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I Belong


Review: Jinn and Juice by Nicole Peeler

Jinn and JuiceTitle: Jinn and Juice

Author: Nicole Peeler

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: The Jinni (Book #1)

Publication Date: April 7, 2015

Format: Paperback, 384 Pages

ISBN-10: 0316407356 (Orbit)

ISBN-13: 978-0316407359 (Orbit)

Reviewed by: Steph

Synopsis:

Cursed to be a jinni for a thousand years, Leila nears the end of her servitude—only to be bound once again against her will. Will she risk all to be human?

Born in ancient Persia, Leila turned to her house Jinni, Kouros, for help escaping an arranged marriage. Kouros did make it impossible for her to marry—by cursing Leila to live a thousand years as a Jinni herself.

If she can remain unBound, Leila’s curse will soon be over. But Ozan Sawyer, a Magi with the ability to See, Call, and Bind jinn has other plans.
Oz needs Leila to help him penetrate Pittsburgh’s steel-soaked magic, a juice potent but poisonous to supernatural creatures, in order to find a missing girl with her own mysterious connection to Kouros. Unfortunately for Leila, becoming Bound to Oz may risk more than just her chance to be human once more—it could risk her very soul…

Jinn and Juice is the first in a new series by fantasy writer, Nicole Peeler, set in a world of immortal curses, powerful jinni and belly dancing.

Quick & Dirty: A woman cursed to be a jinni for 1,000 years is finally close to the end of her sentence. Then a Magi has to show up and ruin everything. A fun tale full of humor and action, this book definitely should not be missed!

Opening Sentence: The chubby little human was doing his damndest to hump my leg, but the palm I’d placed on his forehead kept him at arm’s length.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

It’s been a very long thousand years for Lyla. Born human but cursed to be a jinni, she’s waited for this day for a very long time. The rules of her curse state that if she is unBound exactly one thousand years after being cursed, she will become human again. Well, she is only a week away. Her freedom is so close she can actually taste it. Then, Oz shows up. Oz, a Magi, has the power to Bind Lyla, and that is exactly what he does. He needs help finding the daughter of friends of his, and he won’t release Lyla until the daughter is found. Lyla has no choice but to follow his every command and hope that he’s telling the truth when he says he will release her once her task is complete. It soon becomes obvious, however, that this is no simple rescue mission. Things are starting to go terribly wrong in Pittsburgh, and it’s becoming more and more clear that this girl is at the heart of it. Will Lyla and Oz be able to find this girl before Lyla’s time is up?

I’m still in the middle of Nicole Peeler’s Jane True series, about which I have mixed feelings (hated the first 2 books, but the third was entertaining), so I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to react to this new series. Thankfully, I needn’t have worried. I was pretty much hooked from page one and had a hard time putting the book down. It’s full of humor, but the humor doesn’t feel forced, which makes it very enjoyable.

It did take me a little bit to warm up to Lyla, mainly because it is so obvious that Oz is a good guy, so the way she treats him at first made me not like her, even though her attitude is justified based on her prior experience with Magi. Once I let my initial feelings go, I really began to like her. She has the makings of a very tough heroine, and I’m curious to see where she goes from here.

One complaint I have is that, while Oz is supposed to be the leading man, he felt more like a side character. I never really got a good feel for him, other than knowing that he was a good guy. I’m hoping there will be more added to his character in future books because there is definitely potential there. It just didn’t come to fruition in this book.

Lyla’s friends really make up the heart of this book. I easily felt the most connected to them, I think because it so apparent from the very start how much they care about her, and their actions throughout the book only served to further deepen my affection for them. I especially loved Rachel. Her personality just leaped off the page. I would love to get a chapter or short story from her point of view.

All in all, this was a very entertaining first book in a series. There were times that exposition bogged the story down a bit, but it really didn’t affect my enjoyment too terribly. I would say everyone should definitely give this one a try, even if they didn’t love the Jane True series. You might just find yourself pleasantly surprised, as I was.

Notable Scene:

Recognizing a true, Initiated Magi, my crazy inner she-bear emerged, gibbering about never being taken alive. If I had any thought at all it was that my sense of self-preservation would give me an edge. I was fighting for my life, after all, while this guy was just a jerk trying to Bind a jinni.

Unfortunately he didn’t fight like a jerk; he fought like a cornered wolverine. He fought as if he were the one who’d be enslaved if he lost this match. He fought like his life depended on it. Which, considering I was intent on killing him, I guess it did.

He fought better than me.

I was hitting him, hard, but I’d lost my talons shifting to a bigger size. Being unBound meant I was far less powerful, even with my unusual access to all of Pittsburgh’s corrupted magic swirling at my feet. And now that I was unarmed, he wasn’t hitting back, just using his big body to deflect the majority of my blows. Until I overextended a kick.

His own booted foot lashed out, knocking my leg out from under me. I was on the ground again and this time he didn’t underestimate my abilities.

He pinned me down with all his weight, his knees pressing painfully into my thighs and his chest blanketing mine, his hands holding down my wrists. His face was inches from mine, but his features were entirely obscured by the bright glow of his Flaring eyes.

Not me, my brain howled. Not when I’m so close to being free. I started to shift again in a last, desperate attempt. But before I could change, he’d spoken.

It was the second part of the spell that was the real bitch. And I was too late to stop him.

“Te vash anuk a si,”he chanted over and over. I Call you.His pronunciation grew more confident with every repetition. The harsh sibilance of the language of the jinn reached toward me, wrapping around my soul. I cried out, but the spell blanketed me, muting my powers. I stopped mid-shift, my power whoomping out, leaving me beneath him in my own small form.

My wide brown eyes stared up at him, begging him silently to stop, not to say the last bit. The bit that made me his; that made me do his bidding; that made me a slave until he either let me go or died.

He spoke the words.

The Jinni:

1. Jinn and Juice

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FTC Advisory: Orbit provided me with a copy of Jinn and Juice. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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