Exquisite Captive (Dark Caravan Cycle Series #1)

Exquisite Captive (Dark Caravan Cycle Series #1)

by Heather Demetrios


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For fans of Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone series and Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy comes the first book in the Dark Caravan Cycle, a modern fantasy-adventure trilogy about a gorgeous, fierce eighteen-year-old jinni who is pitted against two magnetic adversaries, both of whom want her—and need her—to make their wishes come true.

Nalia is a jinni of tremendous ancient power, the only survivor of a coup that killed nearly everyone she loved. 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 release Nalia from her master so she can return to her ravaged homeland and free her imprisoned brother. 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062318572
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/02/2016
Series: Dark Caravan Cycle Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 496
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

When Heather Demetrios isn’t traipsing around the world or spending time in imaginary places, she lives with her husband in New York City. Originally from Los Angeles, she now calls the East Coast home. Heather received her MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is a recipient of the PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award for her debut young adult novel, Something Real. She is the founder of Live Your What, an organization dedicated to fostering

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Exquisite Captive 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
WulfLuva More than 1 year ago
Move over Genie! You’re outdated! Demetrios has created a world of magic, wishes, and fantasy that weaves together to make a fantastic land. To be brief, it’s a great book! I loved how much detail was portrayed in every line. It seemed like I was learning new details about Arjinna with every word. I absolutely loved the amount of background information. The only downside to the world-building was the beginning. It was hard to wrap my head around all of the different powers and group names. I quickly got over that though. The only thing that made me angry about the world was that I didn’t get to see it in the book, just hear about it through flashbacks. The characters in the story were good. They weren’t as fantastic as the world-building however. Nalia is a strong female lead; she just seems to not try as hard as I imagine she could. She definitely changed and had major character growth throughout the story. I didn’t like her attitude at all at first, but she morphed into someone I could empathize with. The love interests, Malek and Raif, are difficult to describe. Malek is a jerk, plain and simple. I didn’t connect with him at all and Nalia’s Stockholm Syndrome towards him annoyed me to no end. Raif on the other hand is awesome! I love that he’s a rebel; I just wish he had had an opportunity to actually show his leadership and power capabilities. Now for the plot of the book, it seemed to take forever just to accomplish one small task. I wish more had actually happened. This ties into the world-building as well. I feel like Nalia and Raif should have actually been in their world for at least a portion of the present part of the book. All in all, it was a great book with a few small drawbacks. I was expecting better, but I enjoyed it for what it is and will most assuredly be reading and buying the sequel. 4/5 stars *Note: I purchased this book for myself.
WorldsCollide More than 1 year ago
Rich, captivating, and engaging, Exquisite Captive was a fantastic YA read. I really liked this book. From the lush world of jinni, to the surprising twists, this book was amazing. Loved it! The world that the author created in this book was just beautiful. Rich, lush, and beautifully described, I was totally drawn into it. There were some points where I got a little lost, just at the beginning, since it was a complex world that was delightfully multilayered. So, it took a few chapters before I got the lay of the land. But, once I got it, I loved the world of the jinni. Nalia was a wonderful heroine. She was very strong and extremely determined to return to her world to save her brother. Even after having a revolution kill her entire class of jinni and being forced into slavery in the human world, she still held on to her strength and survived against the odds. She, and the other characters in the book, were well thought out. They were complex, multidimentional, and really kept me engaged into their conflicts. I really liked Nalia's character. I thought she was a wonderfully kick-ass heroine. The two love interests in this book were Malek, Nalia's master, and Raif, the leader of the revolution against Nalia's ruling class of jinni. Malek was a brilliant character. He had so much to him that I spent most of the book just trying to figure him out. He was a complicated man, to say the least, one with secrets that I never saw coming. He could be ruthless at times, and totally sweet at others (which was due to one of those aforementioned secrets) and I ended up actually liking him. Raif was also good. He was caught between his preconceived notions about the ruling class and the real life Nalia who went against the stereotypes. He was very clever and loyal to his cause. I liked him, from what I saw of him, but I liked Malek better, just because he was much more interesting. But, I thought Raif was great, too. The romance was half good and half not-so-good. The romance between Nalia and one of the guys was brilliant. Their relationship was complicated and the chemistry between them was surprisingly hot. And, I thought they were rather sweet together. Her relationship with the other guy was more expected and predictable. Honestly, I don't know how they got to love each other, because they had only met a handful of times, and spent most of that time insulting each other. And, after what we find out at the end, I don't know how things would work out for them. So I loved half of the romance, but I wasn't so keen on the other half. The plot well paced. It started of a little slow, while I got my bearings in the world of the book, but, about I third of the way through, things picked up and I was hooked into the story. Though, there were still a few points where the plot slowed down a bit. There were so many twists and turns, so many secrets that I never saw coming, and they all kept me engaged. I really enjoyed the story and the ending has me anxious to find out what happens next. I can't wait to read the next book! After this amazing start, I have high hopes for the series. Exquisite Captive was a fantastic YA read. From the complex world that was created, to the delightful characters, buried secrets, and lovely romance, this book was amazing. I absolutely loved it! YA lovers, this is a book you won't want to miss. *I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed it .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Eri-AiryReads More than 1 year ago
I was expecting to like this book, but it ended up being one of my favorite fantasy reads this year. Exquisite Captive is a book that is as exquisite as its cover. This book follows the tale of a jinn with a haunted past, the cruel shackles that tie her to her ruthless master, and a revolutionary leader who is the last person she should trust. Nalia is a survivor and a character who struggles constantly between the reality she lives in and the past she can never forget. Bound to obey Malek, the only thing that keeps her together is the thought of her brother. Powerful and enchanting, she is the last of a truly great line of jinn, but longs for freedom more than anything else. "She was the roar and the whisper and the stillness. She was nothing. She was everything. " I connected strongly with Nalia, particularly to her devotion to her younger brother and I admired her tenacity in the face of her captive state. Despite her awe-inspiring power, she is tormented by her past and the struggle of submitting to her fate. Raif gives her a chance to gain everything she has ever wanted and it was hard not to get caught up in the mind games she must play to reach her goal. This is where we get to the part I enjoyed the most in this book. While the romance in this book was sweet and touching, the highlight for me was not this, but the convoluted relationship between Nalia and her master Malek. The premise alludes to the terrible way that Malek has treated Nalia and the complex nature of the bond that these two characters have, but reading it, there is also another side to this relationship, one that is dangerous in nature for the vulnerable Nalia. And Demetrios does an excellent job at showing the dangers of an abusive relationship and the confusion that comes with it, without glamorizing or romanticizing the scenario. It is compelling to read about Malek and his contradictory treatment of Nalia, and how he truly seems to believe that there is room for a romantic bond to blossom between the two of them. It's twisted and toxic, yet when you are blurring the lines, how far can you go before you go pretend and reality are indistinguishable? "She had to find her way out before she got lost in it forever. " On the other hand, the romance in this book was one that I did find myself rooting for, even if it didn't quite capture my interest as strongly as Malek's role did. Nalia and Raif are both lovely characters, both driven by their passion and ideals. It was swoon-worthy, and It's heartbreaking and hopeful, the way they connect, and I hope to see more of it in the next book. "It was an apology written as a love letter, sealed with fierce hope. " One thing to note though, since this book is written in third person, we do alternate between Nalia and Raif, although it is mostly Nalia's POV that we see. And there are chapters in between that which deal with the villain's POV, which could get a bit tedious after a while, though the beautiful writing did make it mostly worth my while.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Romantic and gut wrenching with a unique, fast-paced plot.
BoundWithWords More than 1 year ago
Ever since it was released I've been hearing mixed things about this tittle, some love it and some found it confusing and slow paced, I've to say that both are right and that I fall into these two categories. Reading this book was a roller coast ride but so far we only reached the peak, it started slow and it seemed we only are going straight but them there was some curves and twists and we started gaining velocity and going up and them it ended and I've to wait centuries for book 2 ugh. So let me try to explain myself. The start is slow, really slow and there is A LOT of information being trow at you about the jinn mythology, their culture, gods, political system and following revolution, how they fit (or don't) on our world, basically Demetrios had a lot to cover to create this world on our heads, so give this book more than a 100 pages to grow on you, but of course if you're not a fan of slow starts maybe this will never really be your thing. For me it worked amazingly well, I read the first 100 pages really slowly in three days and it wasn't a bother for me because I was having tests and stuff so I wanted to read something slow, and them on the forth day I read the other 380 pages in a high and it was awesome. I really loved the way this world of jinn and human was build, it was created and showed to us in a way that seemed 100% believable, I never asked myself if this could be real or not, if it was unrealistic or saw any plot holes, actually it's one of my favorite fantasy settings like ever. A lot of this is because of Demetrios writing, which is amazing and has a way to waver things like magic and curses together with chaotic Los Angeles setting and make it work, make it seems like that is the only possible place on the world for this to happen. Now, as always, I can't not speak about the romance on this one and god, this made me feel things. So we have a love triangle, sort of, I mean you know who she is going to end up and it's pretty clear for who she has feelings but there is some other character and they have a dynamic of hatred and attraction, so things get a bit confusing some times. Let's talk about this secondary love interest first, so on my principles I should hate him with all my strength because it's a clear abusive relationship and he's basically a terrible person on all fronts, seriously there is no redeeming him but oh my god if I don't like the scenes between him and Nalia, he is so twisted that is fascinating, seeing his completely wrong ways of searching for love and affection was great and Demetrios wrote each scene in such a compelling way. On the other hand there is the actual love interest, who I'm not totally aboard with yet, I mean I was totally gonna go for that since it was a hate to love kind of thing but them a thing happen and all of sundenlly all the hate is gone and they are super sure they love each other and want to be together forever and ever and even risk things for each other, I was just surprised by this sudden change and it was too much instalove for me. Overall this was a pretty solid start for a series that left me wanting the sequel, it has a unique and creative world building, strong characters and very twisted and complicated relationships, if you can get past the slow starts I highly recommend trying this one since I've not read anything like it on the YA section.
megankylene More than 1 year ago
Wow! Exquisite Captive was an imaginative and lush fantasy filled with mythology, vivid imagery, magic, and romance. Heather Demetrios blends Middle Eastern culture with modern-day Los Angeles in this gripping tale about a young jinni afflicted with memories of her past fighting for her freedom. This story was so fresh and unique and I enjoyed it so much! Nalia is an eighteen-year-old jinni who was sold on the Dark Caravan, a secret underground operation that sells jinni from Arijinna to the affluent on earth. Nalia has been with Malek for three years. Until recently, Malek has been cruel, locking Nalia in her bottle exposed to iron poisoning for months at a time. Now he’s softer and even affectionate towards. She is trapped with him until she grants all of his wishes. I really liked Nalia’s character a lot. She’s strong and resilient against. She has seen and done a lot of horrible things that have forced her to grow up a lot. Because of that she’s more mature for her age. She is a fighter and will stop at nothing to get back to Arjinna so that she can rescue her brother from the Ifrit takeover. Throughout the novel, Nalia struggles with her past, carrying this immense guilt for Now for the romance. Nalia’s master, Malek, is a wealthy, mysterious businessman who uses Nalia’s gifts to get richer. But like I said earlier, he starts treating her differently. He is sweet and caring towards her, taking her on dates. Like Nalia, I had conflicted feelings towards Malek. He’s a man of immense power, who had the means to banish Nalia to her bottle at any time. Between him and Raif, he’s definitely the darker, bad boy of the two. He loves her and desperately wants him to love her back, but it’s clear she’s so confused she doesn’t know which way is up. I loved being able to feel her internal struggle. Boy did I feel it, especially after the scene in her bedroom. Is this YA? Whew! Meanwhile, Nalia meets Raif a lower caste free jinni who came to Earth specifically to find Nalia, a girl he is determined to hate. He is the leader of a revolution to overthrow the evil rulers of Arjinna and, like Malek, he also needs Nalia to do something for him. As the last surviving member of the Ghan Assouri (the former ruling caste of Arjinna), Raif doesn’t exactly want to be around her, given the fact that her people killed his father. What I loved about the relatioship between Nalia and Raif was slowly it developed. Raif reluctantly and slowly fell in love with Nalia. As he saw what her life was like with Malek and what she’s had to sacrifice, his prejudices and hatred chipped away. He saw her for the young, sweet jinni she was instead of this horrible monster he had built her up to be in his head. This book is very love triangle-esque. It has all the makings of a love triangle. One girl is torn between two men. She is conflicted over which one to choose. But it’s a little more complicated than your normal love triangle recipe. You’ll see… While I was immediately entranced by the world, I found the beginning of the book to be really slow. This book is told in third person, which doesn’t bother me, but the long narrative passages slowed down the pacing. 3.5 stars * I received a copy of the audiobook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wasn't sure when I first started reading this book if I was going to like it or not but, I am so glad I continued on! It was a fantastic read and I am looking forward to the rest of this series!
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
Well, I must say this was an interesting read. Got a little dark at times. For the first half I found I wanted to read more about how Nalia planned to get the bottle back and free herself from Malek and the moments when Nalia got to see another side of her master, etc. Second half I was thinking when will something happen. I mean yeah stuff was happening but the pacing was a little slow. I'm okay with slow pacing now and then to help build the story but still. Then you have POV's of the villain. Yeah, he was creepy. And then there's Raif. I didn't like the guy at first. Later on, you find more about him and all, but still, not sure about him yet. I don't hate him but kind of like him? If that makes sense. Near the end was where things got interesting. The stuff with Malek though, I liked that the MC acknowledged it. Thank you for that book. I heard there was a love triangle but liked that the book did something with it. I would also have liked if the romance merely hinted at then have it in the next book or something. I don't know. The tension was there between the three so there's that. It didn't stop me from reading though. I did like the writing style and the cover is pretty. So its a 4.5 for me. Good start.
BookLoversLife1 More than 1 year ago
This book right here is why I love reading! Every so often you find a book that just captivates you and from the start, you know you will love it! I devoured this and didnt want it to end. Nalia is the last of her kind after her kind were killed with guns from earth. She relied on someone she knew to get her out of Arjinna but he betrayed her and forced her to become a slave. She was tied to her bottle and whoever bought the bottle owned her for three wishes.  Malek bought her and Nalia thought that once the three wishes were used shed be free, but Malek isnt just a normal human. He knows secrets that only Jinni should know. He knows that he only gets three wishes so one of his wishes is that Nalia must obey every command he gives her and must grant one wish to whom ever he chooses.  Even though she is bound tight, she still tries everything she can to escape. Malek is a cruel master and very clever so all her efforts go to waste. She has been with him for 3 years and is beginning to loose hope when someone enters her life who may be able to help her. Can she trust him though and what are these feelings she is having for Malek? Nalia was an awesome heroine. She is spunky, strong, brave and loyal. All she wants is to be free so she can save her brother who is still in Arjinna. She has to hide her true identity from the many Jinni on earth because they all hate her kind. She is exceptionally strong but with the binds on her, her power is limited.  Malek started out as an ass but over the course of the book we see a different side to him. He isn't all he seems and I ended up liking him. He is complex and cruel but strangely compelling. Enter Raif. The leader of the Jinni resistance and Nalias only hope. He wants to hate Nalia simply because of what she is but he finds himself drawn to her. I loved the chemistry between Raif and Nalia and hope to see more of it and them in further books.  I adored the world the author has created. Its complex, rich in history and yet pretty dark. At the start of the book is a glossary of Jinni class and without it I think I would of been lost. It helped understand the Jinni dynamic and why Nalia has to hide. The authors descriptive writing pulled you into the lush world and didn't let go. She has created a world that I wont forget and one Ill always look forward to diving into.  An absolutely captivating read!! Everything about it was amazing. From the Jinni to the ghoul, from earth to Arjinna, from Malek to Raif, Exquisite Captive is a must read. Rich in detail and totally compelling, I can not wait for more from this series and I need book 2 now!!! 
MissFictional More than 1 year ago
DNF review *Thank you Balzer+Bray for sending me this copy in exchange for an honest review!* Oh, Lord. I hate to admit this, but I was relieved to call it quits after resentfully trudging through 162 pages of dryness. There were quite a bit of problems I had with this book--mostly personal issues as opposed to technical--and they all hindered my enjoyment of the novel tremendously. I was very much anticipating this book, and the issues I had with it coupled with the immense amount of hype it had been receiving resulted in a very disappointed girl. A few months ago, I read The Fire Wish and reviewed it . I quite liked it and thought it was a step in the right direction for the Middle Eastern fantasy genre. The same, however, cannot be said of Exquisite Captive. I am of Middle Eastern decent, so I know a bit about Jinn. To be frank, I don't really like how Demetrios handled the topic of Jinn; her approach just doesn't sit right with me. Maybe I didn't read enough of the story for me to make a fair assessment of this, but as far as I got, I did not feel any sense of Arabic folklore the synopsis boasts of. It felt as if I was reading some over-exoticized, cliched version of an authentic tale that tries way too freaking hard to be "oriental." Hey, blame the summary for my uncharacteristically high expectations.  What bothered me the most, or rather who, was the master, Malek. The guy just made me extremely uncomfortable. The image I had of him was one of those stereotypical Saudi oil men you see in movies with tons of money and nowhere to put it. He was abusive and violent, and the fact that he would become a potential love interest later on made me reluctant to continue. Raif, the revolutionary leader, was just an all-around jerk. And Nalia somehow found his jerk-ness admirable??? Speaking of the protagonist, no matter how hard I tried, I simply could not sympathize with Nalia. She wasn't unlikable, per se, but it was difficult for me to see from her point of view. Her awe-inspiring beauty was shoved down my throat so many times that I had to suppress the urge of throwing the book at the wall. Based on the back-story we were given, she undoubtedly had a cruel past, so does that make me a horrible person if I didn't really... care? (Don't answer that.) As I said, the overall atmosphere was overly exoticized, mostly due to the relentless worldbuilding. There were constant references to... a war? Different races of Jinn? It wasn't explained very well so I was left feeling confused instead of intrigued. Alongside these tirades would be pages upon pages describing Malek's mansion and Nalia's beautiful dresses and the lavish parties and materialistic things I didn't care about. Can you blame me for DNFing? I can definitely see the appeal in Exquisite Captive, and it'll most likely be a successful series, but it just didn't work for me nor it did hold my attention captive (see what I did there). I'd recommend to those who like fantasy with a heavy dose of romance.