Monday, December 29, 2014

Review: Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios

Exquisite Captive
(The Dark Caravan Cycle #1)
Publication Date: October 2014
Hardcover, 480 pages, Balzer + Bray
Genres: YA, Paranormal, Fantasy

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?

Inspired by Arabian Nights, EXQUISITE CAPTIVE brings to life a deliciously seductive world where a wish can be a curse and shadows are sometimes safer than the light.

My Review

 Move over Genie! You’re outdated! Demetrios has created a world of magic, wishes, and fantasy that weaves together to make a fantastic land. To be brief, it’s a great book!

I loved how much detail was portrayed in every line. It seemed like I was learning new details about Arjinna with every word. I absolutely loved the amount of background information. The only downside to the world-building was the beginning. It was hard to wrap my head around all of the different powers and group names. I quickly got over that though. The only thing that made me angry about the world was that I didn’t get to see it in the book, just hear about it through flashbacks.

The characters in the story were good. They weren’t as fantastic as the world-building however. Nalia is a strong female lead; she just seems to not try as hard as I imagine she could. She definitely changed and had major character growth throughout the story. I didn’t like her attitude at all at first, but she morphed into someone I could empathize with. The love interests, Malek and Raif, are difficult to describe. Malek is a jerk, plain and simple. I didn’t connect with him at all and Nalia’s Stockholm Syndrome towards him annoyed me to no end. Raif on the other hand is awesome! I love that he’s a rebel; I just wish he had had an opportunity to actually show his leadership and power capabilities.

Now for the plot of the book, it seemed to take forever just to accomplish one small task. I wish more had actually happened. This ties into the world-building as well. I feel like Nalia and Raif should have actually been in their world for at least a portion of the present part of the book.

All in all, it was a great book with a few small drawbacks. I was expecting better, but I enjoyed it for what it is and will most assuredly be reading and buying the sequel.

*Note: I purchased this book for myself.

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