Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Blog Tour : Review of Captivate by Vanessa Garden

Welcome to my stop on the Captivate Blog Tour being hosted by Harlequin Teen Australia.  Today I have the great pleasure of reviewing this debut novel by Aussie author Vanessa Garden.  

For more information about the tour and to see what other stops there are to visit check out the tour page at Harlequin Teen Australia

I hope you have enjoyed the stops on this tour so far and enjoy my one today.  So read on..

The Novel


Title: Captivate (Submerged Sun #1)
Author: Vanessa Garden
Published: 1 January 2014 by Harlequin Teen Australia
Source: Harlequin Teen Australia
Reviewed: Sapphired Dragon
Rating: ****
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...

Find it on Goodreads

The Review 

So this book was not at all as I expected it would be. Having only given the blurb a brief look and retained that it took place under water, I envisioned mermaids and a Disney's Little Princess type world. What I actually got was an underwater world as opposed to a cartoon one with characters and a story that was much more real and alive than the Disney one I had envisioned.

Miranda is an insecure 17 year old, still shattered by her past... the death of her parents and the secret she has been hiding and this played true throughout the novel. We don't start with a self confident know it all, convinced of her own amazingness but a rather a girl that believes herself broken and closed off as a result of things that have happened to her and decisions she has made.  It was nice to see her open up through out the course of this novel.

The story itself is quite original and the back story of Marin fascinating.  So much so that I hope we get to find out more about it in subsequent books.  I loved the underwater world of Marin that Ms Garden creates.

The story however creeps up on you.  When I started this novel, I was actually supposed to be reading something else but thought I would sneak in a quick peek.  Little did I know that my 'quick peek' would take me all the way to the end of the novel and I read on to find out what would happen to Miranda and Robbie and Marko.

I also loved how Ms Garden finishes novel.  With the direction this story took, I wasn't sure how it would all play out but I was satisfied with where Ms garden took us in the end and I will be eagerly awaiting the next book to see what happens next.

I also loved the chemistry between the characters, both Miranda and Marko and Miranda and Robbie.  It felt real and genuine which made it all the more enjoyable to read.

Over all this was an extremely enjoyable story to read from a promising new Australian author.  With an easy flow, this book will suck you straight in at the beginning, bob you along the waves of the story then place back on the beach satisfied that you have read a wonderful tale.

I give this book 4 stars and look forward to book two :-)

Sapphired Dragon xx