Heat Stroke

by on Jul.20, 2010, under books

Since I ran out of Jim Butcher books to read (for now), I decided to go back to a series I started based on his recommendations.  I picked up and started reading the second book in Rachel Caine’s Weather Warden series, Heat Stroke.  I had read the first volume, Ill Wind, a few months ago and rather enjoyed her writing then.

Rachel Caine’s writing style is somewhat similar to Jim Butcher’s style in the Dresden Files series, but a bit more femininely-oriented.  Instead of references to slasher movies, etc., there are references to fashionable attire.  In place of guy-ish sexual tension and subtle female objectification, there is, well, some pretty overt male objectification.  But both deal in some good fights both physical and magical in nature.  And both describe the use of their respective magics as a balance of mystical powers and application of physics.

In this second volume, we see the story line from Ill Wind continued quite literally – as in almost no break in time between the arcs.  It would be nearly impossible to summarize the plot of this book without partially spoiling the ending of its predecessor.  So if you haven’t read the first book but plan to, I suggest you stop reading here.

Ok, for the rest of you – the end of the last book had Joanne Baldwin throwing all of her power into stopping a pretty deadly demon-based scenario from unfolding by absorbing two demon marks into herself and allowing them to effectively cancel each other out … thoroughly killing her in the process.  But her newfound Djinn ally, David, saved her by converting her into a Djinn.  At first this seemed a pretty sweet setup for a happily ever after, but it seems her ‘birth’ as a Djinn was a costly process that had consequences that no one had anticipated – amongst which was a rift into the Void (the realm from which demon-kind hail).  So after having a couple of days to adjust to her new existence, she has to jump right into the fray of fixing some things that it seems no one else has the power to fix – including trying to keep her hair from turning up curly every time she turns solid.

Unlike the previous volume that ended in a sort of serendipity, this one ends with a pretty big cliffhanger.  So naturally I will be continuing to read through book 3.  So far the female perspective appreciation of hunkiness factor hasn’t turned me off to the series yet (I guess I’m that big of a geek that the weather and magic talk drive me to soldier on).  But I sense more of it to come – if it becomes overwhelming I may have to cut my losses, which would be ashame as I do enjoy the overall narrative.  The only complaint I can offer is that the book, while only about 200 plus pages, was divided into only 3 chapters.  I guess to an extent I’ve gotten used to Butcher’s screenplay-esque chapter handling.  Again, I can tolerate this as I will stop where I feel the need to stop, but it is nice to have more frequent clean breaks.  But I will continue on – potentially straight through the whole series … or at least until Jim Butcher releases something else.

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