Title: Exquisite Captive
Author: Heather Demetrios
Series: Dark Caravan series
I loved this book. I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed reading it. If I’m being honest, my only real experiences with jinn are those of “I Dream of Jeannie” and Genie from “Aladdin.” Those are not even close to the jinn in Exquisite Captive; Demetrios created an amazing story surrounding her characters.
Nalia is the last jinni of her race. She survived a coup that left everyone she cared about either dead or tortured. She is stuffed into a bottle and sold into slavery. Enter Malek. He is her master. He is abusive. And controlling. And confusing. But he is not a love interest.
I am sure some people will disagree with me on that point. Nalia does have conflicted feelings about Malek, but I don’t believe she ever feels love towards him. Caring? Sure. Sympathy? At times. But not love. Her relationship with Malek is like that of a Stockholm Syndrome victim with his or her captor. Malek has had power and control over her for so long, and has scarred her enough with her bottle, that when his behavior changes, she finds kindness.
The relationship between Malek and Nalia is an abusive one. Nalia recognizes that what she feels for Malek can’t be called love, just as what Malek believes he feels for her is not love. Not once did I get the feelings that I was supposed to want a romantic relationship between them.
On the other hand, Nalia’s relationship with Raif is not abusive. It starts out rough because they each want to use the other for a purpose. Raif wants the ability to save the Jinn races, and Nalia wants to be free from her bond to Malek. However, there is not the same abusive tone with their relationship. They certainly don’t like each other right away, but neither individual abuses the other. They develop their relationship slowly, and I enjoyed every second of it.
I am absolutely enthralled by this story and hate that I have to wait so long for the next book. I want to know what is going to happen next, both on Earth and in the jinn world. There are so many pieces to this story that just as I start to think the book couldn’t get any better, it does.
This is definitely a must read book. Demetrios will draw you right in and, if you’re like me, you won’t be able to put the book down.
Thank you to Edelweiss and Balzer + Bray for an advanced copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.