Review: Captivate (Submerged Sun #1) by Vanessa Garden
In a glittering underwater world, where danger lurks behind beauty and power...
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...
4 Out of 5 Stars
Genre: Another-World, Romance, Royal-Court, Teen--
Miranda takes a midnight swim with her sister, only to be pulled under the waves and wake up in a strange room. She has been taken captive to become the bride for King Marko, the ruler of a secret society at the bottom of the ocean. Miranda refuses to stop fighting for her freedom, even when she realizes that she may have feelings for her attractive captor. But with all the political unrest putting Miranda in danger, being under the sea may get her killed.
I really enjoyed this story. I was not sure what I was getting into when I first started reading the book, but I can easily say that I was pleased with what I received. This was such a detailed, complicated world that the author created in such a short amount of pages (my ereader said it was 218 pages total). The author created this fantasy under the sea world with a shark Colosseum, light crystals, tunnels for travel, water gondola rides, the incredibly descriptive foods, a whole pearl market, the nuances of the people and the animals who live under the sea, the issues with conceiving children, as well as court intrigue, a brooding king, a cute captor, and a horrible rumored villain who makes women into mermaids (Yep, making mermaids- that alone would be enough to get me to read more, it's so creepy and messed up). I feel like the author took the basic idea of Atlantis and ran with it to create something that is very much her own.
Miranda was an ok character, I usually like my main characters to have more spunk and self confidence, and she spent the first half of the book wallowing in misery and thinking poorly of herself. She did start fighting for what she wanted, which perked me up. It was amazing how a few kisses and a declaration of loveish could make her have faith in herself (but I won't pick at that, so whatever). Her love of food was entertaining, but I wished she would be less enthusiastic about it so she would not have to be rescued from her self-inflicted choking all the time (don't even get me started on the stomach grumbling). I did agree with her love of books, but not her love of Steinbeck (totally on board with the Harry Potter though!)
Love triangle(ish) spoiler alert. Truth be told, I really liked Robbie and I totally thought that there was going to be something between them. I mean really, all signs pointed to them being together (even after his comment that she reminded of a sister he thought he had). The relationship between her and Marko was forced (as it literally was in the book) but it did get better and I really liked his upfront attitude. I feel like she liked him well enough and found him attractive, yet his feelings for her were too much too soon in my opinion. He didn't know her at all, it would make more sense for Robbie to get attached, but alas that is not how things work.
I felt like the ending of the book was too rushed in my opinion, I wanted more, but I guess I will just have to get my hands on the next book in the series as soon as possible to see what will come next for Miranda. Overall this was a fast, different read than anything I have encountered recently, and I really enjoyed it.
I received this title from the author in return for my honest review.