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Jinn and Juice Paperback – April 7, 2015
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"Peeler is perfect. Jinn and Juice is her best urban fantasy yet with vibrant characters that leap off the page fully formed from the first line. Fast-paced, rowdy, smart, irresistible, and tender, there's just no one who hits the urban fantasy marks as well as Peeler. Buy this book! Read it! Love it!"―Kat Richardson on Jinn and Juice
"Peeler has done it again! Jinn and Juice is a delightful read filled with action, humor, heart, and a heroine to cheer for. And it doesn't hurt that there are also sirens, trolls, bugbears, and plenty of Pittsburgh steel."―Kevin Hearne, author of Hounded, on Jinn and Juice
"Jinn and Juice is a raucous, raunchy tale well told. One thing's certain: you'll never look at Pittsburgh the same way after you've taken Nicole Peeler's mythic joyride up, down, and sideways in pursuit of an abducted teenage girl and freedom from a thousand-year curse. Legend and history, betrayal and love intertwine as the story moves from lascivious sex clubs to the unraveling of a mystery to a magical jinni throw-down which will leave you panting for more. Jinn and Juice is Urban Fantasy at its smartest, naughtiest, funniest best."―Juliet Blackwell
"Snarky, sexy! Beautifully descriptive and painstakingly plotted. Lyla is a smart, sly and just this side of scary. Peeler's world-building is clever and complete with every possible fairy folk character! The other-worldly seems familiar and glamorous all at the same time. And I learned how to curse in a few new languages, so it was educational!"―Molly Harper on Jinn and Juice
"Nicole Peeler is a master at weaving humor and romance together to create addictive stories and characters!"―Richelle Mead on Jinn and Juice
"Rising star Peeler returns with a new Pittsburgh-set urban fantasy series featuring a cursed jinni... The supremely gifted Peeler adeptly builds her alternate Pittsburgh by making it a funky and magically polluted refuge for non-pureblood supernaturals. Fabulous characterization, witty dialogue and a clever plot make for a magically mixed-up tale that is both fun and thrilling!"―RT Book Reviews on Jinn and Juice
"This series is urban fantasy at its best!"―RT Book Reviews Top Pick! (4.5 stars) on Tempest Reborn
"Grounded equally in ancient myth and the challenges of modern life, Jane True lives up to her name ... true, and truly unique! A fascinating, fast-paced, sexy storm of a book."―Rachel Caine on Tempest Rising
"Witty and fun, with a dash of dark suspense."―Scifichick.com on Tempest Rising
"A new star is rising in the urban fantasy world. With her Jane True character, Peeler launches a first-person series that's an exciting journey of self-discovery and murder mystery."―RT Book Reviews (4-1/2 Stars) on Tempest Rising
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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Lyla is a jinni that is desperately close to the end of her thousand year curse. If she in unbound at that time, she will return to her human state. If she is bound, Lyla is cursed for another thousand years. Oz is a newly initiated and poorly educated Magi. He binds Lyla because he needs her help in finding a girl that was kidnapped after her parents were murdered. It is only later that he realizes that gravity of what he has done. Oz walks into Lyla’s world virtually blind. In true jinni form, Lyla uses this to her advantage. Initially. Oz is unlike any Master she’s ever had before.
I’ve read other reviews that have a problem with the love story between Lyla and Oz. He is her Master and she is essentially his slave. How can true feeling develop in that type of relationship? Well, because it is so much more than that. Attempting to pare it down to such a bare bones statement takes away from who Lyla and Oz are. Yes, Lyla must follow Oz’s direct order. As long as they are specific. And she’s a master of manipulation (hello cantaloupe). It is still servitude, I know. But that’s where Oz comes in. He’s a decent human being. It seemed that somewhere along the way people forget that these two are more than just their relationship. It plays out in an interesting way. I was happy with it and felt like they truly cared for each other.
Lyla is a dancer at a burlesque club. Most of the other workers are her close friends and roommates. Some of the characters are larger than life, while others do not get enough page time for me to absolutely fall in love with them. Having said that, I love Rachel. She made me laugh out loud. Perhaps the largest character, and arguably the most important, is the setting. This novel is set in Pittsburgh. I don’t know of many books, particularly fantasy books, set in Pittsburgh. Jinni cannot survive within its confines. No jinni means there are no magi. Which makes it the perfect place for a jinni with Lyla’s circumstances to hide. How she is able to survive when other jinni cannot is part of the plot. That is why I say that the setting might arguably be the most important character. It effects every aspect of how the characters go about their lives.
I did have one problem with this novel. Lyla is very crass. Particularly in the way she speaks. She seems incredibly immature for a centuries old being. Now, Ms. Peeler explains this in the novel. Lyla has lived a very long life and decided that go with the flow is the best outlook. It is explained much more detailed in the novel, but that’s the general idea. However, she is extremely cautious in many of her choices. It did not mesh with her supposed outlook on life. She does not truly deal with her emotions. Something that Oz points out to her. I liked Lyla. I actually liked her a lot. Yet I had trouble believing she was such an ancient being.
First Thought When Finishing The Novel:
Charlie has what in his bathroom closet?! I still have no idea what Trip and Trap are, but I know I want them on my side.
There is not a cliff hanger, but it does leave it wide open for a sequel. I think Lyla did a lot of growing up in this novel. Which sounds so ridiculous because she centuries old. Still, people can grow. If you know Pittsburgh, there are lots of Easter Eggs for you. If you don’t, fries on a salad is best thing that will every happen to you. Try it! I really want to go in Charlie’s bathroom closet.
Lyla was cursed to live as a jinn for a thousand years. If she’s unBound, she’ll become human again when the curse expires. She’s been hiding out in Pittsburgh, hoping to stay under the supernatural radar. Rivers in the human world correspond to ley lines in the magical one, so the area was once full of magical beings. But iron poisons magic, so the large concentration of steel has polluted the lines, making them unusable.
The city has now become a haven for Immunda, supernatural creatures that feed from humans (like vampires, for example) rather than taking magic directly from a ley line, who are less powerful than their magical counterparts. Since Lyla was originally human, she’s more at home among the Immunda, though her jinni powers also allow her to tap into the polluted lines.
A week before the curse expires, she’s discovered and Bound by a Magi. Oz is unlike any other Master Lyla’s had tough. He needs her help to find a missing girl and promises to release Lyla as soon as they find her. But their quest keeps getting interrupted by monsters escaping from Sideways - the magical realm. Since a jinn is more powerful when Bound, Lyla is the only one in town strong enough to fight them. I loved the originality of these creatures, like the Bugbear, a monster that looks like a fuzzy brown version of The Tick. (I kind of want to give the book an extra star just for the Tick reference!)
The supporting cast is also full of really original characters. Lyla’s best friend Charlie is an oracle and amateur taxidermist who runs the burlesque club where Lyla performs as a belly dancer. Her roommate Yulia, a will-o-the-wisp, also works there, along with Bertha the troll and some other unique creatures. I loved their sassy banter and all the double entendre you’d expect from supernatural strippers.
And the club! It’s called Purgatory, but the cliché is deliberate. The walls are tented in red and black stripes and decorated in Charlie’s handiwork, like a sequined sloth on a flying trapeze and the deer head hanging over the bar whose teeth double as a bottle opener. It’s all so trashy, it’s fabulous!
I also really enjoyed the chemistry between Lyla and Oz. He’s not really a typical hero – he’s a tattooed, flannel clad anthropologist. And he seems to be a genuinely nice guy, much to Lyla’s consternation. He’s only recently discovered his Magi heritage so he learns about the supernatural along with the reader, which is a nice change from the norm where the narrator is the one who’s new to the world.
Oz and Lyla’s search eventually leads them Sideways. I had so much fun on their journey. I loved exploring the alternate Pittsburgh with its magical ruins. The world is interesting and the magic is a little bit different than anything I’ve read before. The plot also had a nice little twist at the end.
Jinn and Juice is supposed to be the first in a series and I can’t wait to see what all these characters do next. And I kind of want to visit Pittsburgh. Lyla says they put french fries on everything – even salad!
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By Nicole Peeler
I really wish GoodReads allowed for percentages in their rating system. I like Nicole Peeler's writing, I really do.Read more