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REVIEW: Captive by K. M. Fawcett

Dear Ms. Fawcett:

The concept of this book was pretty fascinating. Officer Addy Dawson is in the process of evacuating two mountain bikers from the a forest fire in the Klamath National Forest. She believes she strikes a hiker with her SUV and gets out to investigate. Someone runs off with her SUV, the fire has caught up with her, but she is hoping to get saved by the aircraft she sees hovering above her. Only when she radios in her location they tell her that there is no aircraft.

Captive FawcettShe passes out only to awake in a small room with a naked man who calls himself Max. Max explains she has been taken by Hyboreans, humanoid herbivores (based on their teeth) at least ten feet tall with dense fur over their entire body. They spoke and controlled things telepathically. Addy was captured to breed with Max, the reigning human champion.

For fifteen years, Max has been kept in captivity, either serving as stud or fighting for his life. All he knows now is fighting or sex and he is afraid that he can’t move beyond that. Another human character in the book, a younger competitor, serves as a juxtaposition to Max to show the reader how Max really has held on to his humanity.

Addy is both smart and dumb at the same time. She is shown using her skills as a forest cop by being observant of her surroundings, taking in the information and processing it. But she’s shown as dumb when she wants to escape with zero knowledge of the planet; how she will escape; and what she will need to escape.

The romance suffers a bit because Addy believes that Max did something terrible to her.  But when the explanation finally comes out Addy realizes that Max might be her only hope.  There are several humans in the book who help to explain both who her current owner is and why she should assimilate into life as a pet.  I liked that concept (it reminds me of the Porno for Pyros song “We’d Make Great Pets”).  Max fears that he is too controlled by his impulses and that either he doesn’t deserve Addy or he won’t be able to control himself from turning into a beast.

Without spoiling too much of the book, the best part of the story was the suspense feature. Addy learns that there may be a haven on the planet. Can she get there in time to avoid being raped by the evil human? Will she just decide that being a pet for life would be an acceptable way to exist? The penultimate scenes were full of exciting action sequences although it did seem a bit implausible in parts.

The worldbuilding needed a little work. Max, for all his 15 years of captivity, still spoke a lot of colloquial English. The Hyboreans had amazing capabilities such as the ability to bring a human back to life, multiple times. Why these creatures enjoyed humans so much wasn’t really explained well. Humans could be bought and sold but they seemed to be kept exclusively to breed males to fight in the Survival Races. Was that solely on this part of the planet or others?

I also felt the ending was a little too open ended for me given the circumstances. I’d be interested in reading more about Max and Addy. C+

Best regards,

Jane

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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

11 Comments

  1. Willa
    Jun 28, 2013 @ 04:27:16

    This looks interesting and different . . but the price! Ouch! £11 or roughly $16. For a new to me author – nope.

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  2. CaroleDee
    Jun 28, 2013 @ 05:27:33

    Loved this book :)
    I do agree that the end left me wanting, but it was just so refreshing to read something new and different. *I’ve been stuck in a bit of a reading slump lately*

    @Willa I guess the ebook version isn’t available in the UK, yet :(
    I tweeted the author and asked for some more info on the subject.

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  3. Willa
    Jun 28, 2013 @ 05:53:09

    @CaroleDee:

    Yes, no ebook available here as yet. Like you, was looking for something a little different. Enjoyed your review!

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  4. DB Cooper
    Jun 28, 2013 @ 07:08:50

    Not knocking the story, but reading the opening I was immediately struck by two things:

    1. In the first part of the film Conan the Barbarian, Conan’s early life depicted as a slave being used in pit-fighting competitions … and being bred.

    2. Robert E. Howard (original author of the Conan stories) set many of his stories in the Hyborian age, though that’s not an entirely original name in itself as the ancient greeks believed in a mythical race called the Hyperboreans.

    Just jumped out of my mind. Anyways, I’ll say the opening opening caught my attention (the idea of getting out of your vehicle, only to have it stolen and leave you stranded in the middle of a forest fire…and then being transported elsewhere). I’m not sure the resultant setting will hold my interest though. Does it really hold Addy’s interest?

    I mean my instinct right now is “of course she wants to fight and not give in to being a pet.” Is the narration and her character development such that “just being a pet” holds some appeal to her? Or is that just a stretch that author wants us to believe she is considering, even if we’re not convinced?

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  5. Mandi
    Jun 28, 2013 @ 07:14:43

    I liked the idea of this one too…I wish we had seen and learned more about the aliens and I thought the romance needed a bit of work but I loved the concept. I’ll be reading the next one.

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  6. Jane
    Jun 28, 2013 @ 08:11:18

    @Mandi – I thought it was an exciting book, but the action scenes were more interesting than anything else. I’m a little concerned about the next one because it seems to be less about the aliens and more about woo woo spiritual power. The “healing the wound” seems a little less interesting.

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  7. Jane
    Jun 28, 2013 @ 08:13:12

    @DB Cooper – She never wants to be a pet but the author tries to convince us that it isn’t so bad and maybe for Addy, it wouldn’t be but it’s terrible for Max. I think, as Mandi indicated, that if we had been given more information about the aliens that perhaps we might have believed the pet thing a bit more. The focus is really on Addy escaping and Max overcoming his guilt.

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  8. Jane
    Jun 28, 2013 @ 08:13:59

    @Willa – ouch indeed. For the US readers, it is quite low priced. I think $3.99?

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  9. Isobel Carr
    Jun 28, 2013 @ 09:04:38

    Shades of MZB’s “Hunters of the Red Moon” but with an ER twist. Could be interesting, but not if this is yet another book where the heroine’s ultimate lesson is submission.

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  10. Has
    Jun 28, 2013 @ 12:16:15

    I liked the book also although I agree there was some issues. But I liked the action sequences as well although I agree the romance could have been stronger. I did find the ending a bit problematic because I didn’t like how the deus ex machina element with the revival. I liked that the aliens and worldbuilding reminded me Planet of the Apes and how they regarded humans – I hope the next book goes more into that as well.

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  11. MaryK
    Jun 28, 2013 @ 17:10:58

    Well. This is another one I’ve had my eye on, and I’m still undecided. I like escaping captivity SF adventure plots, but the comments about the weakness and open endedness of the romance bother me. I think I’ll have to pass.

    ReplyReply

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