Exquisite Captive

480p. HarperCollins/Balzer & Bray. Oct. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062318565; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9780062318589.
Gr 9 Up—Nalia, a powerful jinni from the world of Arjinna, has been on the dark caravan of the jinni slave trade for three years. After a deadly coup killed almost everyone she cared about, Nalia was captured by a slave trader who sells jinn to humans. Now she is trapped in Hollywood and bound to a handsome master who is as ruthless as he is powerful. Nalia is desperate for the chance to return to Arjinna and rescue her captive brother—something that seems impossible while bound to her master and the bottle that can hold her prisoner. When Nalia agrees to a dangerous bargain with the leader of Arjinna's revolution, she will have to decide if any price can be too high for her freedom. Demetrios crafts a refreshingly diverse story with nods to Arabian culture in this lengthy blend of traditional jinni lore and urban fantasy elements. Unfortunately, while Nalia is a strong and capable heroine, her positive attributes are marred by a lopsided love triangle. The well-realized world of Arjinna is similarly overshadowed by stiff descriptions and numerous explanations.—Emma Carbone, Brooklyn Public Library
Held captive by a powerful human in Los Angeles, upper-caste jinni Nalia agrees to aid Raif, the leader of the rebellion that destroyed Arjinna, in exchange for her freedom from both her master and a deadly Ifrit assassin. Though the story is frequently interrupted by clunky exposition, the lyrical writing, lush setting, and unlikely romance will enchant many readers.

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