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The Prey #2

The Capture

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This second book in the Prey trilogy is a harrowing story of survival as Book and Hope travel back to the eerie Camp Liberty, where Book was once raised to be hunted for sport, to save those left behind. With new twists, new turns, and a new love triangle, The Capture is a gripping adventure for fans of The Maze Runner.

Every night it was the same: dreaming of those Less Thans shackled in the bunker beneath the tennis court. I couldn’t let it go. As bad as the memory was, my dreams only made it worse....

It was why we had to get back to Camp Liberty. Why we had to free those Less Thans.

Book, Hope, and Cat cannot live with themselves—they cannot settle into a new free life knowing the rest of their fellow Less Thans and Sisters are still imprisoned. Now the teens must retrace their steps to save the others, destroy the compound, and thwart the evil plans of the Republic.

With new enemies lurking—deranged Crazies and ominous Skull People among them—the group must put their fate in the hands of unexpected allies, including the woman with the long black hair and Miranda, the daughter of the Skull People’s Chief Justice, who is drawn to Book. Both may come to their aid, but at what cost? As the teens race toward Camp Liberty, they must ask themselves what they’re willing to do to free their friends, for the path back is filled with even more danger as motives are questioned and relationships tested.

448 pages, Hardcover

First published January 19, 2016

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About the author

Tom Isbell

9 books90 followers
A graduate of the Yale School of Drama and the University of Illinois, Tom Isbell spent his professional career acting in theatre, film and TV, working opposite Robert DeNiro, Ed Harris, Helen Hunt, Lynn Redgrave, Rosemary Harris, Hal Holbrook, Anne Bancroft, Sarah Jessica Parker, John Turturro, Angela Bassett and others. TV credits include Designing Women, L.A. Law, Golden Girls, Murder She Wrote, Coach, Family Ties, Columbo and recurring roles on Jake and the Fat Man and Sisters. Film credits include 84 Charming Cross Road, Jacknife, Clear and Present Danger, The Abyss and True Lies. He was also the subject of a PBS documentary, Starting in Innocence.

He has written and performed three one-person plays, including Me & JFK, which has been produced in New York, Los Angeles and Egypt. With John Ahart, he co-authored Walt Whitman and the Civil War, which premiered at the Great American People Show in 1995.

As a director, Isbell has taken two productions to the Kennedy Center as part of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF): Dear Finder, a documentary play about the Holocaust, and The Movie Game, written by Adam Hummel. He is the former National Playwriting Program chair for Region V of KCACTF.

An associate professor at the University of Minnesota Duluth, he was recently named the Albert Tezla Scholar/Teacher of the Year, as well as a Horace T. Morse Distinguished Teacher, the highest undergraduate teaching honor given within the University of Minnesota. He is happily married to Pat Isbell, who is both an actress and elementary school teacher.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 75 reviews
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,727 reviews1,279 followers
January 15, 2016
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“Wouldn’t you rather have us fighting with you than not fighting at all?”

This was an interesting second instalment, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first book.

Book continued to fight for those still captured in this book, and went above and beyond, even when it put his own life in danger.

The storyline in this was about Book, Hope and the others going back to try and rescue the Less Thans and Sisters still held at the two camps, with some problems along the way. And yes, this included a ‘capture’, and another escape. I did find the pace to be a bit slow in this one though.

The ending to this was good, but it will be interesting to see where the story goes next.

6.5 out of 10
Profile Image for rachel, x.
1,719 reviews857 followers
July 9, 2016
I should have written this review earlier. It’s been about a week since I finished The Capture but I’ve already forgotten the majority of it. I cannot even remember how it ended! But anyway, The Prey was hardly my favourite book of the year so my expectations for the sequel were cautiously optimistic at most… and somehow it still managed to disappoint me.

For one, I just have to point out how useless this sequel was. I don’t know if I could ever possibly stress how literally pointless the events of this story were. If the stupid-ass decision that Book made at the end of the first book had been ignored, none of this would have had to take place. Literally none of it. And I just… I don’t understand the motivations of any of the characters in this sequel. Without getting into details it is difficult to translate the extent to which the plot just did not have to happen. Literally. So. Damn. Pointless. Ugh!

It didn’t help that I couldn’t muster the energy to care about the characters. Book was much more interesting than Hope, but neither of them were particularly decent, barely even tolerable. And their romance. God, it was awful. It was so forced and awkward. They were both pointlessly pining over each other and acting all jealous if they so much as looked at anyone of the opposite sex - yet whenever they had the opportunity to act on their feelings, they found a reason not to. It was so darn aggravating. It shouldn’t have been included.

… and we have to talk about the writing style. God, it was just as bad as The Prey. Somehow, though, that makes it worse. At least, with the last book I blamed it on being it being both a debut and an ARC copy, but this is a sequel - and a finished copy to boot - so there’s literally no excuse. I have no idea why some chapters were in first person past tense and others were in third person present tense. It made no sense. It didn’t flow. In fact, it was awkward and stilted. It made it hard to know who was doing what and when - how could the story be happening in both present and past tense!

Other things that were annoying, included:

• The plot holes
• The lack of world-building - there was some more, I guess, but it still isn’t enough.
• The secondary characters were dismissed so easily, and didn’t have nearly enough development.
• Did I mention that the romance was actually all kinds of ridiculous?
• It was far too long and plodding

Overall? I was disappointed by how little I enjoyed this. In fact, I didn’t really enjoy any aspect of this story that much. I’m scared that The Release will be even worse… at the very least, I’m going to have a very, very hard time remembering the details of this book until next year.
Profile Image for Serap.
692 reviews73 followers
May 7, 2019
Israf diyorum başka da bise demiyorum 🤐
Profile Image for Annette.
925 reviews26 followers
January 19, 2016
The Capture is the exciting sequel to The Prey, which I also really enjoyed.

Just so you know what this dystopian world is about, I've copied a bit of my review of The Prey:

This is a book about children after a radiation disaster. There are very few adults, at least that we know of. All the children are in camps for orphans. Some camps are nicer than others. Some camps aren't what they seem to be.

Hope and Faith are twins and they've been running and hiding for years with their father to keep away from the "brown shirts." After their father dies, they are captured and taken to a camp for girls. It soon becomes obvious that this camp is doing medical experiments on these children, and the prized children are twins.

Book is in a camp for boys. He thinks he's in training to be a soldier (they call them LTs, for Lieutenant, right?) He finds out that LT really stands for "less thans." All of the boys in the camp are deformed or deemed inferior in some way, and their future is far more bleak than they think.

Hope and Book end up escaping with a small group of other kids. So in The Capture, these two characters and their ragtag group are still running. Their goal is to save all the kids in both camps, the Sisters and the Less Thans. They will, of course, run into many obstacles on their way and face certain death more than once. They also continue to learn about this world and the plans of the devious people who are in charge. I'll just say -- it doesn't look good for the kids.

These books, part of The Prey Trilogy, are all about action. It's nonstop and it is constant danger for these characters. There is some relationship building and some shifting of positions within the group, but the action keeps you turning the page.

Which is why these are great books to recommend to reluctant readers. A girl and a boy as main characters, both smart and strong. Yes, there's a hint of romance but barely. Some of their narrow escapes, and there are several, are a bit too good to be true--but these are our main characters. And Mr. Isbell, I don't care what you do, but please don't kill them off!

I like how The Capture doesn't have a huge cliff hanger ending. We end with the kids in a relatively safe position. They aren't finished saving the world yet, but they've met some of their goals.

I will happily continue to recommend The Prey and The Capture to my students and look forward to the third book!
Profile Image for S61.
353 reviews
July 2, 2018
Wow this was a really impressive sequel to one of my favorite books from last year. Now, never will I say this is the best-written or most insightful story, but the entertainment factor is undeniable for me. I just had an amazing time reading this, and it really is a haunting, realistic dystopian world. Can’t wait to finish the trilogy off.
3 reviews
January 20, 2016
“Avid dystopian fans will anxiously await the next installment. " Truer words have never been written.

I have been waiting for the next chapter of Tom Isbell's brilliant Prey series since I finished reading the first book in the series 'The Prey.' I was fortunate enough to get my hands on an “uncorrected proof” copy of the book. I purchased my official copy this morning, and I'm already reading through it again. It’s that good.

Boy does Mr. Isbell deliver in this book. The Capture is a fantastic next chapter in The Prey series. It is a non-stop rollercoaster of excitement and thrills. It is riveting, engaging and a page-turner that turns the heat up.

Book, Hope, and Cat have decided to turn back and save the remaining Sisters & LT's before it's too late. They are met with more danger and new obstacles than they can imagine on the way back to their respective camps. They are also met with unlikely allies who they aren't sure whether or not can be trusted.

Mr. Isbell raised the stakes for this installment and all bets are off. I honestly couldn't put it down. Mr. Isbell knows how to make your heart beat fast and keep you enraptured in his characters world. His way of writing his characters has you feeling all the feels with them and for them. The last 50 or so pages had me in tears.

The budding relationship between Hope and Book just kept me wanting to know more. They are such a tumultuous couple and you just are cheering for them to be together even when everything is pulling them apart. I want all the Sisters and LT's to succeed and find the freedom they so desperately deserve.

I don't even know what else to say, but I know the conclusion to this series is going to be amazing.

Mr. Isbell has built a great rise in this series and now....I want the final book. ;-)

He has written a special book. Hopefully after reading this review you will be picking up your very own copy as well. You won't regret it.
March 30, 2021
¨The Capture,¨ by Tom Isbell is a great book that I read over the course of the 3rd marking period. I read this book using a hard copy that I got from the library. I chose this book because it is part of the ¨Gone¨ series, and previously, I read ¨Gone,¨ so I thought it would be fun for me to continue reading the series. The genre of this book is action and adventure. The main characters of the book are Hope, a girl who was on the run with her family, but then got captured and lived with the sisters; Cat, a runaway young officer who was found near Camp Liberty; and Book, a Less Than with a limp. The setting of this story takes place 20 years after the United States was destroyed by nuclear warfare, or what was called Omega. The United States was then rebuilt as The Republic, and there were territories controlled by leaders, or Chancellors. This plot takes place in the Western Territory, where Book, Cat, and Hope, venture back to rescue all the sisters and Less Thans from death.

After Book,Cat, Hope, and the small group containing some Less Thans and sisters that escaped got to the border of the Western Territory, Book decides he wants to go back and save the other Less Thans. Hope agrees with this, and wants to save the sisters also. Suddenly, many others agree and decide to head back to Camp Liberty and Camp Freedom. A couple days later, the group is awakened to an ambush by Brown Shirts, officers who work for the government! After a tragic fight, Cat is shot and taken away by the Brown Shirts. Shocked by the loss of Cat, Book suspects a traitor among the group, and he was right. The next day, Book is awoken to Dozer, Red, and two sisters claiming to be the new leaders, and that everyone must follow their rules. The days past as ¨King Dozer¨ leads them into danger. They hope onto a train and Book gets a vision that where they are headed is surrounded by Crazies, so everyone who isn't absurd enough to follow Dozer jumps off this train. Thankfully, everyone that jumped is safe and sound, and they all have one common plan, to rescue everyone. The group makes their way to Camp Freedom to free the Sisters when they discover the camp has been abandoned, and there are no signs of any Sisters. Book wanders off towards the infirmary, where he is caught by Hope, and is yelled at by her. Hope and the Sisters decide to leave the Less Thans because the girls cant trust Book, and the Less Thans let them go. Hours after they leave, the Less Thans are met by Chancellor Maddox, Colonel Westbrook, and Dr. Gallingham, the villains of the book. The Less Thans haven't been spotted, but they spot out Hope and the sisters in custody! Devising a plan to get out of the Camp and rescue the sisters, the less thans wait for the time to strike. About to make their move, Major Kartsen, Cat's father, secretly meets up with Book, and asks him what happened the night they lost Cat. Book told him what happened and is informed that Cat is somewhere in this camp. Book, sparing no time, heads for the infirmary to rescue the sisters and he successfully does it, but he also runs into Dozer. They fought until Dozer suffered defeat and the sisters and Book escaped. Running towards an exit, Book sees Cat hanging on a pole, being tortured, so he unties him and carries him to safety. Now that everyone is safe, they wait a couple days before resuming their plan. Following tracks left by Brown Shirts, they discover the Sisters are in a barn being watched by 5 officers. They infiltrate the barn and kill the officers and rescue the sisters, only to see they are more dead than alive. Realizing that these injured sisters can barely walk and need to regain their health, Helen, one of the sisters Hope traveled with, says that she will stay and watch over the sisters in a cabin by the mountains. Agreeing with this, the rest of the group head out to save the Less Thans. Days after the group left the camp, they are found by Skull People, who are labeled as the most evil people in the territory. As the newcomers, the group is tried by the Skull People's court when they are accused of spying on them for the government. Facing punishment, Book says that whoever captured them is lying and they aren't spies, but they are sentenced to labor. A couple days after they worked day and night, Book meets the leader of the Skull People, and meets his daughter Miranda. Miranda tries to make Book ¨like¨ her, but Hope interferes with their relationship. Book meets his grandma, the lady in his dreams that helped guide him towards the right path. They were able to have a nice loving moment and Book and his grandma tell each other everything they can. Then, danger strikes has the Skull People get infiltrated by Crazies, with the intent to kill everyone in their sight. Miranda shows the group the way out of the Skull base before they die, and they safely make it out, but they lose a lot of Skull friends on the way. Filled with anger and the feeling of revenge, Book and Hope devise a plan to finally rescue the Less Thans and kill Chancellor Maddox and her group of evil.
In the end, the group comes out victorious. They infiltrated Camp Liberty, rescued the Less Thans, and killed all the brown shirts and generals in Camp Liberty by causing an avalanche from using C4. But, Chancellor Maddox and Dr. Gillingham escaped the avalanche and is still alive. The group is now stranded in Camp Liberty surrounded by dead bodies and snow, and have lost some of their friends. Four Fingers sacrificed his life to take down Dozer, Major Karsten died(unknown), and Scylla disappeared under the snow. With the group's small victory, what will be their next step in saving everyone? This is the second book in this series, and there is one more, which is ¨The Release!¨ I didn't have a lot of questions when I finished this book, but there was one part that left me curious. My only question is How did Major Karsten die? Was it revealed that Cat was his son, or did he die to the avalanche? It was really confusing to try to piece this together.

I would recommend this book to three of my friends, Nico, Cristina, and Hussain. They are excellent readers and I think they would enjoy this book. In my opinion, I think this book is better suited for both audiences, boys and girls. I think this because you shouldn't judge something if you have never learned about it before. Yes, this book is appropriate for Middle School students. Of course, Mrs. DeSimone, you should read this book! But, you should read the first book in this series.
I think I did do a good job of reading this marking period. I think, if I utilize my time wisely, I can read more often and I can update Goodreads more than twice a week. For the next marking period, I should read in my freetime, before bed, or whenever I can. I should be more consistent when logging into Goodreads, and try to read at least 30 pages per a day.
Profile Image for Emily Beaver.
340 reviews43 followers
May 9, 2019
I won this book on a Goodreads giveaway thinking that the first book would be incredibly fun and thrilling. Unfortunately, the choppy sentences and terrible character descriptions are carried over into this book as well. Honestly, I wasn't too surprised with the overall content of this book. The plot twists were predictable as were the character's reactions. There's not much more to say, I covered most of it in the first book's review.
Profile Image for Bernie.
82 reviews
December 31, 2015
Could not put this down! Needed to know what happened next, every step of the way!
Profile Image for Dav.
849 reviews5 followers
February 9, 2022

The Capture by Tom Isbell.
Book #2 of The Prey series,
pub. in 2016, over 400 pages.

...Book and Hope travel back to the eerie Camp Liberty, where Book was once raised to be hunted for sport, to save those left behind...

[For Book] every night it was the same: dreaming of those Less Thans shackled in the bunker beneath the tennis court. [These LTs had graduated at age 17 and were suppose to have coveted jobs serving the Republic, but the horrid truth is they are secretly chained up until they can be sold to Hunters for sport killing]. It was why we had to get back to Camp Liberty. Why we had to free those Less Thans.

With new enemies lurking—deranged Crazies [occupying the ruins of cities and towns] and ominous Skull People—the group must put their fate in the hands of unexpected allies, including the woman with the long black hair and Miranda, the daughter of the Skull People’s Chief Justice, who [befriends Book].

...the path back is filled with even more danger...


The story of the return trip starts about a week after the end of book one. 15 teens (7 LTs & 8 Sisters) are headed back and right off things are not rosy for Book and his interest in Hope. As they camp each night, Hope is sneeking off into the woods with the handsome and talented Cat and doing who knows what. Book trys following them and is discovered and so only proves that Hope is lying to him. She's not just taking a walk by herself.

Out in this wilderness they come across bulldozers knocking over trees, clearing an area for a likely secret site for the Republic.

Hope has 2 motives for coming along: to discover what her father really did as a colleague of Dr. Gallingham who enjoyed torturing the girls at the camp for the sake of science and who referred to Hope's father as “Butcher of the West.” And to take revenge on the Doc for murdering her twin sister Faith and revenge on other officials in charge of this death-obsessed Republic.

One night Book sees someone sneeking out of camp, actually tiptoeing and moments later an ambush. Fifty to a hundred Brown Shirts attack, launch mortar rounds and the kids retreat. Much later one of the LTs (Red) confesses to informing the Brown Shirts in hopes of preventing anymore deaths. Cat's arm is badly wounded and Book makes the decision to leave him behind to save his life. The soldiers will get him to a hospital fast since, if he lives, they'll be able to interrogate Cat on all the details about the runaways. At the riverbank Hope convinces the group to jump into the rapids to escape and they float away to safety. Two girls died (1 shot & 1 drowned) and with Cat captured the group is now 12.

Dozer, the big, lying, bully of the group now takes charge with help from a few other teens who do his bidding and they disarm Book and blame him for Cat's capture. The Dozer plan is to escape South and forget about the LTs and Sisters imprisoned out West. Hope and some of the Sisters promise to help free the LTs if Book also helps them free the girls at their high security camp.

When the group crosses an east west railroad track, Book and Hope convince Dozer to hop the train until they can find water, then they'll continue South. Once they manage to run and jump on a passing train, Dozer accuses 6 of them of treason, plotting to go West for the rescue plan, and ties them up inside the railroad car.

Compelled by the dream women to leave the train, "Now!" Book has his dog chew off the rope bindings. Once the 6 "prisoners" kids are free they jump off the train and Dozer is given a parting kick in the cojones for having kicked the dog so hard it sailed out the open boxcar door.

The group has to avoid Crazies and the Orange Man hunters (the boss of the Hunters wears blaze orange) and head North, arriving at the girls camp pretty quickly. The camp is deserted, the 125 Sisters gone, but there's plenty of canned food and they rest up. As they search the buildings, Hope makes Book promise to stay out of the Infirmary, but won't say why. It's where the torturing took place - where her sister Faith was murdered by Doc Gallingham in a hypothermia experiment. Book goes in anyways hoping to gain insight into Hopes pain and sorrow. Outraged at his broken promise, Hope refuses to help them free the LTs at the boy's camp and she and the 3 Sisters leave following footprints down the road, maybe the direction the girls were taken.

Before Book can head out, bunches of Brown Shirts drive into the camp along with the Chancellor herself, the torture Doc, other officials, Dozer wearing a Brown Shirt's uniform (yup, he lied his way into being promoted from a Less Than human to a cruel guard), Major Karsten (Cat's dad) is among them and the 4 Sisters who had set out walking down the dirt road, which includes Hope, now prisoners again of the torture Doc.

Major Karsten confronts Book on the sly and learns Dozer is a liar and the Major wants help rescuing Cat who is secluded somewhere in the camp. Book also plans to rescue Hope and the Sisters, now back in the infirmary. Cat is found trussed up in the smokehouse. He's depressed over losing an arm and doesn't want to be rescued. Book starts a distraction fire, has a confrontation with Dozer and the gang all escape the camp sliding down a makeshift zipline right above the razor wire security fence.

Throughout much of the story Hope has an on-again, off-again interest in and hostility towards Book which keeps him guessing. It will all end well though with them professing their undying love at the story's conclusion.

The group of about 9 now follow the footprint road and discover items dropped by the Sisters and see numerous corpses. The gals are being marched somewhere and only about 60 are left alive. That night, when the guards and girls camp for the night, the gang subdues the 6 Brown Shirts and rescue the starving Sisters.

Hope finally opens up about the experiments and reveals that Cat had been helping her search in those particular woods for her childhood home. The place where Sgt. Dekker (a Camp Liberty officer) murdered mom when she wouldn't give up her twin daughters. Hope and Faith were hiding and dad was away hunting. Hope wanted to visit mom's grave. So, Cat and Hope are not lovers after all.

Book, Cat, a few LTs plus Hope and 2 other Sisters are on the long trek to the boy's prison camp (Camp Liberty), when they're abducted by the Skull People. They are the sworn enemy of the Repubilc, former scholars and politicians etc. They live in a huge, well designed subterranean system of caves and tunnels. Book and company are framed and put on trial for spying and sentenced to 30 years hard labor - doing routine jobs along side the cave dwellers. The corrupt Skull official is also a traitor and brings in the Crazies to kill them off and steal weapons and supplies.

With the attack going on, the gang of teens has the opportunity to escape and Book meets the old bedridden founder of the Skull People. It's the old women with long black hair from his dreams, actually she's from his memories. She's his Grandma, the one who raised him since mom died giving birth. Book has one leg shorter than the other, a Less Than and was captured by the Republic when he was about 4. The gruff Major Karsten is actually Book's guardian, he promised the Grandma that he'd keep Book safe at the camp and he has.

Finally the small group arrives at the LT's camp, which has changed in the many weeks they've been gone. The camp is now fenced-in, a huge pit has been dug outside the camp - a likely mass grave that's soon a flaming pit where Dozer will end up. In book 1, while snooping, Book and Hope found a letter from the Chancellor telling of a Final Solution- possibly the elimination of the LT's and the Sisters for a complete cover-up of the atrocities.

The remaing LT's are wasting away in one of the barracks - in worse shape than gals on the march. Major Karsten (Cat's dad) has been found out and is starving along with the boys.

Now one of the most ridiculous, unbelievable battles takes place. Book and company move the starving LTs to safety and using explosives procured from the Skull peeps they blow-up the camp generator and vehicle pool. The girls setup multiple crossbows that fire simultaneously and successfully battle the gun-toting Brown Shirts. To end the fight before the Hunters arrive as reinforcements, Book uses dynamite to start an avalanche (it's winter) that buries much of the camp and remaing guards. They don't know what happened to Chancellor Maddox (she's the former congresswoman who's head of the territory) and the torture-doc Gallingham.

Hope is missing and believed to be buried in the avalanche. Book deduces she may have sheltered in the bunker under the tennis courts. With the deep snow it takes awhile to locate bunker hatch and there she is, safe but damaged. Before the avalanche blast the Chancellor had captured Hope and carved an X into each cheek, supposedly making her repulsive to her beau.

And now in the bunker, Book professes his love and Hope, feeling like damaged goods, admits she has always loved him too.


Improbabilties abound, but the story is still engaging.

Profile Image for Amelia Jacobson.
100 reviews
June 8, 2017
I'm actually glad I decided to jump into the next book after that awful first book. Now, this wasn't my favorite book--not even close--but it was much better than The Prey .

I LOVED the part on page 404 And I have also discovered that I love Cat. I felt really bad for him (I know I'm supposed to feel pity for all of them, but I just laugh at the other characters suffering because I've wanted them to die for the 900 or so pages of this series I have read). I really enjoyed all the backstabbing and such. . . one of them was so great though you could totally see it coming.

Now, what I didn't like here we go. . .

1: The romance is STILL REALLY FORCED. 'Kay, gotcha. Totally believable, Tom Isbell.

2: Hope, get your thoughts together, girl. Make up your mind about which boy you love and stop towing poor Book along by a string. You keep giving little hints that you love him, then you're all like: "Ew, no. I can't. He'd just get in the way, or he'd break my heart, blah blah blah." JUST SHUT UP, YOU'RE THE ONLY HEARTBREAKER AND JERK WHO'S STILL ALIVE. Honestly Hope, just go jump off a cliff or something.

3: Twitch. He became blind, but then he wasn't? I just wasn't sure. . . sometimes it seemed like he was blind, and sometimes he wasn't. That bothered me a bit.

4: Hope, those people you wanted to kill, they only helped start in the murder of your sister. You finished it yourself, girl. Take responsibility for it.

5: In the end, when Hope and Book are finishing each other's sentences, one of them says: "Live today," and the other finishes: "Tears tomorrow." But I don't think Hope has even said that to him before, and it's something her dad--who Book didn't know--made up. Hope never even told Book the saying. That just freaked me out.

And that's it for now. I did like this book WAY more than The Prey, which I guess is why the hate isn't as strong. I still really, really, really hate the way the romance is, and I don't think I'm ever going to like it. I just don't see that as how real 16 year olds act at least, Hope isn't acting like a teen girl in MY opinion. If the romance could be a little more believable and WAY less forced, then I think I'd like this book quite a bit more.
Profile Image for Aparna.
499 reviews6 followers
July 10, 2020
Stars: 3 / 5
Recommendation: Hope & Despair; Friendships & Betrayals; Love & Hatred; Cruelty & Revenge; Rulers & Subjects; Captures & Escapes; every page gives you a variety in characters, emotions, plans, mishaps and terrors. A recipe for a dystopian novel successfully executed.

The Capture is the second book in The Prey trilogy by Tom Isbell published in January of 2016. The plot begins where it ended in the first book The Prey (https://inspirethoughts.livejournal.c...), with a group of Less Thans and Sisters heading back to rescue the rest.

The series is set in post-apocalyptic United States after the world was destroyed by nations who go on nuclear war against each other - an event called Omega. One enormous burst of electromagnetic radiation and everything electronic gets destroyed - no modern amenities left for common man to use. The US becomes the Republic Of The True America and divided into different Resettlement Camps and Territories. The Camps are handled by Military Sergeants, Colonels and Majors and myriads of Soldiers called Brown Shirts. The specific territory that this plot takes place in is the Western Federation Territory.

When I wrote the review of the first book in 2017, The Prey, I was pretty harsh with the book and had given a very low rating. However, I still wanted to read the series only because although it had loop holes, author kept the intrigue enough for readers to continue. However it took three years before I could go back to the series. Here is my take on the second book.

Twenty Six of them had crossed into Heartland, the next territory. But Book, a Less Than, and Hope, a Sister, along with thirteen others head back from Heartland to rescue the remaining hundred or so Less Thans still stuck at Camp Liberty. Now these young'uns face more hardships finding their way back; new enemies to fight; losing their own; divided interests; blindsided by betrayals and above all dealing with the emotions too heavy for such a tender age.

I missed it on the first book when I read but it dawned on me while reading this book that author Tom has put in a lot of boy scout principles and surviving skills in the plot as the protagonists continue on their journey.

As with any kind of dystopian novel, author shows the cruelty a human can inflict on another; mankind's capacity for evil; small reasons to hate others; keep people under the thumb for the sake of dominating - all facts a recipe for a rebellion to start soon.

The book is written in 3 parts - Part One titled The Road Back; Part Two titled Capture; and Part Three titled Return; - each of them subtitled with famous quotes. Each part's title inadvertently giving a concise of what we would find in just one word. Ingenious, I say. The entire plot is written in first person narration when the story is told from Book's perspective and normal manner when it is told from Hope or other's perspective.

Two of the protagonists fall for each other. Yet one of them makes one mistake, even if it is for greater good, the other one doesn’t seem to understand or forgive, even though time and again the first one came back to save the second one, numerous times. That particular feeling between them dragged for quite a bit in the plot. Could have been shortened.

As I said in the beginning, the first book lacked the grip to hook into the reader. However, this book definitely made up for it. Or perhaps I am reading it with a new perspective, not sure. Either way, I couldn’t put the book down until I finish it.

The plot does reflect on the cruelty to people, settlement camps and the ulterior motives of the so called rulers, the struggles the uprisers face in order to free their friends, the experiments conducted, the basic urge to stamp down anyone who doesn’t fit in a mold - all ear markings of a successful dystopian novel.

Hope & Despair; Friendships & Betrayals; Love & Hatred; Cruelty & Revenge; Rulers & Subjects; Captures & Escapes; every page gives you a variety in characters, emotions, plans, mishaps and terrors. Definitely worth reading the first book to get to this one. Now I cant wait to finish the conclusion.

Spoiler Alerts:

1. Plot reveals:
a. Last time in my review of the first book, The Prey, I had mentioned that Tom Isbell had acted in two episodes of Murder, She Wrote and for some reason he captured my attention which lead me to his books. What I forgot to mention was that before he came on Murder, She Wrote episodes, he was in another TV movie from 1990 titled Rest In Peace, Mrs. Columbo from the famous TV detective show Columbo. He portrayed the role of Sergeant Brady.
b. Some of the tactics that author Tom has his protagonists use are unique, and you wonder if anyone thought of them as means of defense like - creating a morphed version of Zip Line to escape from a sticky situation; Slide Logs to slide a huge tree across a bridge;
c. Media, Books and Music that are referenced in the book - 1960 film Inherit the Wind; Book quotes Shakespeare all the time (Henry IV, Othello, The Tempest, ); The Art of War, 5th Century BC Chinese book;
d. Of the 125 who were left behind at Camp Freedom in the first book, only sixty Sisters and Of the 150 who were left behind at Camp Liberty in the first book, only seventy-five Less Thans survived by the time protagonists got back to rescue them.
e. Hope was looking to find her childhood home along the way.
f. It is unknown if Miranda betrayed the protagonists in the end while escaping the tunnels of Skull People even though she gave a map for them to escape. She however flirts with Book and likes him.

2. Sub-Plots:
a. Various Territories:
i. Western Federation Territory - lead by Chancellor C Maddox
ii. The Heartlands Territory -
iii. The Skull People - have their own underground territory called Compound. Ruled by Council of Ten that includes Chief Justice. The founder of The Skull People, Goodwoman Olvera, is Book's grandmother. His mom was Maria who died giving birth to him. Others - Goodman Dougherty; Goodwoman Marciniak; Mirand "Mandy", Chief Justice's daughter; Goodman Jotson;
b. Less Thans other than Book who have escaped Camp Liberty - Cat; Flush; Twitch; Red; Dozer; Four Fingers. Book's dog Argos follows them. Cat is injured losing his left forearm, Twitch loses his sight in this book.
c. Sisters other than Hope Samadi who have escaped Camp Freedom - 19 of them escape; Diana; Scylla; Helen; Angela; Lacey;
d. Various groups the Less Thans and Sisters face - Crazies; Brown Shirts; Colonels; Sergeants; Mayors; Hunters (lead by a Man in Orange vest)
e. Camp Liberty - supervised by Sergeant Dekker, Major Karsten and Colonel Westbrook. Boys are kept here who are called as Less Thans. When they turn 17, instead of getting trained as Soldiers, are sent to Rite where they are used as Prey for Hunters.
f. Camp Freedom - run by Dr. Gallingham and Colonel Thorason, who have been experimenting on the girls who reside in the camp. All girls are twins by birth and are called as Sisters. Other Sisters - Sarah;
g. Dr. Galingham claimed that Dr. Uzair Samadi, father of the twin sisters Hope and Faith, was known as the Butcher of the West and had been an active participant in the experiments conducted on girls. Both their father and Faith are dead as of the first book.

3. Grammatical / Factual / Location / Historical / Character Errors:
a. On Pg. 116, Line 5, it should be "…lined up in tidy rows…"
Profile Image for Spencer.
1,242 reviews17 followers
September 20, 2020
Unfortunately, this trilogy didn't improve any for me in the second book.

I felt like this was a lot of the same. They (the main group) decide to make a stupid decision (heroic, yes. Stupid, also yes) to head back to their camps to save the rest of the children.

It felt very much the same as the first. Except that they ran into even more trouble (I guess the author had to up the ante some how) than the first story.
Profile Image for P.M..
1,231 reviews
August 19, 2016
There is always compromise from the reader to buy into the author's created world. That did not happen with this book. The only reason I finished it was because my neighbor was playing loud music and I couldn't sleep. I did like Argos.
Profile Image for Caroline.
24 reviews1 follower
January 7, 2017
Even worse than the first book, the writing is terrible and the female protagonist infuriating badly written.
Profile Image for Mr.C.Reviewer .
132 reviews
February 10, 2022

Hi everyone, Its Christopher the reader here and the book we are here to talk about tonight is The Capture. This book is the 2nd in the series. I read this book for the first time in February and it took me a day to finish reading. I am now going to talk about some of the book details. It was rated for readers aged 12 and up, and was first published on the 19th of January in 2016. It was told using 1st and 3rd person with it being in Book's and Hope's point of view. The book had 61 chapters. with each chapter being around 5-12 pages long. All together the book had 437 pages which also includes a prologue at the start.

- When I was reading this book I was in a reading binge, I read the whole series within a few days. I just couldn't put them down with each of the story. I loved that like with the first story, that this book was also set in parts, which mentioned a title and a famous quote. I liked the action and the funny scenes that the book had, I feel like it helped balance things out a bit. I thought that the character and place detail were good but could have been a little better. I really enjoyed the pacing with this book. I feel like this book explored the camps more and we get more of a feel on how many people they could hold and we also got more information about everything. I loved how much was in this book, it felt like a lot happened within this story. I found this book a bit hard to read at times. I did tear up a little reading this one. Like with the first book I still feel that all of the disabilities in the story could have been explored a little more than it was like with how they affected them, especially because of the conditions they were in within the story. I hope that it mentioned in the 3rd book but I don't think it will. I was happy that we got to read more about the characters again and that we got to meet some new faces in this one as well. I would have liked it a bit more if this book dived in further when meeting the Skull people and discovering more about them and their way of life as I found them interesting and wanted to know more.

- I really liked the characters that were on the journey with book, I loved the character development in this book. To me the main's as well as the side characters all felt fully flushed out. Each member of the group, I think had their very own personality. I just think that they were realistic and the other thing that I thought felt realistic was the romance part of the story.

-After reading this story I can say that I will definitely be reading the 3rd book in the series. I do hope that we will discover some of the answers to the questions that we as readers have been asking after reading both book 1 and two. I loved that this book was turned into an audible book as personally when I listen and read along I find that I gain a deeper experience with the book. I would like it if it was turned into a TV Show, If it ever does I would definitely go and watch it.

For each book that I read, I rate it out of 10, so for this I'm going to give it 9.3. Remember this was what I thought about the book personally and I suggest that you give it a go for yourself.
Profile Image for Dominique.
31 reviews
July 7, 2019
Let's just say this is the first series I read that I want it to end so bad but NOT because it's hot trash but because the characters ARE GOING THROUGH SO MUCH IT'S ANNOYING ME. stupid skull people captured hope, book, flush, cat, scylla, four fingers, twitch and others too. Then it was treachery with one of the councilmen of the skull people. Hope and Book's relationship makes me angry cause it's so confusing and utterly stupid that it makes sense. I'm rambling but it's true and Book found his grandmother amongst the skull people after the crazies came and started shooting and bombing all the skull people. BTW the skull people are against the True Republic of America.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Christian.
503 reviews2 followers
July 21, 2017
What a steaming pile of s#!t.

Isbell should have just titled this what it is...'The Divergent Maze Runners'...not one single original idea in there anywhere. While 'The Prey' was (at least) tolerable fluff, 'The Captive' is just a successive series of cliches stitched together like...a successive series of cliches. "There's a storm coming"? Really?? How does Book #3 begin..."It was a dark and stormy night..."?

Unfortunately, for me, I'm a completist. Book #3, here I come. ugh.
Profile Image for Dee Price.
873 reviews14 followers
August 14, 2017
After Book, Cat, and Hope lead the LT's and the Sisters to The New Territory, Book decides to return to free the rest of the LT's. With help from Cat, Hope, and a few others they make their way back to Camp Liberty but this time they face Crazies, Brown Shirts, and a few other surprises along the way.

This book introduces a brand new love triangle, along with new twists and betrayals. This book is just as action-packed as the Prey but unfortunately, Hope was also just as annoying!
Profile Image for Autumn Nester.
302 reviews
October 19, 2017
This book was just as good as the first one. They find out so many new things that define their mission, who they want to be, and how they want to change the world their living in. The only thing that I think would have made the book better was seeing more of the Skull Head way of life and where the relationship with Miranda would have went if it hadn't been so abruptly interrupted. But all of that last sentence is definitely personal preference.
Profile Image for David Francis.
66 reviews4 followers
January 25, 2020
I’ve been listening to this on audible. It’s a good post apocalyptic dystopian tale.
The story continues for Book, Hope and the gang after the conclusion of Prey. They are now on a mission more dangerous than the escape that they have already accomplished.
The anticipation of whether Book and Hope can finally figure out what they are feeling for each other keeps the chapters rolling along.
The spoiler was for Prey.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Krista Prichard.
73 reviews1 follower
March 4, 2021
Anyone else annoyed with Hope? Book is always there for her and she pushes him away. Then when he gets close to another girl, she gets jealous. She doesn't want him but doesn't want him with someone else...? She is selfish and annoying. You'd think that after everything they've been through she would want him bc life is short, but no.

Also, this book series is losing my interest. I don't think I will finish the 3rd book bc I'm not too invested in the characters like I am most books.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Reese.
3 reviews
March 2, 2022
I did not enjoy this book. There were some parts that were alright but looking over those it was a pretty boring and repetitive plot line. Hope gets mad and her and the sisters leave the less thens, then they get captured and the less thens free them. Nothing stood out to me and it felt like somewhat of a chore reading this
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
3 reviews
August 8, 2017
At first I was hesitant to read this trilogy, but after reading The Prey and The Capture I can fully admit I'm in love with these books so far. I relate to the character book more then I expected too.
Profile Image for Ella.
84 reviews
January 3, 2018
couldn't finish. the writing style was killing me! Story was just so un realistic and boring. i agree with all the other comments about characters and the background story. i really wanted to like this book.
Profile Image for Erin.
143 reviews69 followers
November 17, 2018
This book is full of twists and turns, the author makes decisions with the characters and plot that nobody would expect. I really loved the development of Cat, as well as the conflict inside of the group, which leads to many of the other conflicts Hope and Book find themselves in.
37 reviews2 followers
October 12, 2020
So glad I discovered this author. I really enjoy his books. Although intended for teens, the books are entertaining and the characters well developed. I plan on starting the third book in this series as soon as possible.
May 21, 2021
Nail bitting, edge of the seat, page turning, can’t read fast enough all the way through. I loooooved it. The best part was the background of some of the characters and how their friendships grew and dissolved. And the ending amazing. Good job Tom well done. Bravo.
Profile Image for J Johnson.
152 reviews1 follower
September 19, 2017
Awsome like the first one!! Keeping you on the edge of your seat!! Must read!!
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