BOOKTALK// Captive by A.J. Grainger

The debut novel from new talent A.J. Grainger

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.

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Publication Date: 29th January 2015

Pages: 228

Acquisition: Sent for review (NetGalley)

This is a book that I picked up on a whim. I’d heard people talking about it at a recent event and when I saw it on NetGalley, I thought why not? My ratio on NetGalley sucks so I was super surprised to actually be approved! Yay me!

The book opens with a past event; Robin’s Dad (the Prime Minister) being shot in Paris. Not the opening I was expecting, and it really peaked my interest. We then flash forward to the present day, and we formally meet Robyn, her completely adorable sister and her friend who lives next door (who I desperately wish we had heard more from!)

It’s not a secret that Robyn gets kidnapped in his book, I was waiting for it to happen. What I wasn’t expecting was it for 1) to happen so soon and 2) for it to suddenly become so tense! The entire book exploded from that moment on and we were thrust into the brutality of Robin’s kidnapping and the horrendous situation she had been put in by her captors.

I really enjoyed the flashbacks and how they steadily revealed things that happened outside of the present storyline, interjecting things that added to the tension while Robyn was being held Captive. It is a device used quite often in books and rarely done quite well. Here it definitely works and I welcomed it.

The only aspect of the book I wasn’t so keen on was the romance. It was sort of obvious from the start who it would be with and how it would end up going so when it started I was a little disappointed. I was really hoping the author wouldn’t take that route. However, despite the slightly obvious romantic choice, the twists and turns that came along with it were super satisfying and kept me turning the pages.

Captive is a very well written debut novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. Just when you think you’ve worked out what’s going on Grainger sends a curveball your way that makes you question everything. A cracking read.

★★★★

Waterstones/HIVE/Wordery

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