Thursday, September 10, 2015

Review: Jinn and Juice

Jinn and Juice (The Jinni - Book 1) by Nicole Peeler

Publication Date: 04/07/2015
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Imprint: Orbit Books
Genre: Sci-Fi/Urban Fantasy/Paranormal
Pages: 384
ISBN-100316407356
ISBN-13978-0316407359

(Received for an honest review from Orbit)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, itunes

Nicole Peeler on the WEB: website, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Excerpt from Jinn and Juice, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature

Synopsis:

Meet Lyla: Jinn, belly dancer, and the hottest new urban fantasy heroine in town.


To escape an arranged marriage, a jinni granted Lyla her wish: to live a thousand years as a jinni herself.

Now, her servitude is ending, but there are a few obstacles in Lyla's path to freedom. A Magi intent on binding her again, a jinni bent on vengeance, and not to mention the nightmare from her past that threatens to make her curse permanent -- and claim 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, vengeful jinni and belly dancing. 

Thoughts:

The author of the Jane True series, Nicole Peeler, brings readers the first book in a new urban fantasy series. Jinn and Juice is the first book in the Jinni series and promises to turn what readers know about this author on it's ear. Having read a few books and seen a few Jinni's in movies and television over the years, I can say that readers are in for something different with this series. This Jinni doesn't blink her eyes and nod her head. A great new read from a well respected author in the genre!

What I Liked:

This book was totally refreshing. I loved the Jane True books, but I've got to say Lyla, the heroine in Jinn and Juice was really intriguing. I loved the whole Jinni premise of the series and couldn't wait to dive in and see what Nicole Peeler's take on this subject would be. Lyla the heroine is a very old Jinni. She has been under the curse for almost a thousand years and is on the verge of becoming human again. Unfortunately, she has to hide out until the coast is clear and her servitude is over. As luck would have it, she gets bound with only a week to go. That's when the action starts and it doesn't slow down for a second. Readers are hurled into a very new and different landscape. The world building here was intense and very full. Peeler really went out on a limb with this one and I think it pays off for the most part.

I expected Lyla to be kind of wise beyond her years. The sage heroine who has been through a lot and ready to be completely unbound. Not exactly, what readers get with her character. She has a kind of 'devil may care' attitude. She's all about belly dancing and burlesque. She didn't come across as particularly worldly wise, but she was still a treat to read about. She liked to have fun and lets face it you need a character like that in most urban fantasy titles to lighten the mood a little bit. Peeler gives readers a Jinni with a penchant for adventure. Nice touch!

I admit that I wanted to know more about Lyla. Her backstory was  a little vague, as was most of the other character's stories, but I think we can chalk that up to this being a series. I expect we will find out more and more as the series continues about her and that may be the best way. The way the world of the Jinni's and the Magi worked was interesting and full of surprises. The relationship between Lyla and Oz is captivating, but a little on the weird side, as she is basically his servant. But the dynamic between them nothing if not intriguing. 

What I Didn't Like:

I really wanted to like this one and I did on a lot of levels, but my issues with it all stem from one thing. There were just toooooo many supernatural characters. You had just about every paranormal character you could possibly think of in this book and new ones that Peeler created herself. Too many names, too many descriptions. Way too much to try to keep up with. I could see the potential in having so many but I think it took too much away from the actual story. I think the back stories were vague on the characters partly because there were just too many in every possible way. Yes, it is possible to have too much of a good thing and I think that's what happened here. Doesn't mean it can't be fixed in subsequent books in the series. 

Bottom Line:

This one needed a bit of work. I liked Lyla, but she was not what I expected. The Jinni premise was spot on, but there were so many other supernatural characters it all but got lost in the mix. I can see where Peeler was going with this and I hope she reigns it in a little with the next book because there is a lot of potential here. But you better be ready to take notes when you read this one if you want to keep'em all straight. Almost gave me a headache... LOL!

Jinn and Juice is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!



About the Author:


Nicole Peeler writes urban fantasy and is an associate professor at Seton Hill University, where she co-directs their MFA in Writing Popular Fiction. Having recently finished her award-winning Jane True series, she is looking forward to the publication of Jinn and Juice, the first book in a series about a cursed jinni living in Pittsburgh. Nicole also lives in Pittsburgh, although she's neither cursed nor a jinni.

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