Jinn and Juice by Nicole Peeler is an urban fantasy that has heard the call demanding diversity in fantasy and come to the rescue! I fell in love the all the excellent secondary characters in Jinn and Juice, including the black transgender drag queen who is so kind and strong she could have her own spin-off series (give me that series now!). Jinn and Juice also manages to avoid the alpha-male romance dynamics that plague jinni/master stories, so I was pretty darn impressed. Ultimately the ending gets a little long, but it is a fun ride that I will be buying another ticket for ;-).
Note: I received an advanced copy of Jinn and Juice from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.
Jinn and Juice by Nicole Peeler (The Jinni #1)
Published by Orbit on April 7th, 2015
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 384 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
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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...
- The world of Jinn and Juice is really excellent and refreshing in an overburdened genre. Pittsburgh is a place of deep magic, but because of the steel industry, the magic has been polluted and is toxic to beings that must consume magic to live. Therefore, it’s become a haven for lower magic beings, such as will-o-the-wisps, former oracles, and a very special jinni :D.
- My worry whenever reading books with a jinni woman being held by a male master is that an unhealthy romantic relationship will be portrayed and make my teeth grind. However, Jinn and Juice succeeded at not making my teeth grind at all! It worked because there was very little emphasis on romantic developments and by the master being kind of the opposite of alpha male!
- Jinn and Juice very much has a slow burn romance if much at all. I’m really excited to see where things develop though since they are so cute ;-).
- The main character of Jinn and Juice is a middle eastern former woman, and her friends are also pretty much all not white except for the will-o-the-wisp. On top of racial diversity, we have a transgender friend who is accepted and loved for who she is and she is dating another secondary character! It was so refreshing to encounter a diverse and realistic cast of characters. Now if we could work on the white-washing of that cover….
- Jinn and Juice does a good job of opening a lot of doors that can be explored in a full series while pushing the main plot forward. There is a dying Fae kingdom lying alongside Pittsburgh, lots of questions of what will happen to Leila after the end of the book, and I want to know more about each of these awesome secondary characters!
- Urban fantasy tends to be on the shorter side and Jinn and Juice broke that norm a bit at 384 pages long. I would have been happy if those extra pages were well-used. However, Jinn and Juice ended up feeling way too long, with the final battle scenes sort of petering out awkwardly.
- The ending of Jinn and Juice rather annoyed me. And I shall say no more, just leave my grumpy face here.
- I had been promised that Peeler was a hilarious writer, and I can see how her humor would appeal to some, but I never found myself laughing out loud. If I had different expectations, this probably wouldn’t have bothered me, but I had expectations of lots of laughs :(.
- By the end of Jinn and Juice, I just felt myself being sad that I never fully connected with all the awesome characters. It kind of felt like they were a clique in high school that I watched having fun, but never got to join in.
Jinn and Juice is definitely a read for lots of urban fantasy fans. If you want a light-hearted but wonderfully diverse read in a cool world, Jinn and Juice is your book. If you know that Peeler’s humor works for you, then definitely give Jinn and Juice a try! I will be sticking with the series since I have hope that I will come to love the next books more than this one ;-).
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
Jinn and Juice by Nicole Peeler
© 2015, Anya. All rights reserved.