Review: Captive by A.J.Granger

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I open my eyes. The cell is flooded with sunlight; the window is a slice 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 sent this to review via the publishers and was interested to see how it would be as I also know this lovely author as a lovely editor from another publishing group; one of the best editors I’ve met.  She’s worked on some of my favourite books so I wanted to see how her own writing would be like.

Captive is the story of Robyn, the Prime Minster’s teenage daughter, as she is kidnapped and held to ransom by an animal rights activist group demanding the release of one of their own from prison.  She’s taken and kept in a basement and told to do exactly what they say or else she’ll be harmed or, worse, they’ll go after her toddler sister too.  As time in the basement goes on, day by day, Robyn learns of lies and truths from her own life and becomes sympathetic to one of her kidnappers.  Will this closeness draw her closer to danger or will it be her salvation?  

I enjoyed the drama of this novel and the pace and tension was balanced just right to get my heart racing at the right moments but, giving me time to calm down again afterwards.  I also enjoyed the back and forth between the past and present, so we got to fill in the blanks of Robyn’s past as new ideas and information filtered into it from the captors.  It was a plausible idea; that someone is pushed to the brink and on one side of the coin they seem victims of government lies but on the other side, they just look like nut-jobs.

The only letdown for me was the romance element.  I liked the idea of having Stockholm syndrome brought in as a factor; it’s something I’ve heard of before and can imagine is possible.  However, I think it went a step to far into the second half of the book.  I would have liked to have more confusion in Robyn’s mind about how she really felt and thought and self-questioning and have left it a hanging idea in her mind, rather than acceptance.  I liked the ending for some aspects, but others moved it from a plausible storyline into more make-believe and didn’t ring as true as the rest of the novel.

Overall, it was a well-written and enjoyable novel with a nice pace and unfurling of the story and I’d definitely look out for more books from A.J.Granger.   Clever idea for a story but, for me, I didn’t need the romantic element to make it more genuine.

Published by Simon and Schuster UK and is available online and in bookshops in Jan 2015

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