One choice could destroy them all.
When eighteen-year-old Levi returned from Denver City with his latest scavenged finds, he never imagined he’d find his village of Glenrock decimated, loved ones killed, and many—including his fiancée, Jem–taken captive. Levi is determined to rescue what remains of his people, even if it means entering the Safe Lands, a walled city that seems anything but safe.
Omar knows he betrayed his brother by sending him away, but helping the enforcers was necessary. Living off the land and clinging to an outdated religion holds his village back. The Safe Land has protected people since the plague decimated the world generations ago … and its rulers have promised power and wealth beyond Omar’s dreams.
Meanwhile, their brother Mason has been granted a position inside the Safe Lands, and may be able to use his captivity to save not only his people, but also find a cure for the virus that threatens everyone inside the Safe Lands.
Can Mason uncover the truth hidden behind the Safe Land’s façade before it’s too late?
I’ve been dying to read Captives since I first heard that Jill Williamson was writing a new book. I’m a huge fan of her novels, and Captives didn’t disappoint. My sister actually read it before I did and we spent the weekend gushing over how much we loved Jordan’s antics, thought Mason was adorable, and felt horrid for Shay.
Not to mention the epic worldbuilding. I despise most dystopians because the worldbuilding is so blah and sparse. The world in Captives? As heartbreaking as the Safelands are at times, Mrs. Williamson put so much thought into her world. I could picture everything as I read through the story. My sis and I had too much fun going through her inspiration board on Pinterest for Captives.
Basically, I adored Captives. Sure I had a few issues with it, but I always do with books. I felt some parts of the story were rushed, and I wish we had gotten to see more of Mason. However, the writing is brilliant. All the character voices are so distinct and I still can’t get over how unique they all are. You have sweet Shaylinn, temperamental and hilarious Jordan, snarky Naomi, poor broken Omar, Ciddah who is just trying to stay strong and survive, and Mason who is just trying to keep it together for everyone.
Levi and Jemma took awhile to grow on me. At first they annoyed me, but towards the end I felt bad for Levi and appreciated Jemma’s tender heart. All the other characters? Oh. My. Goodness. I loved most of them from the start. They were so real and alive with all their quirks and flaws. I need the sequel because not only was the cliffhanger at the end brilliant, but I’m far too attached to them.
Captives also made me think about what would happen if I was thrust into this situation. Would I handle everything wisely or would I make some rash choices? Sadly, I’m leaning towards the latter. I’d be dead in a few days. I’d make a ton of snarky and sarcastic comments, quite possibly attempt an escape that would go terribly wrong and well….I just wouldn’t last. My sister pointed that out the minute we met Jordan and Naomi and I grudgingly have to agree with her. She on the other hand would probably pull a Mason. (She’s smart like that.)
I just really enjoyed this novel. Jill Williamson wrote about such flawed and human characters. They messed up, made mistakes, but still kept trying. I loved how in depth the worldbuilding is, and how much of the world she showed us through the different POV characters. I felt like she did a great job balancing action, emotion, and subplots. It’s not very often that I can read a novel and say that the characters were so very HUMAN. And I mean that in the best possible way because Captives was amazing.
You can find a copy of Captives at Amazon.com.
In a nutshell, I’m giving Captives 4.5 stars. There are some thematic elements that may disturb young readers so I’m recommending this for ages 15+. There was implied alcohol use, drug use by a minor, thematic elements, and implied adult content. I appreciated that Mrs. Williamson showed enough to make readers think, while still not being graphic. She handled it perfectly so I’ll leave that up to parents.
Thanks to Jill Williamson for sending me an ARC of Captives in exchange for my honest review.
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Check out the rest of Team Novel Teen’s review (and most also have a giveaway!) of Captives below.