Saturday, October 18, 2014

Book Review: Exquisite Captive

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.  Quoted from Goodreads


This book suffered from high expectations.  I mean, have you read the above blurb!  It seems amazing.  Plus the cover is beautiful, and after a slew of mediocre books about jinni, I really thought this might be just what I've been looking for.  Unfortunately for me, it seems that jinni are going to face the same fate as mermaids and never get that one series that will really do the creatures justice.

It's not that this wasn't a fun, interesting book, because it was. It just failed to live up to my expectations.  The romance was far too insta-love for my taste, and the "love triangle" if you can call it that, was twisted rather than intriguing. I liked Raif as a character, and I totally approve of him as love interest, but he and Nalia fell for each other way too quickly, with too little relationship development before they were madly in love.  Plus, he was a jerk (possibly well deserved because of his upbringing, but a jerk all the same) to her in the beginning, and she got over that way to quickly.  As for Malek, I'm not exactly sure where the author is trying to go with that.  He's the bad-half of a love triangle.  If he's just one of the ways to show haw broken Nalia is, then he did his job, but if he's supposed to be a real side of the love triangle, I'll pass.

To counter this, the world building here is rather amazing.  I love all the back-story the author has built into it and the world where Nalia comes from, the different casts of jinni, racial prejudice, and social history.  The story has tons of potential, especially for books two and three.  The pace actually started a bit slow for me, but it built suspense nicely, and by the end, I was hooked. 

So should you read it?  Honestly, I'd probably wait until the second or third book comes out and then see how things are looking.  Like I said,  I absolutely love the world building and think that the story is going to get better and better.  I'd just, maybe, wait and see what happens.  I'm seeing a lot of potential here, and who knows, this may end up being one of my favorite trilogies. This first book was just weaker than I wanted it to be.  Still, I'm going to give it a promising 3.5 stars.  Maybe if my expectations had been lower, my rating would be higher.  Still, I'll absolutely be reading the second book. I'm excited to see where this series is headed.

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