Review: Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios

September 2, 2015 Review 28 ★★

Review:  Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios
Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Balzer+Bray
Source: Borrowed
Pages: 480
Release Date: October 7th 2014
Series: Dark Caravan Cycle #1
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, General, Love & Romance, Paranormal, Young Adult
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.
This book may be unsuitable for younger readers due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence. Note that this review itself does not contain any inappropriate material.

aliseAfter reading and enjoying I’LL MEET YOU THERE by the same author, I had to have more of Demetrios’ writing. EXQUISITE CAPTIVE did have the descriptive writing that was easy to fall into from I’LL MEET YOU THERE, but every other aspect couldn’t have been more different.

A romance-centric plot can work. It worked fantastically in THE WRATH AND THE DAWN and A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES, particularly because the two still had other elements and the romance itself was enjoyable. It definitely did not work here.

There is a love triangle. It can be argued that it’s not a true love triangle, but due to the main character’s swaying feelings, I think it was. Due to this setup, there was just too much angst, jealously, and confusion. One love interest is abusive and the other, while nice, seemed based on insta-love. Well, hatred then insta-love. Which is still insta-love to me even if she first hated him.

Still, the romance wasn’t even my largest issue with the book. What bothered me the most was the huge focus on materialism and the constant parties. Having brands in books, particularly one like this that is supposed to be fantasy, really takes me out of the story. I understand that there are two worlds and one is modern society but I couldn’t care less about what type of fancy car the characters drive or what brand of suit the love interest wears or how much something costs. Especially when it happens all the time.

I didn’t really connect to the main character, Nalia, that much either. She makes poor decisions and doesn’t seem to learn anything from them. Although I do have sympathy for her because she has been through some hardships, she still came off as somewhat of an immature and hesitant protagonist that doesn’t really do anything, despite the fact that she is “all powerful.”

Add in cringe-worthy moments and some poor attempts at humor, and this one just wasn’t for me, which really was a shame because I enjoyed the author’s contemporary books and this one sounded so good.

Rating Report
Overall: 2

28 Responses to “Review: Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios”

  1. Kyra

    Ah no! I don’t think I’ll be reading this! I agree that the romance in A Court of Thorns and Roses was done perfectly and it was awesome that it wasn’t the main aspect of the book and it can be quite annoying if the romance is the sole focus in a book, especially if it’s a fantasy. I also get quite annoyed when this too much detail of things that hold no importance in books, such as all the brands you mentioned. THAT MUST BE SO ANNOYING. Great review!
    Kyra recently posted…Review – Anna and the French Kiss – Stephanie Perkins

    • Alise

      Right? Loved ACOTAR. This barely even felt like a fantasy novel until the very end, it was so romance of romance angst and materialism. It was, gah. Thanks :)

    • Alise

      It looks like this one came out first, yep! It does, it definitely seems like she has grown as an author as I think IMYT is her most recent publication.

  2. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    I remember being excited about this one at BEA’14 but that was before I had much of a clue what the book was actually about. As soon as the reviews started coming out, I was glad that I hadn’t actually nabbed a copy LOL Reading your thoughts here only confirmed my decision. I haven’t read anything by Demetrios yet but I seriously do not think that this one is the one to start with. Insta-love, love-triangle, brand-overload and weak MCs would definitely turn me off in a flash! The gif of the old-timey cowboy seems to sum things up perfectly XD Lovely review Alise^^ ♥
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday #32

    • Alise

      Yeah, I know what you mean. I like fantasy, and captive stories can be interesting so that’s why I picked it up but…it wasn’t for me. At all. I came out this one with a lot of resentment xD Baha, score one for old-timey cowboy! Thanks :D

  3. Faye la Patata

    Ugh, you’ve confirmed my worst fears. I was actually pretty excited for this book, and even tried out the first few pages. I saw that the writing was so beautiful – so lush and descriptive absolutely surreal – but then, there were these signs of attraction to two characters and I just had to pause because it made me question the MC so damn much.

    I got an ARC of the second book though so now I am obligated to give this a second try. I’m not very hopeful it will be any better the second time around >_<
    Faye la Patata recently posted…Review: Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy – MY FATTY STORY

    • Alise

      The writing was great, probably one of my favorite aspects. Everything else either annoyed or rubbed me the wrong way. And yep, that aspect gets worse. The angst and drama-GAH.

      I hope you like some elements of it, you never know! Let me know if you ever review it :D

  4. Mallory @ The Leaning Tower of Tomes

    I’ve heard a lot of good things about Heather Demetrios, but it sounds like if I ever read her books, I’ll stick to her contemporaries. I hate insta-love, and for it to be a romance-centered book that’s almost 500 pages… Eh, I think I’ll skip this one. Pity you didn’t like this one, Alise.
    Mallory @ The Leaning Tower of Tomes recently posted…TBR List — September 2015

    • Alise

      She’s a great author, I’m just not sure about her fantasy books. I would definitely recommend I’ll Meet You There. Exactly! No worries!

    • Alise

      “I don’t get why we need to know whether a character wears Gucci or American Apparel unless it has something to do with the character arc” *SOBS* Exactly. EXACTLY.

  5. Lucia @Reading Is My Breathing

    I DNFied this pretty early. I just could not connect with heroine and her “feelings” towards her captor. Based on your review, looks like it was a good decision to DNF. I am sad though. I’LL MEET YOU THERE is my favorite book of 2015 and I love other contemporary by this author (SOMETHING REAL) so I had very high hopes for this one as well.
    Lucia @Reading Is My Breathing recently posted…STACKING THE SHELVES + RECAP: August 2015

    • Alise

      Same here, the fact that it continues for a large majority of the novel even when another love interest comes into play-ugh. Unnecessary drama and angst. Same here, her contemporary novels are great!

  6. Karen

    That’s such a pity. I totally agree that namedropping brands into a genre book takes me completely out of the story. Probably why I don’t like paranormal/fantasy set in our world.

    • Alise

      Right? I can deal with some because it can make it relatable but this was just way too much. The constant parties too *rubs forehead*

  7. Romi

    Oh noes! I’m so sorry this was a disappointment for you, Alise- it truly does sound awesome, so I can understand how the disappointment would have hit hard. It has awesome themes and an interesting sounding, unique premise, but it just sounds like it didn’t address them in a way that was enjoyable, and I think I’d have the same issues. Hopefully there’s a book that keeps these themes and inspiration, but presents it more enjoyably!
    I didn’t realise, until you wrote it and I read it, that ACoTaR is a romance centric plot. It kinda is, isn’t it? But it’s done so well and incorperates many elements into the story that sways the focus, telling it beautifully and realistically and just so darn convincingly. I really liked how it was done there.
    Lovely review, none the less (and gif use!). xx
    Romi recently posted…My individualistic writing and editing process of terror.

    • Alise

      No worries! That’s exactly how I would describe it, it promised so many great things, but never really went through with them, or at least in a way that was enjoyable, like you said.

      I would say so! I definitely agree, it was awesome and incredibly well balanced when it came to all the story elements.

      Thanks :D

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