Rachel Haimowitz's Reviews > Captive

Captive by Scarlet Blackwell
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's review
Jan 30, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: contemporary, m-m, slave-capture, short
Read on January 30, 2011

I think I spent this entire book rolling my eyes. The writing was solid on the sentence level but a train wreck everywhere else. One protagonist was TSTL (Gabriel), and the only reason he did live was because the other protagonist, Ethan--the one with the gun who Gabriel insisted on alternately antagonizing and fantasizing over despite the fact that Ethan broke into his house, cuffed him, called him a fag, threatened to kill him repeatedly, even pistol whipped and beat him--had roller-coaster sized mood swings that came out of nowhere and lacked any clear motivation. The whole thing read like a bad porn fantasy--you know, the kind where you answer the doorbell to discover that the pizza guy isn't wearing any pants, except this time with capture and abuse. Now, I'm as prone to fantasize over capture and abuse as the next gal (probably much more so, tbh), but I need organics; I want the characters to act like sane people with motivations that make sense, rather than do what the author tells them to because the author requires a certain behavior to drive the story.

Even worse than all of that, at the end (view spoiler), of course, and we should have seen that coming because it was the only way that the prior 9/10ths of the novel made even the remotest smidge of sense.

I got this with a 50% off coupon at Fictionwise, so for $2 I don't particularly consider it time or money wasted (see above re: my love of capture fantasies), but it really was just not at all well done on a structural, plot, or character level and I don't think I could in good conscience recommend this to anyone.
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Reading Progress

39.0% "The writing on the sentence level is fine, but the story overall is cringingly bad so far. Character motivations are superimposed by the author to deliver a captive fantasy so far from realistic that I'm wincing and rolling my eyes every two or three sentences. I'll probably stick it out though because all the reviews said there's a twist at the end and I'm curious."

Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Penny (new)

Penny Watson Cripes. This sounds like Trainwreck City.

Rachel Haimowitz Pretty much. But I did finish it, so I guess there's that.

Rachel Haimowitz I've heard this from some other people as well on my blog--that I should try her other works. Her writing on the sentence level is solid, whereas usually in this genre it's the other way around: people tell great stories with great characters but lack the technical/craft skills to construct a sentence or a paragraph, and unfortunately, I have about zero tolerance for that; those books end up being DNFs for me because I can't get past it. But with her that clearly won't be the case, so I'm definitely willing to give her another shot.

message 4: by Jen (new)

Jen DINGDONG. It's the Pizza Guy! :D

Rachel Haimowitz Merry wrote: "DINGDONG. It's the Pizza Guy! :D"

LOL, hang on, lemme put some pants on :-p

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