On my continued journey of reading self-published works, March’s book was Captive Hearts by Natasja Rose. Captive Hearts wasn’t a partially long book. I read it in a morning sitting waiting for an electrician to finish putting in a safety switch on my house so I wouldn’t, you know, need to go to the hospital again because I’m just THAT sort of person.
I appreciate books I can quickly dive into and absorb in one sitting. They’re like little openings into new worlds you can dip your toe in, enjoy, and then pull back out again without too much hassle. It’s still enjoyable, but it’s not like marathoning a read of Lord of the Rings where you must hunker down for a day by the fire.
Captive Hearts reminded me of a trilogy I read when I was about fourteen, that had a very similar concept (totally different world, totally different genre though) but the concept was similar. The idea of a prisoner falling in love with the jailor/kidnapper and how can you write that without it being, well, you know – creepy. I like the idea of author's trying a challenge, being bold and daring. I really admire those authors.
It also reminded me of one of my favourite Fan Fictions from the Harry Potter “genre”, goodness knows I cannot remember name, nor have I been able to find it again – but it was a very similar concept. And yes, I read Harry Potter Fan Fictions...there are some real gems out there. It was a great fan-fic about Hermione Granger and Theodore Nott. I'm really annoyed I never saved it. XD
Perhaps that is why this book felt like I was treading familiar ground. The romance that Natasja Rose was trying to build was not unfamiliar to me, and how she was crafting it came across well thought out and sensitive to an often-difficult idea to explore.
She did not go overboard with the world-building, it was just enough for the imagination to fill in everything else. I would go so far as to say that familiar fantasy settings and names were used to conjure up an image for the reader. The focus of the story was the romance.
There was a twist that I didn’t see coming, and I did appreciate that. I would have maybe liked a bit more of a focus on the ending resolution, but I am one of those people who enjoys long resolutions. In saying that, I think Natasja Rose tied everything up nicely for a short book.
If she wrote another book in this universe, I would probably like to read it just to see where she’d take the characters and the politics.