Nicole Peeler has become one of my favourite Urban Fantasy authors. Jinn and Juice marks the first of a new series for her; a tantalizing departure from her Jane True series into the madcap world of Lyla, an unBound jinni. I wanted a laugh and this book surfaced in my ARCs. It was just what I needed to read between (all of the) projects.
Lyla was born a human. However, she has been living for the last millennium as a jinni and commands the power of fire. Living in Pittsburgh, she works as a belly dancer in a bar called Purgatory (because of course she does). One night during her set, she catches the eyes of a man named Ozan, Oz for short. Oz is a magi and, annoyingly, binds Lyla with the words a mere week before her curse is slated to end. He intends to find a young woman who he has wronged and enlists Lyla to help him, much to her chagrin. There are ancient evils attracted to Pittsburgh, a place of magic and steel, and Lyla must fend off many of them in order to attain her goal – freedom.
During it all, she tries to ward off her growing attraction to Oz. It’s just not right that a man with the power to enslave her can also be so…intriguing.
Peeler’s books are always fun, her humour uproarious. Her tone and her world-building always hit me in the right spot. Between Lyla’s antics, the rise of paranormal activity surrounding her, and the scenes with her group of oddball besties, this book lived up to my expectations. I felt that it lagged a little in the middle, but that sometimes happens with the pacing in Urban Fantasy. Things have to slow down before they can ramp up, and that’s exactly what has happened here.
I was very happy with Lyla’s support system. Rachel divide is a human psychic who inhabits Purgatory as its resident drag queen. Yulia is a will-oh-the-wisp of slavic descent. And of course theirs Charlie, Lyla’s several century old companion whose hobbies include taxidermy and gay-bar hopping. Suffice it to say, with this band behind her, anything is possible. I am also interested to see where the romance goes. There are a lot of possibilities on that front.
It’s a lot of fun and I enjoyed it. I am curious to see what happens in book two.
4 out of 5 stars.
– Follow the Reader –