bentangle

Tag: Ma’at

Windfall

by on Aug.05, 2010, under books

As promised, this review is close on the heels of my review of book three (mostly because I pretty much read them back to back).  Overall I’m definitely getting into the flow of these books and I’m interested to see how long they will stretch out.

In Chill Factor, Joanne managed to save the world from both the nihilistic tendencies of the god of Djinn under the ownership of a misguided teenager and a dirty cop that switched to drug smuggling to Djinn smuggling (partially due to her own past meddling).  And in the end when faced with the choice of joining up with either the newly discovered Ma’at or her old job with the wardens, she opted for neither.

In Windfall,  we find Joanne doing her best to stay off of the aetherial radar – most poignantly as a weather girl on a Ft. Lauderdale local TV affiliate.  It pays the bills and keeps the wardens from bothering her … mostly.  But when strange things start to swirl around her (e.g., freak storms, missing wardens, Djinn standoffs in the streets), fingers start to migrate in her direction.  But having a Djinn boyfriend that is barely holding himself together (literally), having limited abilities herself due to her Djinn tether and the unborn Djinn daughter in her belly, and having her recently divorced sister mooching off of her all seem to hamper her ability to do much to clear her name much less save the day.  But she manages to make a dent none the less.  And in the end, things change fundamentally once again.

While I’ve been enjoying Rachel Caine’s first-person perspective throughout these novels, I have to say that I’ve seen a marked improvement in her writing form in this book.  Where many of the past volumes had about 3 or 4 long chapters, this one had about 7 shorter chapters that each had an interstitial arc that nicely wrapped up into the main story arc by the end.  It made the story much more interesting to read and added a narrative element that introduced a key alternate perspective as well as pertinent background that would otherwise have been difficult to integrate.

Once again, this story ends with drama in progress, so I will likely be starting book five as soon as I can.  Though I’ve taken a brief break from it to read another book recommended by a friend.  So I will likely be reviewing that book before another Rachel Caine review appears here.

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Chill Factor

by on Aug.03, 2010, under books

I’m writing this post belatedly because I’ve since read the fourth book as well and will likely start the fifth book soon.  But I’ll attempt to try and keep the events separated enough now to review the third volume (and I’ll likely write another post shortly reviewing the fourth).  Anyway…

So in the first book, Joanne Baldwin was a weather warden on the run (being that she accidentally killed a prominent weather warden in the process of getting a demon mark thrust into her) and died at the end to save the world from the evil growing inside of her.  In the second book she is reborn as a Djinn, but quickly learns that (a) being a Djinn isn’t as easy as it looks and (b) the price of her afterlife was higher than she could have imagined – in the end she spends her life force to make it right, and is then gifted with rebirth as a human.  Now in the third book, she has unfinished business to attend to – namely that a punk teenager has bound to his service the most powerful Djinn in existence.  And they are holed up in Las Vegas.

Through this story Rachel Caine continues to build out the canon behind the Djinn, their origins, and their nature.   What I find most interesting about Joanne’s character is that she holds nothing back – she will confront anyone about anything regardless of whether she is out-matched, out-powered, or out-classed.  In that way, she is a bit like a small, yippy dog – always barking at everything and everyone.  But she has the bite to back it up.  And unlike many of the protagonists I’m accustomed to reading about, Joanne hardly ever has a clue what she is getting herself into.  But that rarely stops her from jumping in mouth first.  And once again the smaller struggle she is working through seems to have world-changing repercussions if she fails.

Once again, there are moments of male-ogling that I could do without.  But they are less frequent and the story is definitely compelling enough to make it a non-issue.  And while this book does not end in nearly so much of a cliffhanger as the second volume had, it still ended in a way that left me eager to see where things may go next.  What really makes the series easy to breeze through is that each volume is fairly short (a little over 300 pages).  And through many of them, the timespan between volumes is no time at all.  So the series is very fluid.  If you are looking for an easy-read series with some action and some mystical elements set in a familiar setting, The Weather Warden series is a great choice.

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