Sunday, February 22, 2015

Erin: Exquisite Captive (Dark Caravan Cycle #1) by Heather Demetrios

Yay!! Here's a review of Exquisite Captive, the first book in the Dark Caravan Cycle!

From Goodreads:

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.

Erin's Thoughts:

This is a book that intrigued me from the very beginning.  The cover, the story -- it sounded amazing.  I happen to really really love stories with jinnis, Aladdin, Arabian Nights -- that sort of thing -- so, of course, when I found out about Exquisite Captive, I knew I wanted to read it.  I have to say, the only thing that kind of made me hesitate was that Exquisite Captive is an urban fantasy.  Not that there's anything wrong with urban fantasy, I just feel like I've read so many that I would rather read something else.  But, I'm really glad that I didn't let that defer me from reading this book.

Even though it's an urban fantasy, I feel like it reads pretty well as high fantasy as well.  Maybe  it's because I haven't read an urban fantasy in a while, but it wasn't as "urban"-y as I thought it would be.  Aah! I loved it though! It's a really dark, exotic, and seductive read! And, in my opinion, there aren't enough jinni books in this world and so I'm extremely excited to have read this!

As much as I love light, humorous books, I equally love dark and dangerous books with high stakes.  I love the culture and the feel that Heather Demetrios created in Exquisite Captive.  It's beautiful and dangerous at the same time and like I said, even though it's an urban fantasy (based in Los Angeles), it has this really strong jinni culture, fantasy feel about it and I really love it!

To be honest, there was a lot of backstory and set up that was in Exquisite Captive, especially in the beginning, but  seeing as there was a lot of information about jinnis and their history, I can't complain too much.  I mean, I did find myself skimming through some explanatory passages, but as I got further into the book, I skimmed less and less as I got more invested in the story.  So not something that bothered me terribly :)

Overall rating: 

I really enjoyed this book and I recommend it to anyone who is fascinated by stories about jinnis or kind of an Arabian Nights feel to it! I had so much fun reading this book and I cannot wait for the next one to come out! I was actually lucky enough to meet Heather Demetrios and get my book signed and she mentioned this very cool fact that the Dark Caravan Cycle is going to get more high-fantasy.  What I mean by that is...As the series progresses, the genre is going to change slightly, fantasy-wise.  So, Exquisite Captive is urban fantasy, but that last book in the trilogy is going to be a high fantasy!  Isn't that so cool??? You guy probably know this by now, but high fantasy is my favorite and so I am extremely excited to read books two and three of this series!!

Erin @The Romance Bookie :)

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