This review contains some spoilers. The first half of the review will not contain spoilers, and there will be a warning before the spoiling occurs. So don’t get mad at me!
I listened to this book via Libby. The audiobook is narrated by Errin Nalon. Published in 2014 by Balzer + Bray, Exquisite Captive is about 480 pages. This is the second audiobook I’ve ever listened to and can say it went a lot more smoothly than The Burning Sky (read my review here!)
The protagonist, Nalia, is a jinni stuck in LA. Nalia is the last person from her caste of jin, which ruled her homeland Arjinna before a different caste revolted. Her entire family killed, Nalia was caught by a slave trader and thrust into the dark caravan, the slave trade that brings jin to earth and sells them to humans. Her owner, Malek, is an ultra-powerful man who forces her to grant wishes to his clients in exchange for various important things. She gets contacted by Raif, the leader of a different, better revolution of one of the other castes. They join forces in an attempt to free her from Malek while her enemies grow closer and Malek grows more attracted to her.
This book has absolutely unbearable tension caused by attractions, and some interesting concepts in terms of what the jinnis can and can’t do, as well as the caste system and their homeland, Arjinna. The caste system is nuanced and Nalia comes to re-evaluate her prejudices without even realizing it. For me, the content was a bit superlative at times, but the tension, oh man. It’s some good stuff. However, I’m looking forward to reading the following books, and getting more into Arjinna.
I’m giving this book a 7 out of 10. For the target audience, the book is well thought out, lovely to read (listen to), and has a good storyline.
Things I liked: Errin Nalon, the narrator, has a lovely voice. I’m still adjusting to narrators making a weird, “manly” voice for the male characters, but I’ll get there. I cannot understate the tension: Nalia’s scenes with Malek and her fiery, tortured feelings are so well done, and her nicer scenes with Raif are just so romantic. I am really intrigued by the concept and the world of Arjinna. There’s a variety of different areas where the author describes the culture, the other jin, and Arjinna itself, that are lovely.
Things I didn’t like as much: I think that the book could have gotten a little deeper – that being said, this is a series, so I may revise that opinion after reading the rest of the books. I did not love the antagonist(s) so much, and hope that the queen behind the antagonist in this book is just a little bit more realistic and less superficial.
Overall, this book was generally just a nice easy read (listen) that was simply enjoyable.