Release Day Review: Salvation (The Captive, #4) by Erica Stevens

4th and last book in the Captive Series.

Imprisoned by Caleb and at the mercy of the king, Aria is determined not to let them break her. However, the more atrocities she witnesses, the more she realizes there are some horrors no one can withstand, and sometimes survival isn’t always the best option.
Tormented by the loss of Aria, Braith is forced to choose between his need to rescue her, and the impending rebel war he’s been chosen to lead. Fighting against the darkness which threatens to drag him into its tempting depths, Braith struggles not to become like the one thing he hates the most, his father.
Faced with their own separate challenges, Aria and Braith must come to terms with who they are, what they want, and the likelihood that they can never be together as the inevitable war looms on the horizon. A war that all of them will fight but not all of them will survive.

Blurb and cover from Goodreads

5 out of 5 stars

Oh, yes, I’m on another severe Reader’s High (a sense of lingering euphoria resulting from reading an outrageously good book) and suffering a wicked Book Hangover (the inability to start a new book because one’s mind is still trapped in a previous book’s world). I received an ARC of Salvation from the author and I admit I kind of giggled in excitement and ridiculous self-satisfaction when I got to read it nine whole days before everyone else. I am a huge fan of this series, ever since I read the first one last autumn and this is by far one of my favorite series of all time. I finished Salvation in about five hours (probably more like four if you subtract dishwashing time, stopping check on little brother, stopping to chat with another little brother, etc.) and I don’t even mind that it’s the last in the series because I’m so happy right now! There were quite a few places where I actually laughed (especially in the parts told from Jack’s perspective and the banter between Aria’s brothers) and I may very well have enjoyed the finale more than the others.

The plot:

This book stressed me out. I was in a state of absolute agony, up until about the 97% mark because I was so scared about how it would wrap up. At around 43% I was freaking out because I kept thinking “alright, that was too flipping easy, where’s the catch? I demand to see the catch!” It turns out I was right, but we won’t talk too much about that for fear of spoilers…

The characters:

It was interesting to see how everyone had matured a bit since the beginning, particularly Braith. Yes, the nine hundred and fifty-two-year-old vampire still had a little growing up to do and I liked how by the end he was finally willing to consider everyone else, but still made Aria a priority.

I started to like Ashby in the previous book, but I grew quite fond of him in this one. Same with Xavier, Max, and Aria’s family. I thought the side characters became much more fleshed out and dimensional in this one and I was surprised to find myself worrying about them almost as much as Braith and Aria (because who are we kidding, I always worry about the couple the most).

I liked the part where everyone gets the chance to take revenge on the people who’ve wronged them and they show mercy while the bad people still get their comeuppance (eventually). The line between vengeance and justice can get a bit blurry at times and I was pleased by how well I thought the author handled the subject.

All in all, this was an incredible finale to an incredible series. I highly, highly recommend all these books to fans of vampire romance, upper YA romance, and maybe even dystopian romance. This series will forever hold a place on my bookshelves and I cannot wait for the author’s next book!

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