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Friday, January 23, 2015

Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios

The only survivor of her race, Nalia was captured and sold on the black market to become Malek's personal jinni. He mistreated her, hurt her, and yet he is craving her affection. Meanwhile, the leader of a rebel group who clearly hates her is trying to recruit her services to save the oppressed jinnis back in Arjinna. Could he also claim her heart in the process, or will Malek earn the privilege?

Right from the start I'll tell you I have mixed feelings about this novel, and unfortunately for me I can't really pin-point the more negative elements. It took me 3 weeks to read this novel. That's A LOT of time. At times, I thought that I should just give up, but I really wanted to know how the story would end, so I soldiered on. But the weirdest thing is I don't know why I was dragging my feet.

The Jinni theme and the 'For fans of Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone series and Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy' bit was what first made me request this book, and really I enjoyed the lore and the world. It's my first jinni book, and probably not the last since they seem to be popping left and right, but I loved the rich exotic culture Demetrios infused to the story. The middle-east atmosphere (even though the action takes place in Hollywood) was really refreshing. The author did a really great job introducing the jinni's world, their way of living, their culture and gods and the animosity between the dead royalty and the cerf population.

The magic was probably my favorite element. There are four jinni races (pr class if your into RP) and each has an affinity with an element: earth, air, water and fire. Nalia, being royalty, has affinity with all four. I liked that different things could be done with different element and that the wish each jinni could grant was limited by their elemental powers.

The characters were great as well. I liked Nalia and her determination and her dedication to her brother. She is the new Empress because all the royalty died, but she's not interested in power. I loved that she cared for the people around her, and appreciated the beauty of both worlds even though she was raised to think otherwise. Raif was a great prospect and I liked his strength and desire to do the right thing. And Malek, despite his being kind of a bad guy, really caught my attention. I'm convinced there is much more to him to discover and I kind of pitied him. He felt like a like boy craving for mommy's attention at time, despite the fact that he is one of the most influential being on the planet.

I think the one negative aspect I can think of is the pace. I liked almost everything in this book, even the romance, yet it felt like this book was never ending! So I guess it's the one aspect I would've changed.

If the sequel ends up on edelweiss I will read it, but I don't think I would buy it. This novel received a lot of praise, and really, I liked most of it, so you should definitely give it a try. Jinni are definitely a new trend, and this novel is as good a place to start as any :)


Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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4 People left their mark' :

  1. I am a bit sceptical about westerners writing about middle eastern stuff. I have read some in fantasy literature and I'm yet to see any that isn't fake and orientalist (with the exception of R. Scott Bakker's work, which sounds quite authentic)

    The real Jinn lore is nothing even remotely like what they write in those new books (judging from the summaries and reviews I have read so far) it sounds like they are westernizing it and turning it into some RPG/western occult thing.

    I have included the Anatolian version of the jinn my novel but I am not calling them jinn (a smart thing I realize, after this trend business), and I have done a lot of in depth research about the lore (even though I grew up listening to scary jinn stories from the superstitious folk)

    The jinn do not think and act like humans, they don't behave with the same logic we do, they are as alien as they could be. They are kind of like the dark fae in Celtic lore, or the dark spirits haunting the wilderness in the Native American lore.
    They are nothing like Alaaddin's lamp genie, they don't grant wishes, they are dark and unpredictable, they are not associated with any elements other than fire (they are fashioned from the smokeless fire itself, whereas humans are created from clay, according to the muslim scriptures).

    I will give this book a try anyway, even though I am no fan of slow paced books, but I still got curious after your review.

  2. I do hope you enjoy it in the end :) I dont require the books I choose to be true to this or that mythology, I think all the matters is that everything is coherent, but I get where you come from!

  3. I will definitely check it out, but I just don't like when people throw exotic names around and put them in a western context. Kind of like people taking elves and making them something different from Tolkien's elves. The Riftwar Saga had elves nothing like Tolkien's elves but I'm a big fan of the series, so if it's exceptionally well written I can forgive things :)

  4. haha I hope you enjoy it :)