I received this book from the author/publisher for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.
When eighteen-year-old Levi returned from Denver City with his latest scavenging finds, he never imagined he’d find his village of Glenrock decimated, loved ones killed, and many–including his fiancée, Jem–taken captive. Now alone, 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 Living off the land and clinging to an outdated religion holds his village back.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 Lands have 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 the people of his village, but also possibly find a cure for the virus that threatens everyone within the Safe Lands’ walls.
Will Mason uncover the truth hidden behind the Safe Lands’ facade before it’s too late?
Captives is a futuristic America set in “what used to be” New York City. Unlike any other dystopian novel, the futuristic part is actually very realistic as well as accurate to dates (its set in 2075, which is in the not so distant future) making it a much more interesting read.
Though there is a lot of new technology to learn about as well as many different Main Characters, it is written in such a way that we don’t feel like everything is shoved down our throats at one time. It progresses at a decent pace and hooks us into the story while also informing us of the changes to our culture now.
When regarding the content, there is much that causes this book to require an older audience. The use of drugs, smoking, and alcohol is mentioned as well as demonstrated quite often, as well as sexual terms/references and plenty of kissing scenes that almost end in more. However, unlike usual dystopian novels, these things are not thrown in to “make the book better”, instead they reveal how bad the Safe Lands is and ALWAYS end with consequences. They are written about in such a way to make the reader want to stay away from at all times rather than to cause the reader want to try it because the character enjoyed it. This does not “excuse” the content, however I will not be deducting any stars from the rating because I was pleased to finally see an author make these things look bad rather than good.
Also in mentioning the above content, it throws it in heavy at first to paint a picture, however, the further into the series we get, it fades out because we know what happens “behind the scenes”, meaning that by the end of this book there is very little questionable content as well as a minimum throughout the rest of the series.
Overall, I am giving Captives a full 5 out of 5 stars for an audience of 15+. I do not recommend it to young teens at all.