Book Review – Blood Passage by Heather Demetrios

Book Review – Blood Passage by Heather Demetrios
Book Review – Blood Passage by Heather DemetriosBlood Passage by Heather Demetrios
Series: Dark Caravan Cycle #2
Published by Balzer + Bray, HarperCollins
Publication date: March 1, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
512 pages
Format: ARC
Source: ARC via publisher

A jinni who’s lost everything.
A master with nothing to lose.
A revolutionary with everything to gain.

When Nalia arrives in Morocco to fulfill Malek’s third and final wish, she’s not expecting it to be easy. Especially because Malek isn’t the only one after Solomon’s sigil, an ancient magical ring that gives its wearer the power to control the entire jinn race. Nalia has also promised to take Raif, leader of the jinn revolution, to its remote location. Though Nalia is free of the bottle and shackles that once bound her to Malek as his slave, she’s in more danger than ever before and no closer to rescuing her imprisoned brother.

Meanwhile, Malek’s past returns with a vengeance, and his well-manicured facade crumbles as he confronts the darkness within himself; and Raif must decide what’s more important: his love for Nalia or his devotion to the cause of Arjinnan freedom.

Set upon by powerful forces that threaten to break her, Nalia encounters unexpected allies and discovers that her survival depends on the very things she thought made her weak. From the souks of Marrakech to the dunes of the Sahara, 1001 Arabian Nights comes to life in this harrowing second installment of the Dark Caravan Cycle.


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Book Review:

Heather Demetrios takes readers back into the beautiful world of the Dark Caravan Cycle with Blood Passage, which was inspired by 1001 Arabian Nights. While there were some moments that were a little slow, this book takes readers on quite an exciting journey.

Having read Exquisite Captive a year ago, I was worried that I would have no clue as to what was going on. But thankfully, Demetrios embeds little reminders into the book so that you’re not completely lost. Sometimes these little recaps can get annoying but in this case with all the Arjinnan and Arabian vocabulary, I was so thankful to have them there.

At the end of Exquisite Captive, Malek, Nalia, and Raif come to an agreement of sorts. Malek has made his final wish, giving Nalia her freedom from his as her master. But she is still beholden to him in order to grant his final wish—to take him to the location of Solomon’s sigil. This owner of this ring has the power to rule over all jinni, which is something both Raif and Malek want but for different reasons.

Nalia can’t stand Malek after the years of torture she put him through, but the hardened cruel man Malek she’d become accustomed to seems to be melting away. Nalia also vowed to help Raif, the man she loves, with leading a revoltion to take back a troubled Arjinna, which is currently being raided by the evil Ifrit jinni.

Malek’s wants and desires shift in this one, and I really enjoyed seeing him change as a person, putting others in front of himself. Demetrios begins to peel back the layers of his past and you see what happened to him before he met Nalia. It was a painful past and it still doesn’t excuse the horrendous things he did. But I did feel bad for him (Eeep! I know, I know), but not bad enough to root for him and Nalia as a couple (See, I’m not completely off my rocker).

Because I didn’t really root for Malek and Nalia as a couple (and I didn’t really think we were supposed to), I still don’t see this as a love triangle. Nalia’s love for Raif, while shaky at times, remained steadfast in some form. She wasn’t torn between Malek and Raif, like a traditional triangle. Malek’s love for Nalia was unrequited.

The star of this book, much like Exquisite Captive, is the world Demetrios has built and the lush setting. I was able to visualize everything—the clothing, the food, the smells, the unique buildings, the unforgiving desert—which made me feel fully immersed in the story.

What kept me from rating this book higher, were my issues with the length and the long descriptive passages. This book topped out at nearly 500 pages, and I do believe that some of it could have been cut out. I found myself skimming over some of the less important narratives. Nonetheless, the overall story arc was captivating and I enjoyed this book. I need book three pronto!

If you’re wondering whether this ends in a cliffhanger, I would say that it doesn’t. The book ended at the end of one journey at the beginning of another and doesn’t leave you wanting to throw things.

3 stars

* I received an advanced copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book in any way.

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Blood Passage by Heather Demetrios

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