Review: Captivate (Submerged Sun #1) by Vanessa Garden

*I've won a copy of this book.*
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...

The whole mermaid thing seems to be coming up more and more in books and I have been intrigued by it, but so far the books I've read weren't able to deliver.

After reading Captivate I felt like half of the book was missing, there were so many holes in it and lack of explanation, description and development.

First of all, kidnapping a girl to force her into marriage and conceiving children is never the right idea. Taking the wrong girl, since Miranda is only seventeen and not of age, is completely stupid. Besides she wasn't specially chosen, no, she was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. Seriously, Robbie gets the order from Sylvia (Marko's sister) to go to the surface and bring back a woman. That's it. No more details.

The whole reason Miranda is down there, is because nobody can produce children anymore. So here is hoping she doesn't have any fertility problems or she would have been kidnapped for nothing.

The biggest problem I have with the story is how nothing seems logical. Marko is nineteen and king, but his dad got murdered by Marko's older brother when he was still young, like ten years old. So Damir has been in hiding since then and Marko has been king since the murder? Why didn't Damir take the throne back then? Also there is this law of who has an heir first gets to be king. Which means if Damir gets someone pregnant first he would be king?

Another weird thing. Damir has been living in the underworld. Which I first took very literal, since I was still in the believe of them being some kind of mermaids, so there might have been something involved with gods. But no, the underworld just pretty much means the bad side of town. How big is this city that you can't find one guy and throw him in the cellar? It's not like the dude has any special powers or anything, he's just human, like they all are.

Them being regular humans was also kind of disappointing. They all pretty much chose to live down on the bottom of the ocean. Vanessa Garden tries to portray it as some magical place, but honestly I wasn't feeling it. To me it felt more like living under a dome, with a dark sky and surviving on artificial light. It's just a big prison to me.

Also all the people who've chosen to live there are supposed to be very rich or very smart, so to me it seems weird they would go to tactics like kidnapping someone to save their people. Which in fact isn't a solution to their problem. All the other women and girls still wouldn't be able to get children.

This relates to Marko not choosing his own wife. He goes to the surface once a month to trade their pearls for other goods. So the guy has had contacts with humans on the surface, why not try to find a girl who likes him and convince her to come back down with him and start a family. Once again, why the kidnapping?

I've been left with too many questions for me to like the story. There will be a second book, but I won't be reading it. I do believe if Vanessa Garden would have gone deeper into certain areas and characters this could have been a good book. As it is now, I really am not feeling it.

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