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?
Sadly, for me, this book didn’t live up to my expectations. I gave it 3 stars because even though there were things I found interesting about Exquisite Captive, I also had many problems with it.
Probably the toughest thing to work through was the explanations of the different kinds of jinni and the world building in general. They each have different colored eyes and smoke when they use magic (chiaan). I understand that when someone introduces new worlds to the reader things need to be explained. However, I thought the constant “Ghan Asouri jinni” this, and “Djan jinni” that so repetitive that I actually felt insulted. And something that really got on my nerves was the constant reference to “human” things. How they loved the
“human food” or they didn’t understand the “human jokes”.
Also I found the lack of explanation on how the jinni got from Arjinna to earth in the first place unsatisifying. There was a portal that they came through but this came with no deeper explanation beyond that. I didn’t really like that there wasn’t more to how traveling became possible, who discovered it, how they traveled through it was something I found lacking.
Nalia – Nalia is the only surviving Ghan Asouri jinni, which is the highest ranking kind. She gets sold into the Dark Caravan in which humans buy jinnis to grant them 3 wishes. The Ghan Asouri jinni were power hungry and almost evil, but Nalia is different. I found her character ok. There was some growth along the way.
Malek – Malek I found confusing. But the story does help explain why he’s evil one moment, nice the other.
Raif – I liked Raif. He was likable and the chemistry between him and Nalia was good.
Overall the book was slow. I actually contemplated DNFing a few times but I was determined to finish. The last 20% of the book got really action packed and exciting. But the rest leading up to it was interesting but slow.
Will I read the next book? I may. I hope that it will be more satisfying then book 1.
I do LOVE the cover because it’s great to see a POC on the cover of a YA book. It’s actually hard to come by.
Did you read it, what are your thoughts?