So much potential and a bigger disappointment
Series: Dark Caravan Cycle
Author: Heather Demetrios
Publisher: Blazer+Bray, USA
My ratings: 2 out of 5 stars
Releases: 7th October , 2014
Exquisite Captive was one of those books which I had been most excited about. From early reviews it was clear that this was emerging as a new popular book with characters multi- faceted characters and moral dilemma which would entertain me to no end. Unfortunately this is not what happened. Nadia is a jinni trapped captured and enslaved, forced to serve her master, Malek. She is bound to her bottle which means she has to listen to every command until Malek makes his third wish. Forced to obey, Nadia struggles with the life of captivity and yearns to get back to her home dimension 'Arjinna' and save her brother. Being the last surviving member of the ruling clan Ghan Ashouri, Nadia gets embroiled in between serving her master, hiding her identity and the rebellion by the serfs.
I was eager to read this book mostly because there seemed to be a character, Male, who seemed enigmatic, attractive and cruel and was being compared to even the Darkling. That piqued my interest and ultimately leading to tie downfall of this book. I went in with really high expectations and those were not met. Malek was everything I was promised but he missed the mark on each of them.
I didn't quite like Nadia either as she was full of the fore mentioned angst. I can't believe I am saying this, but there was just too much world building going on. Nadia's musings over Arjinna and then the local culture and practices and the social norms kept being explained to me again and again, to the extent that it got tedious towards the end.
I think what irked me the most was that the Persian words which were lifted to be used within the book were Urdu and Sanskrit words which I associate with other things. For example the name Malek, literally means Owner in Urdu and on one in there right mind would be named that. Furthermore Ashouri in Sanskrit means a female demon, hence every time Nadia was called Ashouri I imagined demons with massive fangs and big bellies running frantically.
Putting my own issues aside, I simply could not make myself care about the characters or empathize with them. There was too much world building, with cultural practices, caste distinction, magic users that had my mind whirling.
Overall, Exquisite Captive could have been so much better but it missed the mark. There was so much potential but it never rose to it. Try it if you want a different take on the paranormal fantasy genre but don not have high hopes from this.
Releases 7th October, 2014
ARC received from Blazer+Bray via Edelweiss