Captivate (Submerged Sun #1) by Vanessa Garden
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Published: 1st January, 2014 by Harlequin TEEN
My Rating: 3 Thumbs up!
In a glittering underwater world, nothing is as it seems…
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…
I was really intrigued by the cover and premise of Captivate. It is by an Australian author, set in Australia, and involves the ocean. So you can say I was super excited to get my hands on this book! It didn’t really meet my huge expectation, but it was an enjoyable read. I saw a few inconsistencies and plot holes in the story and some of the characters weren’t as developed as they could have been, but I still loved the setting, the easy to follow plot, the mystery and that ending!
The story follows Miranda Sun as she is dragged away from her life and family to marry and have the child of the King to this underwater city. The story includes a lot of mystery and personal demons, which I loved and kept me reading. The plot was steady, with a solid pace, making it easy to read (a lazy readers’ heaven!)
Though the pace was good, the ending wasn’t very climatic and a little predictable. The story didn’t evoke any super strong emotions from me (even when a loveable character was put in jeopardy) because I could predict how things were going to turn out. This lessened the overall enjoyment of the book for me.
The story was set in an underwater city. What’s not to love? That held such intrigue for me, since I was a lover of Atlantis as a child. I liked how the place was described, but I think there could have been a little more description, as I was a little confused at times.
There were a couple of noticeable inconsistencies within the story that left me questioning it. For instance, the fact that 3rd gen females in this underwater city become infertile is why the King must steal a girl to make an heir with. However, there were heaps of girls there that had just come from above ground because of near drowning’s – why didn’t the prince just marry one of those girls instead of stealing someone? How could those girls be infertile if they have only been there for a little while? If they did, doesn’t that mean any girl they steal will just become infertile, too?
I also feel as though some character development is off. Such as, a character would be described in a certain way, though then they would do something that just goes totally against what they are – and it’s not even a big deal? I would give examples of this but that would be spoiling.
Despite this, I liked the romance the blossomed between Miranda and the king Marko. I didn’t see it as entirely believable, but I still liked it. What I didn’t like though is that where ever you look, there are love triangles. They are everywhere! Though they don’t rule the story, so that’s not a major thing.
Overall I enjoyed Captivate, and found it easy to read. Despite the few plot holes and lack of character development, this is a good book that can easily transport you to another place. I would recommend to any fantasy reader!