Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Captive Maiden

Before I launch into this review, I'd like to just say my aforementioned "spidey senses" were off on this one. *slanted smile* Has that ever happened to you?

I was VERY excited, due to the beautiful cover and honestly believed I would love the actual story, however, as much as I tried to like it, I found it did not meet my expectations as I'd hoped.

(Disclaimer: I am a firm believer in the fact that not all books are for all readers, and I know that this author has a strong following and this story is generally well-liked, so this is in no way meant to dissuade anyone from reading this book--it is simply my opinion!)

Allow me to explain myself....

Book Rating: Here a little, there a little

The beginning of The Captive Maiden started off smashingly. I was drawn in and for the first few chapters, I couldn't put it down....

And that's when it started to crumble. The story itself had GOBS of potential which kept me reading, but by the half-way point (cue the ominous music "dun, dun dunnnnnnn"), I had a difficult time continuing--and not just because the plot slowed. The writing style of this author had me exquisitely puzzled. It seems almost as if it were written for a younger audience, because even though there were distinct points of view, I couldn't grasp the characters due to the prevalent passive "voice" and the many times the author spoon-fed me the emotions and situations instead of making turn into a "movie" in my mind. IE: "show, don't tell."

(Disclaimer two: There is nothing inherently wrong with writing that way, and she is obviously a very talented writer with a strong love of Christ and the scriptures which I greatly admire, so don't be hatin' on me! LOL I feel quite compelled to make sure I am honest in all my reviews.)

The other factor that made it difficult for me to love this novel, was the border-line preachy nature of the story. Don't get me wrong here folks--I love a great Christian message in stories like this--its one of the main reasons I read them, HOWEVER, this one seemed forced and drew me away from the story because it just didn't seem to fit. (Disclaimer three: refer to disclaimer two.)

Also, the plot didn't move forward after things got rolling. It almost seemed as if the characters were doing the same thing over and over--struggling to escape the clutches of the devilish villain.  I was soooo bummed that I wasn't able to love this the way I wanted.*sniff*

I might have had to give this book my lowest, rating but folks, IT'S CINDERELLA!! My all-time favorite fairly tale. Of. All. Time. ALL TIME!

I would highly recommend this book to younger readers or someone who just wants a simple, mild story.

Have you read this? What did you think? Should I give her other books a try?!?!

Happy Reading!
Buy it!!!


  1. I also enjoy Melanie Dickerson's writing style - but I agree that her appeal would probably be to a teen audience. Her books are based on popular fairy tales with a different take on each. I especially enjoyed "The Merchant's Daughter" - - but I'm a huge lover of Beauty and the Beast so it got high marks from me. However, I couldn't stir myself enough to read the other fairy tale make-overs - perhaps because it was a little too predictable for my taste. But as you say - - she's a good writer and she has a solid following - - so to each his own. Are you going to read and review any of Tamara Leigh's books? "Dreamspell" was wonderful - - and her "Age of Faith" series is outstanding!!! Start with "The Unveiling" - - WOW!!!!!! I would love to see a review on her books.

    1. Pam!!!
      I JUST finished The Unveiling LAST NIGHT! I literally could not stop reading it!!! It was amazing and you are right, Tamara is completely fabulous!
      Thank you for letting me know what you think about this review and Melanie's other books. I really like hearing from readers! Makes me want to read The Merchant's Daughter because I too love Beauty and the Beast.
      Thanks again so much--look for my review of Tamara's books soon!!!

  2. YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so excited that you're adding Tamara's books to your critique list. She is at the top of my "must read" authors list. Her stories are spell-binding - - so full of suspense, plot twists & turns, medieval history, and absolutely heart-stopping romance - - I have actually caught myself holding my breath through many scenes. And so many delicately woven spiritual truths intertwined into her stories that there are many personal "ah-ha" moments - - now that's where the rubber meets the road for me. Did this author use her writing talent to allow God to "open my eyes that I may see" what I need to change in my own life or to view things from a different perspective. Her writing is a haven of relaxation and very often an eye-opener of truth proclaimed. Thank you for your gift of writing also - - this world needs more Holy Spirit inspired scribes!!

  3. Amber, I haven't read this one yet, but I've read her others, and I definitely agree about her writing style - sometimes it's all tell & no show! I actually enjoyed her first book the best, the second one was alright & the third was a fun, one-time read. I know I'm not the target-age audience for her books, so I tried to keep that in mind, but at times it was very simplistic & on-the-nose with the spiritual aspect of the story.

    Lovely review! :)


  4. Amber,
    I haven't read this particular book, but we carried them in the high school library for young adult readers. Pretty popular with that crowd, but I tried another of her novels and just couldn't get in to it.I hear you. Every book is not for everyone. Books have selective audiences.


  5. Hi Amber! I love the way you write your reviews! :) I just wanted to add that Melanie actually writes her books geared toward the YA audience. So, basically you were all spot on by seeing this in her writing style. :)