Title: Exquisite Captive
Author: Heather Demetrios
Series: Dark Caravan Cycle #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, High Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication date: October 7th, 2014
Forced to obey her master.
Compelled to help her enemy.
Determined to free herself.
Nalia is a jinni of tremendous ancient power, the only survivor of a coup that killed nearly everyone she loved. Stuffed into a bottle and sold by a slave trader, she’s now in hiding on the dark caravan, the lucrative jinni slave trade between Arjinna and Earth, where jinn are forced to grant wishes and obey their human masters’ every command. She’d give almost anything to be free of the golden shackles that bind her to Malek, her handsome, cruel master, and his lavish Hollywood lifestyle.
Enter Raif, the enigmatic leader of Arjinna’s revolution and Nalia’s sworn enemy. He promises to free Nalia from her master so that she can return to her ravaged homeland and free her imprisoned brother—all for an unbearably high price. Nalia’s not sure she can trust him, but Raif’s her only hope of escape. With her enemies on the hunt, Earth has become more perilous than ever for Nalia. There’s just one catch: for Raif’s unbinding magic to work, Nalia must gain possession of her bottle…and convince the dangerously persuasive Malek that she truly loves him. Battling a dark past and harboring a terrible secret, Nalia soon realizes her freedom may come at a price too terrible to pay: but how far is she willing to go for it?
“How do I change back?”
“You don’t.” The corners of Nalis’s lips turned up, ever so slightly. Once granted, a wish could no be unmade. “Be careful what you wish for.”
This is one of those books I purchased on a whim because I read the synopsis and thought it would be an amazing read, and though I have to say I didn’t love it, it still surprised me in a very good way, and I’ll most likely gonna be continuing with the rest of the series.
It had a very interesting concept, and since I love anything about jinnis I knew I was going to like it. And I don’t know why there aren’t many people talking about it, because it was a very interesting read with a great cast of characters.
“These books were illusions in paper and ink, just as powerful as the kind Nalia could manifest out of thin air. Lost in the magic of the story, Nalia had begun to understand what it meant to be human, to burn so brightly for such a short time, just a tenth of a jinny’s lifespan.”
The world building was AMAZING, guys. I completely fell in love with it. Even though the book takes place in our era, the author did an amazing job at creating the jinni world. I was really surprised because I wasn’t expecting to have that view of the whole world, mainly because it was the first installment, and usually some of them lack in those.
Don’t get me wrong, it was a bit hard to get used to it. There was a little glossary at the beginning with the different types of jinny, which was super helpful for people like me, but sometimes throughout the book the characters named others that were a bit confusing to be because I had no idea who they were nor I remember those names from before, so it took me some time to figure them out.
The mythology in this book was incredible as well. I loved learning more about the jinni history and how the social structures worked in that world, and it was so well done and explained with so many details I had a whole picture in my head while reading the novel.
“She’d been taught hoe to fight to the death, not how to lay down her sword. There was no honor in this, no fearsome nobility. Just a flicker of hope in the darkness.”
I really enjoyed the cast of characters that this story had. Nalia was an awesome main character that was easy to connect with. I loved her fierceness and her intelligence, and her relationship with Raif was a hate to love one (which was totally right of my alley). I loved their interactions and their development throughout the story, so I can’t wait to see the path is going to take,
The only thing I wasn’t a big fan was that sometimes it seemed a bit repetitive to me. I felt like because of the things that were happening in the book with Nalia, I was reading the same thing over and over again, without any changes, until the very end of the book. And it wasn’t a short book, guys, so yeah, sometimes I would have liked a bit more action.
Another thing I didn’t particulary like was the relationship between Nalia and her captor. There were some times that it almost seemed as if it was going to be a romantic relationship between them, and though it didn’t happen it left a sour taste in my mouth, because though I think Malek was a very interesting grey character, I didn’t want to read anything romantic between them, mostly because it would have been super toxic.
So yeah, I’m interested to see how the story’s going to develop after that first installment, so I’ll mostly going to be continuing the series.
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