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Jinn and Juice by Nicole Peeler eARC {3 Stars}

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 eARC {3 Stars}

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...

3 Stars

Strengths:

  • 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!

Weaknesses:

  • 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.

Summary:

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 ;-).

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya

 

 Jinn and Juice by Nicole Peeler

© 2015, Anya. All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. I’m super excited to read this, mostly because I grew up in Western PA and the idea of a fantasy novel set in Pittsburgh fascinates me.

  2. Peeler’s humor is not for everyone and she may have changed it up for this series. The Jane True series is snarky and funny but also has a dark edge. It’s not sweetness and light. I hadn’t realized this was a book with such a racially and culturally diverse cast, neither the cover nor the blurb hint at it. I’m curious about ending but I’ll have to see for myself. I may see if my library has this.
    Bea @Bea’s Book Nook recently posted…REVIEW And GIVEAWAY: Breath of Scandal by Sandra BrownMy Profile

    • Hehe, I get the impression that I would like her humor in person at say an author event, but for some reason reading it just didn’t work for me. I hope you get the chance to read it :D

  3. This sounds like a refreshing book in this genre and I like that it doesn’t have an alpha male. Slow burn romances are my favourite type of romances, so that’s another good thing. It’s a shame the ending get’s dragged out though and wasn’t as good as expected. I am still not 100% whether I want to read this or not, btu I am happy I read your review.
    Lola recently posted…Lola’s Kitchen: Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie RecipeMy Profile

    • I was so relieved to have a guy who wasn’t all alpha rawr, ha! I’ll definitely be reading the next book so maybe that’ll help decide you ;-)

  4. I got this one because,hello. I’m obsessed with jinni books and middles eastern culture is my own so I always love to see how it’s portrayed. Would u say this had a new adult feel to it? I feel like the cover is a bit, NA, but if there isn’t much romance or sex idk lol.
    I love the fact that there’s so,e diversity in this book. I’d pick it up for that reason alone!
    I can’t wait to get to this one (eventually) and I’ll let you know how I like it ;)

    Great review!
    Diamond recently posted…{ARC} Graphic Novel Review: Samurai Jack, Vol. 3: Quest for the Broken BladeMy Profile

    • Haha, I think the MC is a bit too old for it to be NA, but I honestly don’t have a good idea of what actually defines NA besides sex which there isn’t ;-)

  5. I love the premise and the cover is so eye catching. The publisher sent this one over so I might give it a try, and you make it sound like a lot of fun, despite some of its flaws. Thanks for the review!

  6. OOoh nice review! I loved Nicole’s Jane True series so I am eager to try out her new one! It sounds intriguing at least! And I kind of get her humor! It’s just snarky! Hopefully you will enjoy the next one! Or better yet, check out her Jane True series! Those were amazing! I still need to read the slew of novellas she’s published recently, I’ve bought them, just need to find time to read them! As always! Great review, again!
    Jessica @ a GREAT read recently posted…Review–Switched by Amanda HockingMy Profile

    • Thanks :D. I’ve been hearing so much about the Jane True series that I’ll definitely have to check them out ;-)

  7. Interesting. Love that it has great diversity and avoids the alpha male. Sounds like the series could have a lot going for it if the author polishes up some of the weaknesses in future books.
    Lisa (@TenaciousReader) recently posted…Tough Traveling – Musicians/BardsMy Profile

  8. I would say Peeler is more of a snarky writer than a funny writer. I love her sarcasm but it very seldom makes me laugh out loud. It is more like that friend you had in high school who had a witty comeback for everything that was “fun” in doses but can be overdone. I liked her Tempest series (the ones I read) and will eventually try this one.
    Felicia The Geeky Blogger recently posted…Library Review: Tiger Magic by Jennifer AshleyMy Profile

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