Captive (The Blackcoat Rebellion #1)
What I loved:
CAPTIVE opens during Lila's birthday party. We instantly see how agitated she is at being "used" by everyone around her. She's being forced to play a part in conspiracies and lies, but she isn't exactly a full player. She's kept in the dark by her fiancee, Knox. She gives speeches to unite a rebellion, but she doesn't have a role of leadership. Still, I love that Kitty makes decisions for herself and keeps the action moving.
Everything that Kitty does pushes the plot along. She's not the kind of heroine that sits back and waits for things to happen. Even if her actions lead to very big mistakes that land her Elsewhere. Elsewhere is a place that the citizens of the Union know little about. It's an understanding that you don't want to GO there. It's a place for criminals and those who get on the Minister's bad side.
In Elsewhere, Kitty is stripped of her rank. She's an X now instead of a VII. In this dystopian world, citizens are given ranks. There's the idea that the 2% that's at the top dictates the lives of everyone else at the bottom. Doesn't that sound familiar, and isn't that familiarity to our world extremely frightening? I love how Carter creates this very gray totalitarian exile where no one feels safe.
Kitty is sometimes reckless and headstrong. I love that she's allowed to be. Granted, she gets a lot of people killed because she won't fall in line. But, she speaks up when she thinks it needs to be done, even though there is danger in that. It shows bravery and resilience.
This leads to Kitty's identity crisis. You can't be yourself while wearing someone else's face. You get the feeling that she's losing herself and her purpose. She's been used by too many people that she doesn't really know who to trust. For a moment, after losing everything, she thinks she wants to die. She keeps saying that if she dies it doesn't matter. Lots of the characters in this world comment on the inevitability of death. Yet, despite everything she's been through, Kitty is still a fighter. She finds people to champion and stand up for. She realizes that the revolution and its citizens need both parts of her--the Mask and the girl she truly is.
What left me wanting more:
Knox. I know that Benji is the one that we're supposed to be rooting for. But Benji is Kitty's liability, where as Knox is someone who pushes her to find different levels of her personality. Knox does care for Kitty, but his devotion to the cause is stronger. I think if they managed to find trust in each other, they could be a strong leadership.
The Final Verdict
A great addition to dystopian literature, Captive is an action packed ride full of action, life changing secrets, and political intrigue. Kitty Doe is a heroine worth rooting for.