Why Did I Not Love a Jinni Book?? (Exquisite Captive)

Exquisite CaptiveExquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios
Series: Dark Caravan Cycle #1
Published by: Balzer & Bray on October 7, 2014
Genre: Fantasy, Mythology, Romance
Pages: 480
Source: Edelweiss
Book Details
Rating: Did Not Finish

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?

I stopped reading Exquisite Captive at the 20% mark.

I’m just not that into you

It’s not personal—Really.
I didn’t hate you—Promise!
I wasn’t ripping apart the pages.
I just wasn’t that into you.

…but it kind of breaks my heart.

Jinnis are sooo cool! I had never in my life read a jinni book. (Does anyone else greatly prefer “Genie” over “Jinni”? Jinni looks weird.) I was pretty damn psyched for Exquisite Captive because it sounded fabulous, unique, it supposedly had a killer romance, and it got some rave reviews. But I just couldn’t click with it!

I have read some people complaining about an “abusive love interest” factor, but I didn’t even get that far into the story to experience that, so that wasn’t my problem with the book. My problem was that I felt nothing! I was reading along waiting to get hooked, and it just never happened. Never!

  • I was bored.
  • I didn’t want to pick it back up.
  • It felt riddled with info dumps and long, crazy names I had trouble remembering (“Siheyuan”, “Hutong”, “Ifrit”, etc.).
  • It wasn’t clicking with me.

Maybe I would have grown to love it had I kept reading, or maybe I would have grown to hate it because of the “abusive love interest”. But this book didn’t evoke any emotion in me whatsoever, and hey, life is too short to read books that don’t give you feels. I’m disappointed though because when I hear about other people being “WOWED” and “BLOWN AWAY” I get all mopey and wonder what I missed. I wanted that feeling!

The Verdict


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    1. Honestly it’s really nice to see that someone felt the same way. I totally thought I was alone! 😛

    1. Yeah and it’s a double whammy when they’re long AND awkward to pronounce. That makes it harder for me to say them in my head, which makes them harder to remember.

  1. I put this one down too. I read The Art of Wishing at the beginning of the year & wanted more genie books, so I was SUPER excited when I heard about this one. Sadly, it just wasn’t for me. I don’t think I got far enough for the love interest either, even though I could see the beginnings of it. The main thing was the info dumps, like you said. I felt I was being fed information about the world at the expense of getting to learn and care about the characters. By the time I put it down, I felt I knew everything about the world and nothing about the main character.

    Stormy recently posted: A Brief Hiatus
  2. I stopped close to 50% but I felt a lot of your points too. The idea was so cool, but the into dumps and boredom didn’t help, I actually stopped to read like 3 books in-between because I didn’t want to keep reading it.

    Kelsey recently posted: Cat Thursday-All About Fran
    1. I did that too! I kept switching to different books, thinking maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for Exquisite Captive but would continue later.. then I just never went back to it because I had no desire to.

  3. If you hadn’t said Genie I would have continued scratching my head going “What’s a Jinni book?” LOL I had no idea it could be spelt that way. The concept is great, too bad you didn’t connect with it. I’m curious now to just check it out and see how it would work for me. I tend to be pretty good about being patient to connect and I read so much high fantasy that I’ve come up with a decent system for weird names, so maybe – though it would suck if I felt the same way b/c I take longer than most to DNF…

    1. LMAO RIIIIGHT??? Same thing happened to me when I first read about this book. I thought Jinni was some kind of new fantasy/medieval term or something I hadn’t heard of.

      Tbh a lot of people have been LOVING this book so I do think it’s worth checking out to see if you like it.

  4. I read this one from start to finish, but I’ll admit that there moments where I pretty much hated the book. I was completely lost when it came to the names as well. It was so confusing especially because I had an e-ARC and I couldn’t bother going back to the glossary of terms in the beginning of the book to figure out what exactly an Ifrit was. I ended up writing it down on a paper so I could pick it up, but yeah, I don’t really think a reader should me made to feel like they are doing research, which is what I felt like. Once I did that though, things got better for me.

    As for the abusive love interest, I was enraged. Thinking back to his role and to the ending, I’m pretty sure the MC had Stockholm Syndrome and that the abusive guy will never really become a real love interest. If he does, then I’m going to slap myself for reading this series because that is just plain wrong and what a horrible message to spread! I mean he’s caged her in that bottle, hit her so hard that her head hit a wall and then buys her gifts to please her. How on earth is that even remotely romantic? Not to me. Sad thing, people are actually shipping Nalia with the abusive love interest and think the other guy who cares for her and respects her and her boundaries is “boring”.

    I was also kind of disappointed that the book was set in LA. I wish the author had chosen a more Arabic setting, but oh well, whatever floats her boat.

    Sorry for this long essay review, Ashley. I’ve been wanting to talk to someone about this book, but no one I know has read the book. I’m sorry this was a disappointment.
    Have you picked up Something Real by the author btw? If you haven’t, don’t let this one prevent you from picking it up because it’s amazing. I don’t think fantasy is the author’s strongest talent.

    Nick @ Nick's Book Blog recently posted: Review : Feuds by Avery Hastings
    1. It’s great to find someone who felt similarly! I had the same problem with the names. I often feel like if a glossary is needed, the book is being written less like a novel and more like a history book, which isn’t something I like. And it’s annoying to go back and forth like that in an e-ARC (I had one too).

      And yeah, that’s what I’ve been hearing about the romance. People either hate it and see it as abusive, or people absolutely love it. I guess it’s like Fifty Shades of Grey, hahaha.

      I haven’t read Something Real. Thanks for the suggestion!!

  5. I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t like this one! I plan on reading it still, but perhaps I will lower my expectations a bit 🙂 I find it hard to keep track of large amount of characters without the added difficulty of complicated names anyways. I second the suggestion above; Something Real is amazing, and despite your “meh” feelings on this one, it is worth checking out.

    Bella recently posted: Making the Grade / Beauty Queens
  6. Yup, I hated this one as well. I forced myself to get to the 50% mark because I hate DNFing books (what if it were to suddenly become amazeballs?!).

    But it was SO BORING. Not only that, the the constant flashback distracted me and made it difficult to connect with the story and characters. And don’t get me started on the abusive relationship. Ugh.

    Steph Sinclair recently posted: Review: Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

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