I recently stated on a blog that I preferred to be captivated by a story rather than surprised. I love surprises and all, but I think that twists in stories are given too much credit sometimes. There have been loads of books I've loved that haven't surprised me in the least. I think it's fairly easy to write a twist that your audience doesn't see coming, and what happens after they've gotten past all the surprising parts in your book? Will they want to read it again after they know how everything turns out?
So, what captivates you as a reader? Are you drawn to a story because of its alien worlds? Interesting characters? Clever prose? Do you want a story to take you somewhere familiar? How do you think you can captivate an audience? What tools as writers do you use to keep your readers stuck in your stories?
That's all. Something to think about.