Captivate (Submerged Sun, #1)
by Vanessa Garden
Publishing date: January 1st 2014
Publisher: Harlequin TEEN
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...
Let's talk about surprising! I must say that I only skimmed through the book desciption before I started reading it, thinking it is probably some paranormal book with mermaids in it. But this is NOT a paranormal book about mermaids, at least, there are no mermaids in this book, I can't say there won't be any mermaids in the next books in the series. What else is surprising about Captivate, I didn't expect it to be this good, but it was, and I ended up really loving the book!
The story starts when Miranda is kidnapped by Robbie, King Marko's personal guard. Marko is the King of an underwatter city called Marin and his citizens are in danger. Miranda is brought there to bare Marko's child and help continue the royal line. While all she tries is escape, a lot of unexpected things happen before she even realizes she is in danger and maybe in love with Marko.
Some things in Captivated were quite predictable but it didn't bother me much. I was so engrossed in the story that I didn't even think about those things. The plot was really great and the worldbuilding was done very nicely. I loved finding out about the city of Marin and the people who lived there.
I loved how determinated Miranda was to escape and to return to her family, even after she realized she has feeling for Marko. She was kidnapped, thrown into a world that only exists in dreams, but she stayed strong and focused on her goal. Marko on the other hand was a great King. He had a lot of stuff to deal with and he always tried to do what is best for his people. Despite his impulsive character, I really liked him in the end. As far as the romance goes, I think it could be done better, but I still enjoyed it. It wasn't an insta love, but maybe a little sterotypical?
What got to me the most, is the ending. What a clifhanger! I honestly couldn't believe the book ended the way it did. I know I will be counting days until the next book comes out.
All in all, Captivate was a great book with an amazing story development. Maybe there are books placed underwater, but Vanessa Garden's writing brings in a fresh breath and just makes you to fall in love with its characters and the city of Marin.