October 21, 2014

ARC Review of Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios

Release Date: October 7, 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Page Count: 480
Format: ARC
Genre: YA
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.

Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios was on my WANT list of books in 2014 for months and months before I actually had a chance to read it early. I emailed about an ARC of the book fully expecting to be rejected but was somehow accepted instead! As soon as the book arrived I delved into it and didn't stop reading until the final word. Exquisite Captive was like a near perfect pot of amazing characters, plot, and fantasy elements.

The one down-fall of this book was its world-building, even though the majority was set in the normal world there were still several areas where the world-building could have been much better and could have boosted up the quality of the book but didn't. Arjinna, the homeland of the jinn particularly was the perfect place to go above and beyond in world-building but was instead left at an OK level. The settings in the normal world were well-written and interacted with the plot in a positive way. Hollywood and the surrounding areas were a good fit for the plot and I'm glad they were used instead of places like New York or San Francisco. Exquisite Captive was so so close to getting a full five stars but with half the world-building being just OK it was pushed it down a whole star. However, it did provide a solid base for Arjinna so I have hopes that the next book will improve upon the first book's world-building and make Arjinna an amazing place to read about.

The characters in Exquisite Captive were the opposite of the world-building and were written near perfectly, they were some of the best characters I've read in a while. Nalia went through so much, from her whole family being slaughtered to being enslaved at a young age. She is the sole survivor of her kind of jinn and the rightful queen but instead has to do others bidding. Despite all this she manages to stay strong and go through whatever is happening to her. There is so much she does and says that will make you take an instant likening to her and support her throughout the entire book. When the book mentioned Nalia's rebellions against Malek and the kind of person he was I immediately hated him and wanted him to die. That might seem drastic but at the time I felt like he deserved it, however as the book progressed I began to see him in a new light and my hatred decreased but I still dislike him. Thanks to Nalia he is able to basically control the normal world and almost everyone inside it, he is also half-jinn which makes things a bit more confusing. Unfortunately, he is part of a love triangle with Nalia and Raif which makes no sense since Nalia is her captive. Raif on the other hand is another jinn only this time from a "lower" type of jinn that are normally slaves to other jinn. He is the leader of the rebellion that is happening in Arjinna and has come to the normal world to seek Nalia's help. Even though he doesn't like Nalia at first he eventually falls for her and sacrifices his "job" of leading the rebellion for her. At the end of the first book it looked like he was about to win in the love triangle and I hope he does. Normally I dislike love triangles but this time it was a bit interesting to read about since it seemed as if Nalie had Stockholm Syndrome. Altogether, every single one of the characters are well-written and complex enough to seem like real people. The characters of Exquisite Captive, both main and secondary ones were what truly made Exquisite Captive worth reading.

Exquisite Captive doesn't really end on a cliffhanger but it seems like one because of a last-minute event that happens in the book. I'm already eager to read the next book but I have to wait even longer than most people since Exquisite Captive itself isn't already out. However, if you like YA than this is one book that you definitely want to pick up when it comes out.

4/5 - Really good book

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely loved this book! So glad to hear you enjoyed it as well =)