Sunday, November 22, 2015

Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios

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.

Rating: 2/5 Stars

“She’d never break a vow to the Gods to save her own skin, but Nalia would sell out the entire jinn race in order to rescue her brother.”

Exquisite Captive is pretty much everything you would expect from a book titled “Exquisite Captive”, we have skin described as food, an abusive romantic relationship between a slave and her master, an abusive relationship between a slave and her rescuer, and an idiot MC.
Ok, the last one is not so predictable but it’s still there.

Nalia is a Ghan Asouri, the last of the most powerful of the Jinn races. This kind, only female, was believed to be Gods’ descendants thanks to their connection with all four elements, air, fire, earth and water instead of just one like the other Jinn races. They ruled over the Jinns with an iron fist, until they all rebelled against them and Nalia, a guard back then, managed to escape but was later captured and put inside a bottle, forced to obey the master that bought her, Malek.

First I’m going to say what I did like about this book before I get into the negative stuff:

  • I liked the writing style of the author, it was a bit purple-prose yes, but it helped set the mood for this fantasy tale.
  • The world-building was fantastic, I could picture perfectly and I loved the background the author provided for this world, it really showed that she had put a lot of thought into it.
  • I liked how the author said that Nalia had experimented sexually with other girls. It was natural (especially considering how all girls lived together) and, although the author didn’t go into too many details it’s something that most writers tend to avoid, so I’m glad she showed it!

Now, onto the problems:


As far as plot goes, well I’m still not sure what that was. Nalia wants to escape her sadistic and beautiful master, Malek (because bad guys must always be hot, otherwise his behaviour would be automatically catalogued as creepy, instead of sexy) and get back to her homeland so she can rescue her brother from a life as a slave.
The problem is, to be free Malek has to make his third wish or die. He won’t do the first and, thanks to a wish he forced from Nalia, he can’t do the second either. So that leaves Nalia with only one choice, help Raif the leader of the revolution that killed her kind.

Probably one of the major problems with the plot is that it doesn’t show itself up to 30% of the book, and after that nothing really happens. We end the book pretty much the same way we started it, with a few changes here and there.

Exquisite Captive focus too much on the romance, a sin most YA books commit these days. No that there is anything wrong with romance, but when it starts out of nowhere and it leaves only a few sentences for the real action it overpowers the plot. Mostly Nalia spent her days missing her homeland, being scared/confused to Malek and her attraction to him, being pissed off/attracted to Raif and telling us constantly how she was the Ghan Asouri, the most powerful of the Jinn races, but never living up to her words because she always had to be rescued by some guy.

The lack of consistency:

At first we are told that Ghan Asouris can be born from other of their kind (Nalia’s mother was one as well) or they could be born randomly in other Jinn races. When identified by their eye color, violet, they are taken away and trained with the rest.

So I just don’t understand why Nalia being the only Ghan Asouri left meant that it was the end of the race! Couldn’t just more of them be born into other families like it had been happening since the beginning of time???

The author completely ignores this!

At the beginning of the book, Nalia said just how close she was with her “sisters”, how they understood each other and were a family she dearly missed. Then she goes on and tell us how this new friend she has on Earth is probably the only real friend she has ever had, because she was “different” from the other Ghan Asouri (she was against violence and shit, even though at the beginning she said she loved it) so she kept to herself. And THEN she tells us how her only real friend had been another Jinn back in her homeland.

Make up your fricken mind!

The Characters:
I’m the sort of person who focuses a lot in character. The plot could be fine and the writing decent, but if the characters are dull or annoying that will kill a book for me. Something of the sort happened here.


Aggg, Nalia! You could have been amazing, gurl! I was excited to see her character play out. As a Ghan Asouri, Nalia had been part of the oppressing regime, instead of being the one who rebelled against it. It was a nice change, because this time the man character was “the bad guy”.
Unfortunately, her character fell flat. We were remained again and again how she was so powerful and she shouldn’t be overpowered by someone lower than her, and yet she spent all of her time having her ass kicked by lower Jinns and even humans!
Moreover, the author didn’t seem to settle on what Nalia was supposed to be. Was she a fierce warrior, ready to take revenge on those who murdered her family? Or was she someone who hated to make other people suffer, even if they had hurt her? Was she a dictator, believing to be oppressing as the right thing? Or was she the only “good” Ghan Asouri, the one who realized what they were doing was wrong?

It was like the author wanted for Nalia to be strong, but not too strong so that she wouldn’t need a guy to come and rescue her. She wanted the girl to be different, but not different to the point where she had an interesting personality. Nalia was only so powerful in the past so that Raif, one of the love interest, would have a reason for hating her (because it’s sooo romantic when a guy hates your guts!) but not too bad so that there couldn’t be romance between them. Meh.

I got bored, Nalia started as a vindictive woman, and rightfully so! But then she turned out to be this person who begged people not to do stupid things instead of simply stopping them. She wasn’t as active as I wished she had been, she let a lot of stuff go by simply so that the problem could resurface later on and that’s a plot device that annoys me, because it’s clear that if you ruin someone’s life they’ll most likely want to get revenge on you.


The creepy master was, surprisingly, the best character in the book. Even though I hated what he did, how abusive he was toward Nalia and everybody around him, the guy was compelling. I cared about his story and how he would turn out. He was like a weird and worse version of the Darkling from The Grisha.

That being said, he’s a freaking asshole.

The stupid revolutionary and the “good” guy. Ugh.
The romance between him and Nalia was annoying as hell. Raif was supposed to be a good guy, but his behaviour toward Nalia pissed me off. Yes, she was a Ghan Asouri and had been in the cup, but she had also been fifteen years old at the time, a child. And yet Raif kept saying how he didn’t care that she was probably being forced to sleep with her master, that she deserved it.

Fuck you Raif. Fuck you fuck you fuck you.

His plan to win the rebellion is one of the dumbest I’ve ever heard of. He wants to find a magical object that will give him the power to control all Jinn but instead of using it, he says he just wants to show it to the enemy and scare them.

Like, what?? First, everybody thinks that object is nothing but fairy tales so showing it it’s not going to do nothing, you have to use it to scare them.

Second, if you just show it but won’t use it, then there is a 100% chance that the enemy will try to take it from you, and that enemy far outnumbered Raif’s entire resistance (they are winning for a reason).

Third, Raif had no training whatsoever and yet he thought he could keep the object from making him evil (kinda a la Lord of The Rings) by sheer force of will, right.
I really wished it had been his sister the one who was in charge of the revolution instead of him, she was far smarter and level-headed.

Skin as food, skin as food, SKIN AS FOOD!:

I don't think I have to explain why it's wrong to describe skin as cinnamon, right? Right.

Overall, Exquisite Captive showed promise, but the execution was poorly done. 
Two out of five stars.


  1. This one sounds interesting, but too bad it was so poorly done. I think I'll have to pass on this one lol.

    1. You never know, you might like it! I've honestly been having very bad luck with books lately, so I'm not in the best mood when I pick one up :/