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?
Right from the start I was captivated by this world of jinnis based in Hollywood and thought this could easily be a 5-star read for me. Sadly I couldn’t enjoy it that much though because I was constantly fearing that this would turn into a love triangle and even though it didn’t in the end, I still didn’t like the romance overall.
Exquisite Captive tells the story of two very different worlds. Especially the jinnis’ world was what I liked a lot and wanted to know more about. We get a lot of information about what that world is like (even to the extend that it sometimes feels like info dump which didn’t bother me much in this case) but nevertheless I wanted more.
And then there is the main setting of this book: Hollywood. I thought it is fun to have jinnis living in Hollywood, driving fancy cars. It somewhat loosens the overall dark and harsh atmosphere, when reading about the jinnis’ life.
That life is a life as slaves and also the reason why I didn’t enjoy the romance.
Nalia was bought from Malek at the dark caravan, from a slave trader, and it made me really angry to read about her situation and about this slave trade. It made for a unique, interesting story that causes feels but made the romance very awkward. Nalia sometimes seems to actually feel something for Malek and fall for him which was just wrong. There was no way that I could see anything good in him to make it okay and I just wanted to hit her over the head for her to see clearly again.
Overall I liked the worldbuilding and the story of jinnis as slaves so much, that I could overlook the romance and still enjoy the story a lot. This book captivated me with it’s world and made me feel for the characters (the most important thing imo). Add to that an awesome twist at the end that promises a thrilling and interesting second book. I can’t wait to get my hands on that one.
Cora @ Tea Party Princess
This sounds so good – great review :) I love it when world-building’s done well.