Every time I pick up a Shelly Laurenston, I know I’m going to laugh. I am so in love with her world of arrogant, over the top shifters. They delight i...moreEvery time I pick up a Shelly Laurenston, I know I’m going to laugh. I am so in love with her world of arrogant, over the top shifters. They delight in violent behavior and irritating others. They have no shame and are completely at home in their lust. Really, what’s not to love? Especially when you throw in a large dose of immature humor. ;)
Going into this book, I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy it quite as much as I have some of the other ones in the series since Cella is friends with Dee-Ann, the heroine of Big Bad Beast, who I did not like very much. I didn’t get to see that much of Cella in BBB, but I was afraid that she would be similar to Dee-Ann since they were friends. Luckily that wasn’t the case. In fact, Dee-Ann and Cella are the kind of friends where it’s hard to tell if they actually like each other or not. They grate on each other and get into honest to God fist fights. At one point Cella tells Crush
”Don’t try to understand our friendship,” she said to Crush without looking up from her paper. “Just accept it.”
and I think that’s good advice. Actually, that’s good advice for a lot of the friendships in this series. :)
I’ve seen Crush infrequently during the series but I never knew much about him beyond the fact that he’s a polar bear. It was so fun getting to know him! He was so orderly and resistant to change, and his obsession with hockey was downright adorable—especially because the players he worshipped did not include Cella, much to her irritation. Poor Crush finds himself moved to the special shifter division of the police and partnered with Dez, from The Mane Event, much to his despair—like I said, the poor guy doesn’t like change. His chemistry with Dez is great and it was fun getting to see them snipe at each other. Plus, it gave us a nice chance to discover some previously unknown information. Who knew that polar bears would become so angry over being offered a honey bun? :P
After waking up naked with Crush in the beginning of the book (a hilarious scene), Cella becomes determined to loosen him up. Just like any cat with a secret attachment, she delights in annoying Crush and burdening him with her presence. She torments him in front of his coworkers and likes to tell everyone that they’re dating, even when they’re not.
”Why don’t you just say you don’t know how to deal with a nice guy?”
“I know I don’t know how to deal with a nice guy. That’s why I’ve been torturing the man every time I’ve seen him. But I don’t feel like torturing him at the moment. I feel like shooting him in the head.”
“Do you ever have small emotions, Cella? Little ones? That don’t involve either sex or death?”
“I’m a tiger. I’m either fucking or killing something. I can’t be all sitting up in a tree, lounging around like you people.”
But that’s just Cella for you. She just slowly works her way under your skin until one day you realize you’re in love with her. Of course, sometimes it takes a while to get to that point. Until then you’re just stuck being put into awkward situations and being conned into pretending to be her boyfriend.
I absolutely loved how completely unimpressed Crush was by Cella’s antics. He was flustered and befuddled at times, but for the most part he regarded her as something he was determined to escape.
"I'm trying to figure out if you're just a dick or if you're really an uptight, overthinking good guy?"
"How about I make the decision for you."
Crush stepped around her and walked out, determined to get away from this insane feline. And, as the door closed behind him, Crush heard her bark, "Well I guess it's just you being a dick then, huh?"
It was fun watching him be so relentlessly cornered. His irritation with her also gave us a nice opportunity to watch their friendship slowly develop before they did anything about their attraction. Speaking of friendships, we also got to see Novikov (from Beast Behaving Badly) get a friend. Shocker, I know. :D Novikov and Crush’s unlikely friendship was one of my favorite parts of the book. It was just so unexpected and adorably awkward. I mean, Novikov is not the easiest guy to get along with, yet both Crush and Cella do. That right there tells me that they were made for each other.
The only thing that kept this from being an A book was the suspense portions of the book. I didn't really care about those parts and was more interested in getting back to the humor and drama of the other characters. But that's just me. I'd rather just read about the antics of the shifters without all the rest of it getting in the way. Maybe that's why I loved The Beast in Him so much. Regardless, I had a blast reading the book and can't wait for the next one.
"KZS is made up of cats. In general, we're a lazy species. So we don't do what you'd call actual"--she made air quotes with her fingers--"'investigations'."
"Then what do you do?"
"Someone says, 'I'm thinking they're a problem'...and then they send one of us in to eliminate the problem."
Scowling, the bear demanded, "You do that for every situation? Even nonlethal ones?"
"Oh, God, no! Of course not. If you just irritate us, then we just come to your house and pee all over everything." She shrugged. "Sometimes shit in your shoes." When the bear only stared at her with his mouth open, Cella quickly added, "Not me, though. I've never done that. Not ever. Because it's...it's..." She thought a moment. "It's 'morally' wrong." She smiled, proud of herself for remembering the phrase.
"Did you just air quote morally?"
Not sure how to answer that, she said, "Just for clarity?" Probably would have sounded more believable without making it a question, but God, the bear had so many damn rules! How was she supposed to keep track of so many damn rules?
“He’s right. If anything is to survive, we have to risk everything. Everyone. There are no safe places left.”
Finishing Unbroken by Rachel Caine has made me a little sad. The Weather Warden series can be traced back to my early Urban Fantasy days, along with The Dresden Files and the Anita Blake series. I have followed it for years. It’s hard to say goodbye to a world that has given me so much enjoyment, especially a world that was so unique. Even after all these years, seeing so many different PNR and UF worlds, this one still stands out.
If you have never read the Weather Warden or Outcast Season series before, do NOT start with this book. You will be completely lost and will miss out on everything (two series worth of everything) that has gotten the characters and the world to this point. It’s the end of the world, literally, and there is simply not time for the author to stop and info dump enough to get you up to speed. So do yourself a favor and start in the beginning. Don’t worry, it’s worth it. ;)
Watching the world end is a thrilling experience—nail-biting and humbling, sure, but quite thrilling. Danger wasn’t coming from a single front, which leaves the characters and read with an overwhelming sense of constant peril. The Mother (aka Earth) is waking up and disaster is everywhere. In the world Caine has created, the main characters don’t simply gain a new power and turn into a bigger badass than the bad guy to save the day. Simply put, there is no bigger badass than the Earth. Tornados, earthquakes, lightning, fire…you name it, the Earth can throw it at you. That kind of opposition is simply overwhelming. Just stop and imagine what that would be like. There is nowhere to hide and your power, however mighty, is a speck in the face of that kind of power. When you add in the Djinn…well, let’s just say that things are not looking good for the Wardens.
I have always loved Cassiel’s character. She’s cold and logical and I could gorge simply myself on heroines like her. Having said that, her character type means that she is always the one to do what has to be done. I love that, but I get tired of whiny characters being horrified or disappointed by her actions. Those hypocritical, ivory tower types are true to real life, but the mean part of me would rather Cassiel let them die simply to teach them a lesson about being hypocritical. *cough*Luis*cough* Maybe they’d rather die with their morals than have Cassiel step in to do what has to be done to save them, no matter what it takes? *ahem* Enough of that. I’m starting to get irritated again.
I loved Cassiel just as much as usual, but I was not impressed with the people surrounding her. I started to question why she had to fall in love with this man and this family. She’s gone to the wall for them, but I don’t ever see them returning the favor. I never really got over what Luis did in the last book. Cassiel easily forgave him, although she never forgot, but I am not nearly so nice. He knew what it would mean to her and he still did it. But despite my irritation, I was actually glad the author cast him like that. It stood as a good indication of what this kind of circumstance does to people. The lines between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ became easy to blur and your opinion on the behavior of the different groups became hazy, depending on which side of the battle you were standing on. It was an us-against-them free for all and certain characters crossed some definite lines.
This story runs concurrently with the last book in the Weather Warden series, Total Eclipse, so you’ll notice some overlap with Jo, David, and Lewis. I really liked getting to see another side of the action. It goes to show that everyone is star of their own show, even when they’re fighting the same battle. At times it felt like you were missing part of the action, but that was because you literally were. Cassiel was fighting her battle, but the larger fight, the one to save the world, was being waged by Jo. They occasionally intersected but a lot of the information about the larger battle came from casualty reports and information given by side characters. This made Cassiel’s final battle seem a little random and easy, but the overall story arc was good enough that it didn’t bother me too much.
Despite the problems I had, like the ones mentioned above and my dissatisfaction with the too easy solution for the dilemma of Ibby’s involvement in the battle, I really loved this book. If you’re looking for a new, unique world with complicated politics and uncertain allies, this is one you need to check out. I hope you love the world as much as I do.
There was hope. Always hope. And it was those like Luis who would be the bearers of that hope, and the victims of it; heroes they were, and heroes died so that others might live.