I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Dark Caravan Cycle #1
Published by Balzer + Bray on October 7th, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Young Adult
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.
I thought this was going to have a ton of magical elements and crazy wishes but it ended up being a romance. And not a very good one either because there were two men vying for her attention. One ended up being her master because let’s face it she’s a jinni and she has to obey him no matter what. He ended up being the creepiest master ever. Saying he loves her yet he enclaves her and doesn’t care when she disappears for hours away from the house. Um okay, talk about mixed signals? Then the other love interest at first sounded like he had promise. Then that went out the hill because it was way too fast. They didn’t fall in love gradually and it was just so complicated. I pretty much didn’t care for the characters especially for Nalia. She is super judgmental and prejudiced against the “lower” castes of her world and it irritated me to no end when she pulled her superiority complex on the others.
The biggest problem for me was the pacing, it was too long and too dragged out.. Barely anything happened until 70% in and that’s too long of a time to stay with a book. The plot needs to grip you from the start and this one sadly did not. Also way too much romance that I couldn’t feel.
It’s hard to like a book when you dislike the characters or they don’t end up dong much except all the wrong things. I’m just sad this wasn’t executed to my liking because it had a lot of promise.