AWW16: Captive by Amanda Pillar


Civilization has ended.

Vampires, werewolves, and the Graced are at war with their human creators, and humanity is losing. But one girl might hold the key to salvation. Held captive with her fellow humans by alpha Wolfgang and his pack of weres, Laney secretly inches ever closer to breaking were and vampire blood dependency forever.

But Laney doesn’t have long. Their numbers decimated by plague, humans are being kidnapped and reduced to livestock. And when Laney and her sister are kidnapped by a neighboring vampire clan notorious for its “farming” of humans, their only hope lies in Wolf – who doesn’t know the shocking secret Laney has gone to great lengths to conceal.

With their lives and the future of humanity in the balance, can Laney and Wolf learn to trust each other before their races cease to exist?

Published by Momentum.

This review is presented as part of my commitment to the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2016.

I purchased this book.

Note: I have worked with Amanda Pillar as an editor and consider her a friend; this does not influence my review of this work.


Captive is a novella-length prequel to Graced, Amanda Pillar’s debut novel.  In Graced, the reader was introduced to a world populated by weres, vampires, humans, and the Graced, humans whose coloured eyes signify psychic abilities such as telekinesis and healing.  Captive takes the reader back in time to a post-apocalyptic time between the modern world and the world as it would become in Graced.

We follow several characters in Graced.  The were Wolfgang and the sisters Laney and Jane, who have been hidden by their Graced brother Quin in a camp used by the weres essentially to farm humans.  At this point in time, both weres and vampires require humans as food – vampires consume human blood, and weres eat human liver.  The safety of both Laney and Jane – as well as the secret Laney is hiding – is in jeopardy when both of the girls are captured by a vampire clan and kept captive in one of their camps.

It needs to be said up front that in order to get the most out of the novella, the reader is best to read Graced first.  This allows a good grounding in this world and its supernatural beings, and deepens a lot of the events that happen in Captive.

Pillar’s strength in Captive, as in Graced, lies in her characters.  Even in this shorter length, all of them are well-developed and have distinctive voices.  We only see Quin through diary excerpts, and even his voice stands out (and those entries may have made me chortle more than once).  All of the characters are strong, and all are intelligent, most especially Laney with her medical and scientific knowledge.  There are no damsels in distress here, no women waiting to be saved.

There are many links to the modern world here, with plots that deal with technology and genetics.  In all of these arenas, Pillar has done her homework, and all of it reads true (as a side note, I’m a trained geneticist and I get picky about this!).

My only real complaint is that there is a lot of plot and character development in this relatively short work; there’s definitely enough here that this could easily have been expanded into a full novel.  There are a few plot points that feel a bit rushed because of the length, but nothing that detracts overmuch from enjoyment of the work.

If you’ve read and enjoyed Graced, you’ll find a lot to enjoy in Captive, too.  There’s a lot more information about the world, and there’s a direct link to Graced as well at the end of Captive.  I finished wanting to know even more about the world and would happily pay for a dozen more books exploring this world.



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3 Responses to AWW16: Captive by Amanda Pillar

  1. Pingback: AWW16: Survivor by Amanda Pillar | The Forest of Books

  2. Pingback: Australian Women Writers Challenge 2016 | The Forest of Books

  3. Pingback: AWW2017: Bitten by Amanda Pillar | The Forest of Books

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