Today at Jessica’s Bookworld we are one of the blog stops for Vanessa Garden’s debut novel, Captive. I will be posting my review of the book and also a Q&A that we did with Vanessa.
By: Vanessa Garden
Publisher: Harlequin Teen Australia
In a glittering underwater world, nothing is as it seems…
For the past twelve months since her parent’s 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 want’s 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…
Captive is the debut novel by Vanessa Garden, which tells the story of 17 year old Miranda Sun wanted to do was go for a midnight swim with her sister and tell her the secret that she had been keeping since their parent’s died the year before. But instead she is kidnapped and taken to an underwater city named Marin, where she is expected to marry their king, Marko and let the people their use her eggs so that they can be placed into the women of Marin, as are unable to bare children. But all Miranda wants to do is go back home and tell her sister what she has been hiding. But it seems the only way she can do that is if she grows close to the king. But will she grow too close and not want to leave?
What an amazing debut novel from Vanessa Garden. Captive gets right into the story from the first chapter and leaves you breathless until the very end. Vanessa has created a magical underwater city, called Marin and you will find no other underwater city like it. Many people may pick up this book and think that it is about mermaids but it isn’t. Normal people live in Marin and they wear normal clothes (which may be a bit outdated), have gardens, normal food and even animals like birds. The only main difference is that they are at the bottom of the ocean where nobody knows that they exist. They go up to sea level every once in a while and trade the pearls that they find with essential items that they need. It really is a magical city and I loved that it was powered by light crystals which sound amazing.
I have two favourite parts of the book and they are when Miranda finds a long lost friend (I won’t explain this too much as I don’t want to give it away) and the love triangle that is going on between Marko, Miranda and Robbie. These three are my favourite characters in the book and they all are for different reasons. I love Marko because he is determined to do whatever it takes to keep his kingdom safe, even if he doesn’t really like what that entails. He has had a hard life but despite that has grown into a fabulous ruler that most everyone loves and adores. In Captive he grows to really love Miranda even though he knows that she doesn’t really love him as much as she says she does. Then there is Miranda. Being plucked from your life and thrown into a world that people only dream would be really hard and I don’t know that I would be able to handle it. But she preservers and does what that they say but is always looking for a way back to the reality that she knows. But through all that she accepts Marko’s proposal and is set to marry him even though she knows that Robbie has feelings for her. And of course then there is Robbie. The boy that Marko saved from drowning and is now not only his best friend but like a brother to him after he threw himself in front of Marko’s father when Damir murdered him. Because of this relationship with Marko, Robbie has to hide his feelings for Miranda and not pursue what he is feeling as he feels he would be betraying Robbie.
As I have said I really enjoyed this book and will be eagerly awaiting the next books in the series to see where Vanessa Garden will take us.
About the author
Vanessa Garden lives on the coast of Western Australia with her husband, their three chatty children, and three calming goldfish. When she is not writing, Vanessa can be found at the local bookstore where she works part-time. Being a bookseller as well as an author, Vanessa loves nothing more than immersing herself in the exciting world of books. When she is not gushing about her favourite reads to customer, or dreaming up her next novel, she enjoys spending time with the people she loves most.
Interview with Vanessa Garden
Today I have been given the amazing chance to interview debut author, Vanessa Garden. So everyone say a big hello to Vanessa Garden.
Thanks for having me, Jessica.
First off congratulations on the release of Captive. You must be thrilled?
Thank you. I am so happy that I get to share the world inside my head with fellow booklovers! I do hope readers enjoy Miranda’s story.
For those people who haven’t read Captive yet what should they expect and why should they read it?
‘Captive’ is about a seventeen year old girl who is dragged underwater while out for a midnight swim at a secluded beach. She awakens in a glittering underwater city where she is expected to marry a nineteen year-old king whose throne is under threat.
I loved the underwater world of Marin that you have created. What is your inspiration for it?
Thank you! I grew up by the seas and as a child I would often wonder what secrets lay hidden beneath its depths. The actual story and characters were inspired by a song. As I listened to it for the first time, Miranda and Marko appeared inside my mind. They were standing before each other and were surrounded by a beautiful garden. I knew in that instant they were somewhere special, in another world.
Who is your favourite character in Captive and why?
This is a really tricky question to answer as I love each and every one of them- even the characters considered unlovable! Can I say that I love Miranda and Marko equally? No? Okay, then, I have to say Marko. He is so interesting to write and I find myself learning new things about him each day, which is exciting as a writer. I love it when a character closely guards their secrets because it drives me to keep writing about them in order to reveal those secrets.
Did you always intend to make Captive a series?
After I finished Captive I knew two more books needed to follow. I plan to write a prequel as well.
Who were your favourite authors when you were growing up and were they the ones that inspired you to become an author?
As a child I loved all the classic fairy tales. I remember being obsessed by a story called ‘Mother Frost’. For years my sister, best friend and I would perform it as a play for anyone who wanted to watch.
Also, my mum has always been a great storyteller. She was born on an island in Croatia and grew up in a tiny village. The village graveyard is high up on a hill and surrounded by a spooky forest. My mother has a great knack for telling spine-tingling tales about those very graves. These were the same stories told to my mother as a child by her parents and grandparents. I love tales passed down through generations, and now I’m sharing those very tales with my kids.
As a teenager, I went through a mad Christopher Pike phase. He is great at writing teen novels that are unputdownable. But my absolute favourite author would have to be John Steinbeck. When I read ‘Of Mice and Men’ as a fifteen year old I knew then I wanted to be a writer.
Thankyou so much for answering my questions Vanessa and allowing me to be part of the Captive blog tours. It has been a pleasure having you here and I have enjoyed getting to know you more.
Thank you, Jessica. It has been so much fun and an absolute pleasure chatting with you.