I received this book for free from Simon and Schuster in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Captive by A. J. Grainger
Published by Simon & Schuster, Limited on January 29th 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Contemporary, Young Adult
Source: Simon and Schuster
I open my eyes. The cell is flooded with sunlight; the window is a splice of pale blue. Dust particles dance in the sparkling light, pirouetting in a golden line from the window to the opposite wall of the cell, where they seem to converge into shapes. It is like looking into a kaleidoscope. Dad isn't here. No one is, but me. Robyn Knollys-Green is an A-list celebrity, famous for being the daughter of one of the world's most powerful men. But not even the paparazzi can find her now. Robyn begins to realise that she is trapped in a complicated web of global corruption and deceit - and that the strange, melancholy boy who has been tasked with guarding her might not be an enemy after all . . .
A thrilling, well-crafted, ever-relevant story from a talented new voice in YA fiction.
Review: I was really intrigued by the concept of Captive, which tells the story of Robyn, daughter of the prime minister, who has been kidnapped. I read Captive very quickly and within a couple of sittings.
I thought Robyn’s first person narration worked well, as did the interweaving of a past incident with her father through flashbacks, as Robyn tries to work out what is going on and why. The overall plot was fairly tight and I thought there were some good twists and developments. There is very little time before the action starts so the reader is immediately pulled in and shocked.
In terms of characters, I thought that Scar was just as creepy as his named implied and Grainger really depicted that danger well. Feather felt flat at times, and a little too obviously unhinged however overall the characters were well written.
I really liked Robyn’s relationship with her sister, Addy, and the way familial relationships were included in the book. The stockholm syndrome esque concept was very high stakes as Robyn begins to learn more about why this has happened and the role her father may have played. I liked that her father was a quite flawed character.
I felt that the final quarter was a little confusing at times due to its fast pace, also while parts felt realistic as we got closer to the ending certain aspects began to feel less realistic. However, this did not detract from my overall enjoyment of the book and I thought it was tense, well written and very compelling.
The themes raised about corruption, animal rights and also testing were very interesting and topical. I think Grainger balanced the exploration of these themes with the plot very well and the corruption and political side of the story made the concept and kidnap feel far more unique.
Fans of novels like Stolen and tense contemporary YA will find a lot to enjoy in Captive. It’s an assured, promising debut and I would definitely read more by the author.