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Jinni Fantasy | Book Review: Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios

Exquisite Captive is a YA jinni fantasy with a dark romance.

Book Review: Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios

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exquisite captive heather demetrios book review

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

Publisher: HarperCollins

How I Got the Book: ARC via the publisher


“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?”

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.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • I definitely can relate to your review. I wanted to love this book. I wanted this book to be the book that I sung about from the rooftops. I thought the whole idea was pretty freaking awesome. It’s something that has not been covered yet. Genies/Jinni’s. I was quite excited and then when I begin reading I found myself kind of fading away. I ended up skipping a lot, like you mentioned.
    I was kind of bummed this book was not “the book”. That’s okay. I love the author tons, so one book that I don’t love isn’t the end all be all.
    Cool review.

  • An interesting review, and unfortunately not the only one that reads less than complimentary about this one. Whatever attraction there was, it has faded for me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  • I’ll be reading I’ll meet you there by Heather Demetrios next month and I’m pretty excited! So, if I like that, I’ll definitely be picking up this one as well! 😀