Review of Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios

Exquisite Captive (Dark Caravan Cycle #1)Exquisite Captive
By: Heather Demetrios
Release Date: October 7th 2014
Publisher: Balzer+Bray
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:
star

Summary:
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?

My Thoughts:
I was excited to read Exquisite Captive because I love the new trend of jinn in young adult fiction. I had pretty high expectations for this book and it provided a good read but wasn’t 100% there for me. Something always felt missing, like it was just inches away from being amazing.

The story itself was pretty slow to start focusing a lot of attention telling the reader about the history of the jinn up to this point and Nalia’s personal journey to becoming Malek’s slave. I wish we could have learned more about the jinn world that Nalia had grown up in since for the most part it felt like information given rather than really expressed emotionally. I wanted to feel immersed but did not. I hope that as the series progresses we get to experience more of jinn world because Demetrios has really created compelling jinn mythology.

Nalia’s present story takes place in Hollywood and under Malek’s control. Unfortunately, I never connected very deeply to Nalia. I wanted to be invested in her personal journey but it didn’t happen. I think because of this I was disconnected to a good amount of this book. I could see myself becoming more and more invested in her as the series continues but it fell rather flat for me in this first book. I think the slow beginning had a good amount to do with that.

I thought that Demetrios tried to give Malek a multi-layered personality and history. I wished that the love interest aspect between him and Nalia hadn’t been present or done differently. I think it could have been done successfully and taken away from the love triangle feel. Regardless, Demetrios made it work in the end and built up a history between the two characters that should provide a lot of interesting scenes and interactions in the future.

The other romance, between Nalia and Raif, was incredibly typical for young adult- they meet, bicker and fall in love incredibly fast. I thought that since so much of the emotional appeal of this book relied on the reader feeling the chemistry and love between Nalia and Raif Demetrios should have worked further in giving them scenes together. I felt that their entire relationship was rushed.

Final Thoughts:
Though Exquisite Captive fell short of being an amazing read for me I felt that the building blocks have been put into place for me to enjoy the upcoming books much more. I hope that with the next installment I can connect with the main character.

Stacking the Shelves

This last week started off to be so incredibly sad with the passing of Robin Williams. I have always been a fan of his movies and his death hit me really hard. I was shocked and saddened to my core. Then all the other stuff in the news…just a pretty depressing week.

My personal life is going great though and summer is starting to wrap up. I absolutely love fall and I there is evidence of it coming sooner than later. I even saw some fall floral at my local Target. My kiddo starts school in a week! I can’t believe it. I’m nervous but I know he’s going to really love it so I’m excited more than anything.

I purchased the domain to a new site I’m going to be doing- My Friends Are Minifigures. I’m sure you can guess, it’ll be a Lego blog. I’ve done absolutely nothing besides get the domain but eventually I plan to.

This last week I got some great books…like flail and pass out type great books. I can’t wait to get started reading them. I’ll be buddy reading The Young Elites with Jon from Scott Reads It and we’ll start tomorrow. So excited!!

Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews is a weekly meme where you show what books you’ve purchased, gotten from the library, received from giveaway, as gifts or for review.

Won- from The Midnight Garden. Thank you so much!!

MidnightGardenWinTYESigned

Look at that pile of books and The Young Elites is signed. I can’t believe I won the Midnight Garden’s ALA giveaway–I still can’t believe it even with the books on my shelf.

For Review (from HarperTeen):

 ExquisiteCaptive

For Review (from Hachette):

VoM

Yay books! I had requested Exquisite Captive but not Vampires of Manhattan. I’d honestly not even heard of it or read The Blue Bloods series. I have started it (about 70 pages in) and it’s okay so far. I feel like I’m missing a lot having not read the Blue Bloods since it seems to be taking place in a world after that series.

How was your last week?

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews is a weekly meme where you show what books you’ve purchased, gotten from the library, received from giveaway, as gifts or for review.
I’ve not done a Stacking the Shelves post in a few weeks so this is a nice collection of books.

For Review (via the Publisher):

LailahFirebugRumble

MortalDangerTalker25FreeToFall

      ImmortalCrownSleepNoMore

Lailah by Nikki Kelly, Firebug by Lish McBride, Rumble by Ellen Hopkins, Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre, Talker 25 by Joshua McCune, Free to Fall by Lauren Miller, The Immortal Crown by Richelle Mead and Sleep No More by Aprilynne Pike

For Review (via Edelweiss):

 Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1)Stray

 Blackbird (Blackbird Duology, #1)Exquisite Captive (Dark Caravan Cycle #1)

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch, Stray by Elissa Sussman, Blackbird by Anna Carey and Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios

Purchased:

 Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy, #1)The Beautiful and the Cursed (The Dispossessed, #1)Monstrous Beauty

Stolen Songbird by Danielle Jensen, The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan and Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama

Gift (thank you Kendare! You are beyond amazing):

 MortalGods

Mortal Gods by Kendare Blake

Borrowed (thank you Anya!):

InTheShadows

In the Shadows by Kiersten White and Jim Di Bartolo

 What books have you gotten lately?