Granted, when mythology is used in fiction, it has to be bent to suit the author’s needs, but it doesn’t mean that I have to like it. 
I didn’t particularly like where the new book went with the Norse mythology theme, and that says a lot from me because I adore Norse mythology.
With this series, I also think about what I consider the downfall of True Blood: too many “beings” were introduced into the world (demons, fae, vampires, weres, shifters, etc). I think the story would have been much stronger if it left out the Norse themes and just kept with the weres and pixies and another being that you meet in Captivate. Why does it need Valkyries and Ragnarok? Plus, Zara acts confused most of the time. If you know you are dealing with Norse gods, and you and your team have done the research, why would you refer to Odin, the All Father, as the “head god guy”? You’d have the vocabulary to have a discussion about this.

            I’ve seen that people dislike how she reacts to Nick’s death – that it consumed her. I wonder where the empathy is in this situation. Everyone grieves differently. I know that I would be torn apart if my partner died, and if I found out that I might be able to get him back, I too would be totally consumed in the effort. However, I have to point out that they have only been dating a few weeks, not months or years. Then again, first love.

Nick Vs. Astley
I’ll elaborate.
Do you know what Nick is? A young man with muscles who  knows how to use them. He’s not all about protection; he’s about killing too, when he has to. But he has no qualms about being merciless (and I will further rant about this in the later two books). 
According to Zara, his lack of likable personality traits doesn’t matter because he is the best guy EVAAAAR.
            Seriously though, Nick is a bit bossy for me to stay emotionally invested in. Zara and Nick constantly go back and forth about not going anywhere alone, and they both do it anyway, they both fight about it, and it gets old. Nick calls Zara “baby” all the time and that irks me to no end (and that’s not just the feminist in me either; it even sounds stupid, so get a better term of endearment).
Final Verdict
            I greatly prefer the first one over this one, but Astley is a great character that carries the series forward and makes me want to read the next two books. This book lost the creepy atmosphere that the first one had, and it is sorely missed. The story of this book feels like filler for why the next two happen, and it isn’t that thrilling. The next two books have much more in terms of plot, so if a teen enjoys Norse mythology, I recommend reading this book to get to the next two.  

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed reading the review. You're right - those pixie tips are awesome! Here's hoping the next books return to the creepy atmosphere you liked. :)