Publisher: Forever Yours
Release Date Out now
AN IMPOSSIBLE JOURNEY
The last thing Addy Dawson remembers is a blazing inferno and freezing river water overtaking her lungs. When she awakens, Addy finds herself on a strange, alien planet, trapped in a cell with no doors, no windows– and to her horror– a naked warrior who claims to be her mate.
AN UNDENIABLE PASSION
An alpha gladiator, Max is forced to breed and produce the finest specimens for the Survival Race, a deadly blood sport created by the alien rulers of Hyborea. To rebel means torture – or worse – yet Max refuses to become the animal his captors want him to be. But their jailers will not be denied, and soon Addy and Max find themselves unwilling players in this cruel game. Pushed to the limit, they will risk everything for the chance at a life free from captivity. And though fate brought them together as adversaries, Max and Addy will discover that when they’re together, there’s nothing in the universe that can stop them.
*Blurb taken from Goodreads*
When Forrest Ranger, Addy Dawson wakes up naked in a boxlike room and learns she has to ‘breed’ with a gladiator, Max who has been chosen to be paired up with her, she is none too pleased. But Addy is shocked to learn that she is not on Earth anymore but on the planet of Hyborea where Bigfoot-like aliens have had humans have been abducted for their amusement. Addy refuses to accept her status as a broodmare but is horrified to learn she is soon pregnant even though she never consummated her mating with Max. But facing a future where her child is sold either to be a gladiator or even worse a sex slave if it’s a girl, she soon plots a way to escape the human enclave she has been placed in. However her circumstances force her to team-up with Max to escape the enclave after she catches the wrath and worse, dark desires, of a brutal gladiator called Regan who is the lead champion in the games.
I had the book tingles when I was offered to review CAPTIVE. It had all the hallmarks that I love in a Sci Fi romance and who can turn down gladiators, aliens and battle to survive and escape enslavement. Although I was wary about the mating and baby making trope which is a huge premise in a lot of Sci Fi romance and I am a bit tired of that. But the setting and tone of the book was gritty and harsh and I loved the PLANET OF THE APES feel which had humans being treated like commodities or beloved pets. The juxtaposition between apelike aliens having technology so far advanced that they could revive dead people added an interesting dimension to the story – especially with setting up the premise of gladiator games.
I also really liked how the theme of humanity was stripped down to basic and primal instincts and how that connected with how the gladiators were trained and how the women were reduced to sex slaves and baby factories. This environment was so stark and brutal in tone. I liked how the contrast of Bigfoot-like aliens treating humans like animals. It was a very neat cool twist in particular, and how this linked with Max’s feelings about being stripped bare of his identity and feelings about being viewed as a beast because of the way Hyboreans treated their captive humans. Yet, when he is confronted by Addy’s stubbornness and refusal to accept her new status as a pet slave and broodmare, he comes more alive and this helps to ignite their attraction to something much deeper.
I felt the story really got going after they escaped the enclave when Addy learns about a refuge in the south that is much warmer than the frozen tundra that the Hyboreans prefer. The refuge is also situated in an area where the aliens are unable to enter due to electromagnetism which affects their minds. During their journey, the world-building and setting is explored more fully with the different type of societies and alien encampment which was interesting and it really helped to paint this world in a vivid light.
However I felt the romance needed a bit more of a push because while I felt the tension between Max and Addy was strong I did feel some of the momentum was lost because there was a lot of mistrust between them which didn’t get resolved until the midway point. It was only then their romance developed the emotional side of their relationship which took too long for me. But I did love how they bonded over the birth of their baby which was one of my favourite scenes in the book, and it was a bit of a surprised and a twist which I liked because I am not a huge fan of babies in on-the-run stories but it definitely worked!
Nonetheless, I did have some issues with the ending and that was the deus ex machina plot device which I felt diminished the impact of the event leading up to the climax. I wished it hadn’t happened because I didn’t think it was needed and it felt a bit of a cheap shock. At the same time it was so very brutal and horrifying and it did emphasize the themes of the book and that was a huge strong-point for me.
But overall, CAPTIVE had a tight plot with an engrossing world and an interesting take on aliens and humanity. Although I wished the romance was much stronger especially leading up to the realisation and acceptance of the feelings between Addy and Max. They were engaging leads and the story kept me glued to my e-screen. I think K.M Fawcett has created a unique and mysterious world where we just scratched the surface.
I give CAPTIVE a B-