I’ve discovered that I’m not a big fan of a romantic connection being established prior to the start of a book. I don’t mind a preexisting attractionI’ve discovered that I’m not a big fan of a romantic connection being established prior to the start of a book. I don’t mind a preexisting attraction or a second chance, but I don’t like having an established connection plopped in my lap. I know I’m just supposed to go with it, but it’s hard. It can succeed if done well, but an author has to be careful to still provide supporting data to make me believe in the characters’ feelings instead of expecting me to swallow it just because it’s presented as a fact.
Such is the case with Darian and Tyler. They’ve known each other for five years and have been dancing around their attraction the whole time. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s very apparent that they are approaching the love end of things. I just didn’t understand why. I felt no connection between them; no tension. Tyler became pretty pushy and demanding toward Darian and her accountability to him—which was attributed to something that I can’t talk about for fear of spoilers—and I couldn’t help but draw back from his behavior. It felt presumptuous, to be honest. If I had more belief in their relationship and understood him better it might have irritated me less, but as it stands I felt repulsed by his gall and was irritated by Darian’s childish back and forth with him. Of course, the author throws in the obligatory love triangle, which seemed out of place and intrusive, not to mention kind of creepy, given her connection to that other guy.
Darian was my main problem with this book. I found the writing mechanical and the story rather boring, but all that paled in comparison to my issues with Darian. I can’t believe how irritating she was! She wasn’t strong or capable, although I’m sure I was supposed to think she was. She actually came off as childish and petulant. She would frequently blow up and never stop to consider the company she was in or the reaction it would bring. That wouldn’t be so bad if you were the baddest chick on the block, but she wasn’t. Her skills were laughable compared to the other people. She had a great reputation for assassinating humans, but she was a joke when stood alongside another supernatural creatures. I don’t have a problem with her being low man on the totem pole, but I do have to question her intelligence when she refused to recognize that fact. Her attitude and her behavior made it seem like she was trying too hard. She felt like a preteen trying desperately to prove how adult she was. What irritated me most about this was the fact that she was never called on her crap. Certain characters even seemed to admire her for her daring. It made them all seem ridiculous.
In addition to not liking her attitude, I also found her pretty dim. She’s been shaede for years, but she never bothered to research her existence? She was told by her maker that they were the last two in existence and let him put her off every time she pushed for more information about her abilities and what she was. But when he disappeared she never tried to find out on her own? She just went through the next couple decades oblivious, not stopping to consider that even if she was the last of her kind, there were other supernatural creatures out there as well? What??? Maybe it’s harsh of me, but that seems really dumb. She’s introduced to more of her kind in the story and blunders through their world, not even trying to learn the lay of the political land. At that point I gave up on her and concluded that it was a miracle that she had stayed alive that long.
I came close to DNF’ing this book quite a few times in the beginning. It was s-l-o-w and was nothing but tell, tell, tell. It’s written in first person, so we spend all of our time in Darian’s head. This wouldn’t be a problem, except for two things. One, Darian is not a very interesting or likeable character. Two, the writing style made it very apparent that Darian was narrating the story to us instead of us just watching her experience it. That won’t be a problem for all, but I find that style of narrative boring to read about. It inserts an unwelcome distance between me and the events of the story. Plus, I could have done with some more dialogue so I could have gotten a break from Darian. Obviously I didn’t DNF the book, though. I was interested enough in the idea of the world to push through and hope for improvement. Although the story could have used better worldbuilding, I ended up enjoying the setup enough that I gave it a D instead of an F.
”You hired me to kill…you?” I asked incredulously, because, well, who does that?
“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 ma
“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.
I just finished my reread of this book. I have two new books in the series - the final two books - and I want to be totally fresh for the conclusion,I just finished my reread of this book. I have two new books in the series - the final two books - and I want to be totally fresh for the conclusion, so I plan to read them all again. Reading this was almost like reading it for the first time again. I remembered the broad strokes of the story, but I had forgotten all the little details and twists that made it so interesting. I'm very pleased to report that my enthusiasm for this story has not dimmed with time!
I absolutely love the way this story is set up. We are dropped directly into the action. We know something bad has happened, because Jo is on the run, but we are not certain of the particulars. Things unfold slowly for us through flashbacks and conversations with other characters. We slowly get to see Jo's world and the situation she has found herself in. We also get introduced to some very interesting secondary characters.
I absolutely loved the way the author set up the world. I have never read anything else even remotely close to this. I find it all quite fascinating. We have the Weather Wardens, the Djinn they control, a conscious Mother Nature, etc. It all combined to make a fascinating new world.
The detail that the author includes about the way the Wardens manipulate the elements was absolutely phenomenal. I loved watching Jo work out ways to get hostile weather elements to disperse without disrupting the entire weather system and creating a backlash. I found it all extremely interesting. I'm very pleased that the author didn't just brush over these details.
We got a very nice introduction to several secondary characters. David was very intriguing, and genuinely nice. I also loved that we learned a little twist about his history with Jo. I thought that added a very believable slant to his initial reasons for approaching her. I also loved learning about Lewis. Kudos to the author for creating such an interesting character through flashbacks alone. We don't meet Lewis for most of the book, but we feel that we know him regardless. I loved getting to meet Alice and Rahel. The Djinn are so interesting, but you can also see the clear capability for cruelty beneath the surface. They are not a race to be toyed with lightly.
Unfortunately, I couldn't give this book a full five stars. The action feels high paced, and I love the fact that things are constantly happening, but it leaves the character development feeling a bit of a lack. The characters are fun and entertaining, but they aren't very deep. It didn't bother me, but it might bother some people. Also, the romance is very underdeveloped. It's a nice side element, but don't go into the story expecting this to be a huge focus.
I also felt that there were a few details that were much too hazy on the specifics. I brushed most of them aside and blamed them on the weakness of the 1st person pov, but they can't all be all be excused by that. I was expecting to be unclear about certain details. By its very nature, 1st person prevents the reader from getting a well rounded view of events. We only get to see what the narrator does, and we only get outside events specifically explained to us when someone's explaining things to the character. Unfortunately, some things are left a mystery here.
How exactly was the "villain" of the piece throwing weather at Jo? That wasn't one of his/her powers. How did that same person capture and keep Lewis - who is super powerful? Also, how was that person controlling him at the end?
Other than those few gripes, I was pretty pleased. Even those irritants were easy to brush aside though.
The end was quite a big surprise for the reader. I'd recommend having the second book on hand when you read this one so you can start it immediately!...more
I just finished this book and *sigh* I am even more in love with this series than ever. I’m really glad t*Originally read 1/29/11 - 1/30/11*
I just finished this book and *sigh* I am even more in love with this series than ever. I’m really glad that Rachel Caine decided to do a spinoff of her Weather Warden series. I enjoyed that series a lot, but this series has quickly surpassed it and become my favorite.
I know a few people who had a problem with Joanne’s personality and the constant rotation of big bads in such a short timeframe in the Weather Warden series. If you’re one of them, you might want to take another crack at it with this series because it's written very differently. There's one big bad that spans the series instead of a different problem in each book. They just have specific things to accomplish in one book to get them closer to defeating the bad guy.
Also, I wasn't as big of a fan of Jo and David as I think I was supposed to be. I seemed to like the other characters I met along the way better. This one I actually like for the characters and the relationship development (plus the action too). It all feels very solid and even though there's a big bad and the battle to beat her is important, Cassiel's growth and change through the series is a huge part too.
The action and intensity really ratchets up in this installment. We’ve had some pretty gnarly actions scenes to date, but now the stakes seem higher so it it’s all a bit more intense. I don’t think anything can compete for the sheer badass WTF-ery of a certain scene in the second book, Unknown, where Cassiel proves that she’s still Djinn where it counts, but this one certainly doesn’t disappoint.
Cassiel continues to be a fascinating, complex character. She questions her old beliefs as a Djinn and weighs them against her new experiences as a human. Even when she changes, she never feels different than her core self. Cassiel is someone who will never be weak where it counts. Her practicality and willingness to make the hard choice do not endear her to everyone. She knows herself and her worth and doesn’t care if people think she’s arrogant because of it.
"I can manage."
"Do you have any idea of your own arrogance, lady?"
"Yes," I said. "Do you have any idea of yours?"
Her connection to various people is tested here. The bonds that she has built are put to the test and not all of them survive. There was one character who crossed a shocking line for me and I’m curious to see how that will continue to play out in the next book and if it can be fixed. Cassiel also has to make some hard decisions here, even when it hurts the ones she cares about the most.
I was breaking his heart, and mine, and there was nothing I could do that would heal that wound. It was better to let it bleed out the poison...if that was possible.
I wasn't sure that it wouldn't kill us both.
I feel bad that Cassiel has to shoulder the blame because she’s strong enough to take a harsh look at the situation and do what needs to be done, even when she doesn’t want to. I can see why other characters are hurt by her decisions and it seems like no one wins in situations like that.
We got to see more of Rashid—who continues to fascinate me—and also a bit of Ashan. Things are quickly getting out of control, and something toward the end happened that upped the ante dramatically. Something must be done, and it must be done now or it will be too late. The next (and last) book in the series that comes out in 2012 promises to be a wild, intense ride. I can’t wait.
I know that I haven't gone into much detail about the actual events of the story, but I think it'll lose its punch if I give anything away. A large part of the fun of Rachel Caine's writing is uncovering the wild ride page by page. The only caution I would make about this book is that it does not stand alone well. You really need to start it from the beginning to follow along well.
Everything's fine," I said. "I bought Isabel a pet."
There was an interestingly long silence, and finally he said, "Is it poisonous?"
"Not that I'm aware of."
"That's...surprising, somehow, from you. All right. You can explain it all to me later."