I received this book for free from HarlequinTeen Australia in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Miranda Sun has returned to the underwater city of Marin where her dream boy, the young king Marko, awaits, but somehow her sister Lauren has managed to tag along! With her own agenda, Lauren manages to ruin everything – but the biggest question is why is Marko being so cold towards Miranda? Doesn’t he love her anymore? What happened in the year she was away? And can Marko’s sister Sylvia be trusted, or will she betray him and place the evil deposed king Damir back on the throne?
Oh boy, I know I only gave the first book in this series, Captivate, about 3 stars, but there was something undefinable about the book that made me keep thinking about it long after I’d put it down, which was why I requested Impulse. Well, that and more Miranda/Marko sexytimes. I love their chemistry. But the cool thing about Impulse is that since Miranda is no longer a captive, we actually get to see more of Marin as she moves around and explores, visiting old favourites and meeting new people. I just gah, I can’t even explain how strange this little (big) underwater city is. It’s so magical. I want to visit there, if only for a little while. Vanessa Garden just made the world come alive for me.
In this book Miranda is no longer the woe-is-me feel-sorry-for-me helpless damsel in distress she was in book 1. She’s matured, she’s toughened up, and she deals with a lot more bullshit than she was expecting to. I was really frustrated that her and Marko basically had to start over from scratch because they didn’t know if they could trust each other even though they were sending ALL THE SIGNALS. I just wanted them to kiss already! Miranda NEVER took the relationship and all that would entail (queen) for granted, she was most adamantly against people calling her the future queen – but I did get a little angered on her behalf when some nosy servant asked if she came back to Marin for Marko or for Robbie…
Speaking of Robbie, I’ pretty sure the relationship with him and Miranda in Book 1 was supposed to be some kind of love triangle, which I totally did not feel. Robbie’s always felt like a brother character to me, which is the role he comfortably plays in this book – but mostly because of a disability that renders him unable to play full-time protector anymore. And although I love Robbie and Miranda’s innocent friendship, I really don’t like that it took a disability for him to be relegated to the friend zone – even though I never saw him as a love interest in Book 1, yes, I know, shut up! I just don’t feel that the disability was necessary and it kind of makes him flawed next to perfect King Marko, doesn’t it?
And Lauren – well, what can I say about Lauren except that I hate her, mostly, except I also don’t know if she can be trusted, because I want to trust her. Believe me, I know, it’s a weird feeling, because I have had friends EXACTLY like Lauren whom I’ve cut out from my life for being so toxic, but I completely understand Miranda’s devotion to her. I can’t even be mad at her for what happened in the end. I know what it’s like to be in that kind of relationship with another girl, and it’s not easy.
If you read and enjoyed Captivate, then Impulse will be ten times better. It’s like Game of Thrones but underwater and not quite so violent or rapey. Each character has their own clear agenda and it’s fascinating watch it all come together the way it did. I’m really looking forward to Book #3 because I have to know how this ends!