Ill Wind

by on May.20, 2010, under books

I learned two things I didn’t expect while reading this book:  (1) I learned a whole bunch of facts about weather patterns I hadn’t fully appreciated, and (2) I realized that I’ve read very few books written by women.

After finishing the Dresden Files series (at least what has been written so far) and being left with a penchant to read more, I came across this series by Rachel Caine called the Weather Warden series.  A friend mentioned it to me as Jim Butcher actually endorsed the series.  Given I haven’t read anything by him that I haven’t liked, I figured his recommendation was worthy of consideration.  So I picked up book one from my local Barnes & Noble and dug in.  I have to say that I enjoyed it more than I expected to.

The book follows Joanne Baldwin, a powerful Weather Warden, on her quest to clear her name of murder charges and free herself of the demon mark that was forced upon her.  The setting is modern day United States and posits a secret group of people with elemental abilities that are self-governing in the use of these abilities to guide earthly phenomena such as hurricanes, wild fires, earthquakes, etc.  This version of our world also includes the existence of genies (referred to as Djinn) as powerful and immortal being that can be bonded to a host and their power used to enhance these elemental forces.

Rachel Caine builds an interesting and believable world and set of characters.  While the story starts in the midst of action and tension, Rachel eloquently weaves in back story elements that help give Joanne and the other characters she interacts with greater substance.  She also manages to paint a vivid picture of the events as they unfold.

While I have read plenty of books where part or all of the story was from a woman’s perspective, it seems that a story written about a woman BY a woman yields a perspective that I haven’t previously experienced.  Perhaps it is a bit cliché, but as a man it is inherently difficult to fully understand how certain experiences are perceived from a feminine perspective.  In that respect, this book was rather educational and inspires me to possibly explore this perspective further (though I don’t necessarily see myself running out to purchase Sense and Sensibility).  In the least, perhaps my wife will consider reading something that I liked and we can share that.  I gave her the book – that is all I can really do without being a nuisance.

Anyway, the bottom line here is that I did enjoy this book and I am giving serious consideration to continuing the series.  If you like the contemporary fantasy genre (à la Dresden Files, etc.), then you may enjoy this series as well.  If you do, let me know.  If you didn’t like it, I’d like to hear why.  If you’d like to just discuss the Coriolis Effect, I’m open to that too.

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1 Comment for this entry

  • Homem

    The thing with Dresden, is even if I see it coming, I still LOVE IT!I just read this and tghohut it was brilliant, managed a couple of good surprises tho’ I did see the traitor as inevitable.

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