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*****Though this book is a standalone novel, it is highly recommended that it NOT be read without reading the other books in The Captive Series first as it does contain spoilers. This book is set in the past but it is not meant to be a historical novel. Special pre-order price will only be available for a limited time after release.*****

In The Captive Series the vampire king that decimated the human and vampire races was introduced, but now it’s time to meet the man that existed before he became a tyrannical king.

At twenty-five, Atticus is the last surviving member of the most powerful line of vampires, and is known as a prince amongst his kind. The life of luxury and privilege he’s always known is about to change in ways that he never could have seen coming though. Ways that will forever alter the course of his life, the lives of all those around him, and the history of the world.

With his life shattered and an all-consuming thirst for revenge the only thing keeping him going, he is left with only one realization…

Sometimes what rises from the ashes of a broken man, is a monster.

Mature YA/New Adult. This book contains some language, violence, and sexual situations. Recommended for ages sixteen and up.

Edited by Leslie Mitchell at G2 Freelance editing.
Cover art by ebooklaunch

Blurb and cover from Goodreads.

3 out of 5 stars

It hurt me to slap on those 3 stars, it really did. I love this series as well as the author’s other vampire series, but this one just…fell flat on its dear little face. The previous book, Redemption, was without a doubt the best in the series, so I had high hopes for this one, but…I felt as if there was something missing from the story.

The plot:

Technically, this is book 0.1 in the series. It takes us back roughly 900-and-something years to medieval England where Atticus, known only as “the king” through most of the earlier books, is a young vampire aristocrat barely in his twenties. He meets and bonds with a young peasant vampire, Genevieve or Genny, and we learn how deeply the series’ villain once loved. This is an exploration of how Atticus became as warped and twisted and psychotic as he did, breaking your heart into tiny little shards by the end.

The better part of the book is the last quarter or so, in my opinion. It felt to me like there wasn’t enough conflict and suspense in the early part of Atticus and Genny’s relationship. Yes, there were obstacles, but they seemed to overcome them too easily. Also, I thought it was cheating for the author to have them making out within the first few chapters. One should draw it out! Build up to it until there is no choice!

That lack of early conflict was my main objection. I thought there was so much potential with the various characters and their subplots to make things go wrong, but none of those juicy veins were tapped. I liked other elements of the story, but I just couldn’t get past that.

The characters:

So yes, I did feel horrible for Atticus by the end. We spent the first five books in this series hating his rotten guts, but then the author apparently decided it would be fun to make us cry for him. In his youth, he was very much like the hero of the first four books (who is also his son). Something Atticus himself notes in his journals toward the latter part of the story.

This book focused more on the male POV, but there were still chapters in there from Genny’s perspective. The story centered so much around Atticus that no other character really bears mentioning, but they had a sweet relationship and Genny was a good character. She’s like Aria more than a little in her tenacity and self-sacrificial mindset, furthering the parallel between Atticus and his son’s stories and breaking a reader’s heart even more.

If you’re a fan of The Captive series, then I certainly recommend this for the backstory if nothing else. But I’ve seen how well this author can write and I feel like she didn’t follow through. All the same, I’ll still be hanging on for new additions to this series.

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