Oct 8, 2014

Review: Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios

Title: Exquisite Captive
Author: Heather Demetrios
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: 10.7.2014
Pages: 480
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Series: Dark Caravan Cycle #1
Source: ARC from BEA

Rating: 5 Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
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?


When I read the summary of this I immediately went back to being a little girl dressed up on Halloween as The I Dream of Genie girl. I loved her, obviously. I love books that make me remember something from my childhood and genies, or jinni's in this book, gave me a grown up version.

I haven't read a single book about jinni's, ever, to my knowledge. So I thought that this was going to be really good or ruin my vision of a childhood memory. Once I started reading, I knew I would love this book. Nalia's beginning intrigued me right away. Jinni's bottles are supposed to be their home right? Well, not in this case. This made me rethink my version of "genies".  And I loved it.

Nalia's emotions were so real. They were described in such detail that you not only could you "see" them you could feel them.  Heather definitely has a talent with getting how her characters feel and what they might be thinking across by describing everything, from an eye twitch to jaw muscles clenching, so perfectly that you know how they feel before she says it. Like your are literally reading a movie. And that's just not in Nalia's case. That's with all the characters. One of my favorite things is how the jinnis are broken up into castes and the descriptive hatred among them. I don't know what language she incorporated in this book but the "cussing" or derogatory terms they used with each other were perfect.

Humans as a race are mostly greedy. We all know that. And with this expanded world of humans and jinnis, centered mainly in California, you get a perfect picture of that. And it's not a bad thing. I love seeing how a fiction book can relate to real life, a lot of them do.  We will do almost anything for the ones we love and you have both the good and the bad with those decisions here. Nalia's love and determination, after self doubt and denial, and Malek's selfishness and determination for world dominance, and not just his own world.

There is love, hatred, denial, determination, and finally acceptance all wrapped up into an adventure that I couldn't put down. There aren't a lot of books out there like this one, even if it's just because of the jinnis or another reason you find. I loved this book and cannot wait for the next.


  1. YAY!!! So glad you loved this one too Gabrielle! I've only read one other book with a jinni character, and it was an adult romance and very different from this, so I was riveted the whole way through. Can it be time for book two already? *taps fingers on desk* ;-)

  2. Sadly, I didn't love this story. It was well written and had an interesting premise but I really didn't like the two guys or Nalia's relationship with either of them and that turned me off the story as a whole.

  3. So glad your loved this. I haven't read it. I was disappointed to see Heather write a fantasy after Something Real, which I loved so much - but if it's done well, that makes all the difference.


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