Title: Exquisite Captive
Author: Heather Demetrios
Series: Book #1 in the Dark Caravan Cycle
Publisher: Balzer + Bray – an imprint of HarperCollins
Publication Date: October 7, 2014
Genres: Young Adult – Urban Fantasy, Romance
Format: Purchased Hardcover
“Exquisite Captive” by Heather Demetrios tells the story about a jinni (essentially a genie in our terms) girl named Nalia who has been enslaved and sold on the dark caravan. She endures torture in several forms from her master, Malek, until one day when he suddenly starts being nice to her. Strange things begin to happen after that, especially when a revolutionary boy from her world of Arjinna, Raif, comes into the picture. Chaos, freedom fighting, death, and love and hate ensues thereafter and Nalia’s world is turned upside down.
This book was a fun read. It was definitely different in terms of the content presented because I have never read or heard of a book about genies in YA fiction. So when I heard about it watching a video one day before it was released, I had to get it.
There are five different castes that exist in the world of Arjinna:
- The Ghan Aisouri – they rule over the other castes and are made entirely of females. They have purple eyes and purple smoke. They are also the only jinni who can control all the elements of earth, air, fire, and water.
- The Shaitan – they are second to the Ghan Aisouri and have golden eyes and smoke. They control they element of air.
- The Djan – they are the largest caste and are made of serfs (peasants). They have emerald eyes and smoke and they control the element of earth.
- The Marid – they have blue eyes and smoke and they can control the element of water. They are also on the same level as the Djan in the caste system.
- The Ifrit – they have crimson eyes and smoke and control the element of fire. They are hated throughout Arjinna and are known for using dark magic.
I found that having different caste systems really brought in an element of reality to an otherwise imaginary place. Though the majority of the story takes place in Los Angeles, California, there are flashbacks that Nalia has of Arjinna, and there are also some various spots around the world as small segments in various chapters that follow one of the main villains.
The story was intriguing, but I oftentimes felt that there were some things that didn’t need to be mentioned or the way some pieces were laced together didn’t fit, but it was overall a good story and I am anticipating the release of the second novel in the trilogy next year.
Let me talk a little bit about some of the things that I took notes on from the book:
- The epilogue didn’t need to be in there. I felt the way the book ended was good enough and that the epilogue could have been thrown into the first chapter of the second book. I wished it had ended where the story itself ended, but I can also understand why it was thrown in there – it just didn’t need to be in there.
- There were a few small inconsistencies throughout the book that maybe some people may or may not have picked up on. They’re very minuscule in terms of the plot and how the story flowed, so they didn’t hinder much of what happened.
- I often thought Nalia figured things out too easily and too fast throughout the book. I wished there had been more elements of surprise in terms of her reactions.
- I was also slightly confused on the relationship aspect of how fast it moved and how they got from point A to point B. I don’t want to say who as it could be potentially spoilery, so if you want to know what I’m talking about, watch my video review.
Those were some of the major points in the book that I was really cognizant about. Other than that, I enjoyed getting to learn about the history of the jinni, of the different castes and how each has their own element, eye color, and evanescence smoke color, as well as just the story itself. I’m hoping that the story broadens out over the next couple of books and that the second book won’t be just a “filler” like many second books in trilogies are and it’ll be even better than the first.
Overall, this book was a good first book, with plenty of action, steamy scenes, and plots that make you want to know what’s going to happen next.
I give “Exquisite Captive” a rating of 4/5 stars.
Accompanying video: Exquisite Captive Book Review
**As always I do a more in depth talk with more spoilers in my video discussions, so if you’re looking for a more in depth talk, please view the video!
What did you think of the book? Let me know in the comments below!