“Though she is free of the palace, rescued from her position as a blood slave, Aria is haunted by the memories of her time spent within the fortress, tormented by memories of Braith, the prince that betrayed her and shattered her heart.
Every day is a struggle to get through, and the only solace she is able to find is with Max, her best friend, and fellow captive. Though Max does not understand her bond to Braith, he knows some of what she endured, and helps to ease some of the tattered pieces of her soul. Aria slowly begins to salvage the broken parts of her wounded spirit by throwing herself into the wonder of the woods she had so greatly missed, and the secure and reassuring love that Max freely gives her. Her world is thrown into a tailspin again though when a marauding group of vampires destroy the caves she had found temporary shelter in.
Scattered about the forest, seeking to stay hidden and find her family, Aria is stunned when Braith, the monster that savaged her heart, reappears. Stunned by his sudden arrival in her world, Arianna is uncertain if he has come to recapture her, or to kill her for daring to escape.” -synopsis from Goodreads.com
This last half of June has been busy. Work is crazy, to say the least. I also had a birthday and left the realm of “teenager.” Suffice it to say, I feel old. I know many of you will probably scoff at 20 being old, but birthdays make it hard to forget that you are aging. All of that aside, I’m glad to have an opportunity to review another book for you guys! I recently finished the second book in Erica Steven’s Captive series, Renegade.
My favorite part of Renegade is the beginning, the time before Aria and Braith are reunited. At the end of Captured, Aria receives a shock that breaks her heart and forces her to flee the castle and Braith. Upon discovering her betrayal, Braith turns into a hate-filled monster and seeks out the pleasures of the flesh in order to forget Aria. As a culmination of all these events, they grow to absolutely hate each other and thus begins the second novel. A part of me loves how much they hate each other. Don’t ask me why, I just do. They make me think a song by The Civil War that says, “I don’t love you, but I always will.” Erica Stevens captures the frustration and anger one can feel towards their significant other while still loving them above all else. The strength of their ire leaves you questioning the outcome of their inevitable reunion. The tension is spectacular.
I wish I could say that the rest of this book was as emotionally charged and exciting as the beginning, but the rest of this book consists mainly of dialogue. While every good book needs great dialogue, it also needs some action to keep the reader interested. Aria and Braith spend the entire second half of the novel meeting with their allies and plotting to overthrow the tyrannical reign of Braith’s family. I understand that one cannot and should not enter into war without a great amount of thought and strategic planning, but I feel like Erica Stevens could’ve stated everything in a more concise manner. Would that have combined books two and three? Probably, but it’s better than sifting through the same repetitive conversation and dilemmas.
Did I hate this book? No, but I definitely felt like I was plodding through mud. If Renegade had been the first book, I would not have continued the series. The need for resolution spurred me on to read the third and final book (review will be coming soon), and I enjoyed the story as a whole. Have any of you ever read a sequel with such a frustrating pace? And if you have, did it keep you from continuing the series?
If you have read any of the books in the Captive series or any other books by Erica Stevens, please feel free to share your thoughts!
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