Cursed to be a jinni for a thousand years, Lyla 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, Lyla turned to her house Jinni, Kouros, for help escaping an arranged marriage. Kouros did make it impossible for her to marry — by cursing Lyla to live a thousand years as a Jinni herself.
If she can remain unBound, Lyla’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 Lyla 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 Lyla, 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
Nicole Peeler and I have always seen eye to eye. Her Jane True series is a firm favourite of Kristal and myself. Not only does she nail the Urban Fantasy genre every single time, but her characters are everything I love and more. I kid you not, this lady can do no wrong! So how excited was I for her new book, Jinn & Juice. A new world and new characters, the possibilities were endless. Are you getting the gist of how excited I was? Well my excitement was well placed. This book delivered and then some!
The story is about Lyla, cursed to be a jinni in some wicked bargain a loooong time ago, her curse will be lifted if she can keep from being bound by a Magi (pesky humans who can bind and use jinni) Of course life is NEVER this simple and Lyla ends up bound… This is where things really get interesting. Oz, the Magi who has bound her really isn’t anything like the others of his kind that Lyla has encountered. For a start he’s kind, and he’s not selfish, and he needs her help to help someone else. From here the story twists and turns and I guarantee you wont see the ending coming.
When it comes to anything Nicole Peeler I like my heroines hilarious, snarky, kick-ass and generally pretty damn awesome. Lyla ticks these boxes easily, she is one sassy lady! Every step of the way she is nothing but authentically herself. You find out very quickly that even though as a jinni she must follow her masters orders, she still has her ways to skirt certain issues. Let me tell you, you’ll never look at a cantaloupe the same again!
Which brings me to the potential recipient of the cantaloupe treatment, Oz. At first he seemed barely a cardboard cut-out compared to Lyla’s loud and rambunctious personality. But bit by bit he won me over, he may not have smacked me over the head with other worldly pizazz, but he did add the very important carefully constructed human element that the story needed. In fact, he really was the ying to Lyla’s yang. You could tell from the start that this guy was Mr nice, and there is nothing wrong with that!
As always, Nicole Peeler’s world building was on point. Everything was meticulously laid out, from the steel poisoned magic running under Pittsburgh, right through to the magical realm, Sideways. I loved Lyla’s back story and not once did I feel like I’d learnt everything about her or this world, which personally I am all for. I don’t want to be done learning new facts about this universe and these characters, everything I’ve learnt so far has me wanting to know more. I was thankful that time was taken to explain all of the detail, but not once did the story feel bogged down by it. The weird and wonderful supporting characters obviously had a lot of care and thought put into them, creepy (Trip & Trap) AND kooky (pretty much everyone else) they really topped off an already fantastic read. I have to make special mention of Yulia, I never have been so amazed and petrified simultaneously by a supernatural creature, but this wisp had me (she also had me googling all things wisp related)….
This book is the start of what I am sure will be an awesome series.
I can’t wait.