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 Living off the land and clinging to an outdated religion holds his village back.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?
Williamson is a master story-teller. Her characters grab you and pull you in – you don’t read about what happens to them, you experience it with them. There are lots of characters, but each so uniquely crafted that it’s never confusing. Her post-apocalyptic society is disturbing, but hopeful. You can visualize the villages and Safe Lands, feel the vapors, hear the music, and sense the turmoil. Williamson tackles some serious issues – drug and alcohol abuse and infertility treatments – but she does it in a way fitting of a YA novel (letting you feel the characters’ desperation so you understand their use of stimulants). Where The Hunger Games dragged on, telling you what happened from a disconnected point-of-view, Captives drags you into the stories and the characters’ lives.
My only beef was the ending. I hate the ‘wait-till-the-next-book’ endings (though I know they’re often needed/appropriate in an action series), though it did wrap things up nicely.
What I especially like about this book is that it’s gripping, engaging, and fast-paced, even though it’s Williamson’s sixth (?) novel. She doesn’t disappoint!
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions are my own.