Zara and her friends thought they'd solved the pixie problem. And they had - sort of. They're locked away, deep in the woods. But the king's needs grow stronger each day that he's in captivity, while his control over his people weakens. Who will fill the power vacuum? Astley. He claims he's different. He claims that it doesn't have to be violence and nastiness all the time. Zara wants to believe him ... until Astley also claims that she's fated to be his queen.
There's no way Zara would ever turn pixie. And she's got good friends who'll make sure of that. Besides, she and Nick are so in love they're practically inseparable. But when the very thing Zara most wants to protect is exactly what's at risk, she's forced to make choices she never imagined.
I loved Need, so when I got the opportunity to review Captivate I was excited and nervous. Would I like it as much as Need? Would the second book in the series live up to my expectations? Well, I started it yesterday and was up at six this morning to continue. I enjoyed it more than Need, I loved it.
It was obvious at the end of Need that capturing the pixies was only a quick fix - there would be repercussions. Captivate finds Zara, Nick, Devyn and Issie doing patrols and throwing rogue pixies into the house with the others. Zara's dad, the king, is still there growing weaker while his followers become more restless and needy for flesh. Soon, a new king arrives in the shape of Astley. He appears to be different to Zara's dad but can he be trusted? Astley isn't the only king on the scene either. It's obvious that the status quo can't hold.
I loved the dark underside of Need and in Captivate this becomes more apparent and is stronger in this respect. I could sense the undercurrent of danger which leaks out as you read finally bursting out as the book progresses. Spring feels like a long way off in Maine and in a way I was reminded of the winter of Narnia; I could almost smell the pine trees and hear the crunch of snow. Captivate takes the feeling of threat that runs through Need and spins it into a whole new dimension of terror. This book is far from fluffy and light. However, Captivate keeps some humour. My favourite funny line, "The other king was last spotted in Wal-Mart."
The characters all develop well; Zara still worries about her Amensty International cases but also shows a parallel between her concern for these people and her complex feelings about her own captives. Issie is still crushing on Devyn, but Devyn is getting more independent. Who is Cassidy and why is Devyn drawn to her? Nick is still Zara's protector but can he control his feelings when she acts upon her own impulses despite the fact that he sometimes breaks the rules of the gang? In this book Nick and Zara grow closer. Incidentally, I hated Cassidy throughout most of this book. How dare she muscle in on Issie and Devyn!
Zara starts to turn blue when the new king is in the vicinity and a new paranormal entity arrives and starts carrying away possibly warriors. I'm bubbling over here to spill the rest of the plot but wouldn't spoil it. I didn't expect the book to take the turn that it did, I was flipping over the pages thinking, "No! Surely not!" The ending cliff-hanger is all the worse for the fact that the next book isn't due until 2011.
I donated my copy of Need to the library. Uncharitably, I now wish I hadn't as this series is a keeper - and no, you can't have my copy of Captivate.