Exquisite Captive is a YA jinni fantasy with a dark romance.
Book Review: Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios
Title & Author: Exquisite Captive (The Dark Caravan Cycle) by Heather Demetrios
Genre: Young Adult – Fantasy, Jinni
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Series: Dark Caravan Cycle #1
How I Got the Book: ARC via the publisher
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?”
Not My Favorite
It pains me to say it, but Exquisite Captive was not my favorite.
I read a few things about the book when it was published that put me off for awhile. Then, I fell in love with I’ll Meet You There by the same author and decided to pick up this jinni fantasy book.
Although I think the quality of writing and the creativity of the world are there, there were a few missing pieces for me.
First, I’ve read other jinn books (like The Fire Wish), so it’s tough to already have another story as a comparison.
Second, there is a type of romance portrayed in the book that may make readers feel uncomfortable. Some felt Exquisite Captive portrayed a harmful, unhealthy relationship, but at the risk of being spoilery, I must say that is not the case. By the end, things in the character’s mind are made clear as to what is healthy and what isn’t.
I just honestly didn’t connect with the story. The main character, Nalia, has been kidnapped from her world of Arjinna where she’s royalty to Earth, to be a wish-granting slave. Although Nalia was interesting and rebellious, I found myself occassionally skimming the information about the different jinn and world-building.
This isn’t a bad book by any means, but I think it lacked a few core elements to make it truly great.
I’m a hardcore fan of Heather Demetrios’. I will be following her writing career and whatever books she publishes next. Exquisite Captive wasn’t for me, but I would encourage you to read her other work, as I think it better represents her amazing talent.