Bree T's Reviews > Ill Wind

Ill Wind by Rachel Caine
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Mar 16, 12

really liked it
bookshelves: alternative-history, fantasy-sci-fi, paranormal, romance, series, supernatural, urban-fantasy
Read on March 01, 2012

In an alternate reality, Joanne Baldwin is a Weather Warden, someone who can control an element. In her case it’s Air, so she can, with a flick of her wrist, dispel the most violent of storms, disrupt tornadoes etc. The Weather Wardens are a complex group made up of local, state, country and even world levels of people charged with protecting the Earth’s population from the violent whims of Mother Nature.

Joanne works the east coast of America, most recently Florida. But she’s in a little bit of trouble right now and technically, she’s on the run. Wanted for murdering a state Weather Warden, Joanne knows if she’s caught, that’ll be the end of her Warden powers. Her appointment was a borderline thing and if the powers that be find her, they won’t stop and listen to what she has to say, listen to what really happened. They’ll neuter her, removing her abilities – and that’s a best case scenario. That procedure often fails and the result is death. And that’s without them knowing about what is happening to her really, what she has had happen to her.

Her only hope is Lewis, a very powerful Warden with the ability to control Fire, Air and Earth. His ability is unusual and makes him one of the most, if not the most, powerful Warden’s in the world, which also makes the people in charge very nervous. Unfortunately for Joanne, Lewis is on the run as well, having escaped from where he was being held and stealing three Djinn in their bottles to take with him on the way out. Although Joanna knows where she might be able to find him, he isn’t there and all she can do is put the word out that she’s looking for him and hope that he will make his whereabouts known or come and find her. At the moment, he’s the only chance she has of surviving.

A storm is chasing Joanne as she heads west across America to where she thinks Lewis might be. It’s a personal storm, one full of vengeance and she’s had several narrow escapes with lightning, thanks to her beloved Mustang. Along the way she picks up a hitchhiker who isn’t all that he seems as she works hard to dodge the Weather Warden ‘police’ who are determined to catch her. She heads for her friend’s place, a former Fire Warden who only barely survived a terrible fire.

Joanne’s time is running out to find Lewis and get the help from him that she so desperately needs – although if the Wardens catch her first, it won’t matter either way.

After reading Working Stiff recently and loving it I made a resolution to read more books by Rachel Caine. I knew I had one that Marg had loaned me a while ago sitting on my TBR shelf and I’d heard good things about this series. I finished it in a day and immediately bought the next 5 books in the series! In fact by the time I sat down to write this review, I’d already read the second book in the series as well.

When the book opens, our protagonist Joanne is in some serious trouble. She’s wanted by the Wardens in charge for the suspected murder of the Florida Wind Warden, who she was supposed to be working with. Joanne didn’t kill him but she doesn’t have time to stop and explain that to anyone right now as the now-dead Warden has left her with a little parting gift that urgently needs her attention. Because she knows that Lewis has stolen 3 Djinn (sort of like genies in that they can be bound to a Warden’s service and live in bottles when not in use, who Wardens get to help them use their powers in dispelling/controlling the weather after a certain amount of time in the job) and a Djinn is what she needs, she’s desperate to find him. She’s undertaking a dangerous cross-country road trip – dangerous because not only are the Wardens on her tail but she’s also being chased by a rather nasty storm.

This book was so much fun. A lot of the very detailed weather pattern descriptions went right over my head to be honest but the story line is fast paced, action packed and one heck of a ride as we’re with Joanne and the cute and mysterious hitchhiker David that she picks up. There’s a lovely chemistry between Joanne and David that simmers long before anything happens. I’m becoming a big fan of the way Rachel Caine incorporates her romance into novels – more occurs here than in the other book of hers I’ve read, but it’s not really a total headlong jump into it and it doesn’t take over the paranormal/alternative aspect of the story line either.

For a book where a lot of the time is spent in a car outrunning things (be they storm or Wardens) and with a lot going on, somehow it still didn’t feel overly rushed or like I couldn’t keep up. I really liked Joanne as a character, she was a bit of a rebel, didn’t always want to conform to the restrictions placed upon her and didn’t want to go down quietly. She had skills but she wasn’t over the top with them, in that she didn’t require help at times.

Great start to a series, if they are all as good as this one I’ll be happy!
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03/01/2012 page 172
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