Captive – Volume One of Beautiful Monsters
Genres: Fantasy, LGBT Literature
WARNING: Mature Content
Matthew Callahan has spent seven years struggling against the insatiable hunger for blood consuming him. Unable to stop the vampire inside from preying on humans, he keeps himself confined to a lonely existence.
Everything changes the night he is lured into a trap and taken prisoner by High Lord General Tarrick–a seductive incubus who feeds off sexual energy. Forced into the middle of a war between vampires and incubi, Matthew is used as a weapon against his own kind. Although he’s desperate for freedom, he is unable to deny the burning desire drawing him to the incubus general he now calls Master.
What I think of the book:
The first thing that comes to mind is: the parts that are good, are good, but there’s this one scene…
Okay, let me elaborate.
First off, in case you didn’t get that from the blurb and my warning: Captive is a book for a mature audience.
There’s violence and there’s sex… Lots of sex.
Am I complaining?
The sex actually serves a purpose here. A major purpose. I loved how that was weaved in with the rest of the plot. There’s also some variety as there’s guy on girl action and also guy on guy action.
With that being said, the sex scenes were the least impressive thing in the book. I’d give those parts a four out of five. Except for one particular scene that was actually a three.
Why did I have a problem with that scene?
One of the main characters – the Master – is an incubus and he was injured during a fight, which prompted the other main character – Matthew – to offer him some sexual healing.
I know that in the world Jex Lane created, sex really does heal the incubi and succubi so I realize how this scene is important to the book and I also realize it has to be taken seriously, but I couldn’t help but laugh – literally choke with laughter – at Matthew’s efforts to heal his Master.
And hence the low rating of this particular scene; it was supposed to be serious, but it made me cry with laughter. If Captive was a humorous book, I’d be giving this moment a six out of five. Yes, I found it that funny.
This is one of the two things that didn’t sit well with me in the book.
The other one was that yes, Matthew battled with his bloodlust and it took him a while to learn to feed without killing people, but every other skill he picked up with a snap of his fingers. However, I realize that there’s a lot for him to learn and if the author took the proper time for Matthew to hone his skills, the readers would get bored so this annoyed me a bit, but not enough to put me off the book.
Everything else I found from okay (the rest of the sex scenes) to I-really-don’t-want-to-put-this-book-down (pretty much everything else).
I like the characters, I connected with a lot of them and, oh, God… Matthew!
This. This character made me feel so much.
Throughout the book, he battles with his desires and obstacles that enemies and supposed friends throw at him. He never knows who he can trust and neither will you as the reader. As circumstances change, so does his opinion on the rest of the characters and along with his – yours.
I swear, I still don’t know if I should trust the incubi or the vampires!
Probably neither, but then again I really want Matthew to finally find some people he can trust and depend on, for him to fit in… And this is exactly what he want too.
See what I mean?
Jex Lane plays with Matthew’s mind, making him one of the most sympathetic characters I’ve come upon, someone that I want to read about.
And as much as I love figuring something out before the narrator and gloating later when I was proven right, I also love the element of surprise and Captive manages to keep surprising me.
The last thing I want to point out is that this isn’t just a book of people banging each other.
We are introduced to two main distinct non-human races and the possibility of meeting a God and a Goddess in later volumes (oh, and there’s a kitsune; I love kitsunes!). Each race has their own customs and their own abilities and we get to explore those alongside Matthew in his journey to self-discovery.
Even better: the races are at war so we are treated with a rather enjoyable doze of action, ranging from small fights to a battle with hundreds of warriors on each side.
Who I would recommend this book to? I’d recommend Captive to a mature audience of Fantasy lovers, seeking (or at least not minding) LGBT content.
My rating: (4.5 out of 5 incubus wings)
Would I re-read this book? Yes, but probably selectively, skipping some parts.
Would I buy other books in this series or by this author? I’m interested in Volume II.
Where can you buy the book?
- amazon.com (the link takes you straight to the book)
Other books by this author that I’ve reviewed:
- Sire – Book II of the Beautiful Monsters series
- Broken – Book III of the Beautiful Monsters series
- Pearl and the Dread King – a Beautiful Monsters short story (can be read as a standalone)
- Dark of Night – Book I of the Ashwood Red series (set in the world of Beautiful Monsters)
Have you read Captive yet?
What did you think of it?
Share in the comments!