Anagha's Reviews > The Captive Part II / The Power

The Captive Part II / The Power by L.J. Smith
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's review
Nov 24, 2011

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Recommended for: If you are watching The Secret Circle on TV, you should probably read it too
Read from August 02 to 06, 2011 , read count: 1

** spoiler alert ** Originally posted in my blog (be sure to drop by!):

For once, I thought it was acceptable to put spoilers, since we're going to watch it all on TV soon anyway ;) THIS IS FOR ALL BOOKS OF SECRET CIRCLE!

Review: Sixteen-year-old Cassie is furious when she is forced to move from sunny California to a dilapidated old house in the middle of nowhere – all for a grandmother she never has never known. After a week of humiliation by the school bully, she meets Diana, who introduces her to the group of friends that “rule” the school. She is drawn to Diana’s beauty and concern and they become fast friends. She often feels like she is part of their group, but is excluded from some secret, which turns out to be that they are all witches, even Cassie. Cassie is quickly initiated.

In The Captive, the Circle is beset by dark forces-from the skull Adam dug out.
The whole group must cooperate if they want to fight this powerful magic. Meanwhile, Adam and Cassie become very close, and they admit to their mutual love, but decide to keep quiet about it. In the third part of the Secret Circle series, Faye is enraptured by the power of the skull is determined to have it all to herself. She blackmails Cassie into getting it for her, while slowly influencing many of the members to side with her instead of Diana. She thus cheats her way to head of the Circle. With Faye as leader, the Circle breaks into chaos. The spirit in the skull is revealed to have enormous power, but by the end, shy, quiet Cassie leads the group to the defeat of Black Johm.

Overall, I liked the first book well enough. It’s the kind of book you would read in one sitting. It definitely drew me in
and held my interest, and I couldn’t wait to get the sequel, but I’d probably forget it pretty soon if it weren’t for the coming TV show. I was dissatisfied with a couple of things: 1) The tests to join the Circle are treated as if they were a big deal, but if I recall correctly, all Cassie had to do was not have fear in her heart (LOL!) and step into the Circle with the dagger to her throat. This was the proclaimed “tests”. Not that big a deal.

Another thing that seemed incomprehensible is that these two (Adam and Cassie) are teenagers and together for no more than twenty minutes, and they’re in love? That’s a bit ridiculous, don’t you think, even with magic? I say it’s the raging hormones. Lol. I thought the characters were well-developed, but the physical characterization was a little too obvious. White for purity, and black for evil - it’s as if the author is punching you with a great big “DUH”. But it's all good because Faye (the evil one) redeems herself in the end. Woot!

Lastly, I am a tiny bit disappointed that it is being made into a TV show. For one, scriptwriters take the book and do crazy things with just to keep it going, which usually degrades the actual thing. And secondly, if you wanted to start yet another paranormal TV show, why this one? Why not Richelle Mead’s series? Why not something by Lauren Kate, Amber Kizer, Melissa de la Cruz, or even Maggie Stiefvater? This book is perfectly average compared to other books of the same genre. Just because one series has produced a hit doesn’t mean you should jump on board with every series produced by that author.

I enjoyed the second book much better than the first one. Now that the first had set the pace, this one got to be filled with many of the action moments, which I enjoyed immensely. One thing that hasn’t changed since book 1 is its predictability. I could guess the skull’s relationship to Cassie by the end of the first book, and it is obvious she will be voted leader and will fix everything (she is, after all, the protagonist). At the end of the day, I like the message this book sends to girls, but plot and narration have a lot more work to do if they want to reach out to a wider audience. With that said, the book series and its author has its own set of fans, and I totally respect and support that.

*I don't usually bash books like this-I apologize!
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