Ill Wind (Weather Warden #1) by Rachel Caine
Joanne Baldwin is a Weather Warden – waves her hand to tame the most violent weather. Now she races against accusations of corruption and murder. Her only hope is Lewis, the most powerful warden known. Because he stole three bottles of Djinn, he is now the most wanted criminal on earth. Can she find him before the bad weather closes in?
I’m at a bit of a loss on how I should write this review, if I’m being entirely honest. I first read this book way back in the beginning of high school when this series was still relatively new. And I fell in love with the books. In fact, I read the first 4 or so books back to back to back. And when I had to wait for the next book in the series to come out, I just couldn’t get into it. I figured it was because I had become less enamored with Caine’s writing style, so I set it aside and considered revisiting at a later date.
Since then, I’ve read a decent chunk of her Morganville Vampires series, which I have rated fairly highly. More telling, I absolutely adored all of the books in the Revivalist series. So I figured now was as good a time as any to give this series another shot. And of course, I have to start at the beginning because at this point I don’t remember a single thing that’s happened. (As it turns out, I did remember one thing. And only one. And it was pretty much the very last thing that happened in the entire book).
I didn’t like it. I mean, I didn’t not like it, but there was something about this book that just doesn’t sit well with me. And this surprised me because, well, I really really enjoyed this book the first time I read it — I know I did or I wouldn’t have read the next several. So I ran in circles with myself trying to pinpoint exactly what it was about Caine’s writing in this book at this particular moment that I didn’t like, given that I have a proven track record of liking her work.
It all came back to the structure of the story.
Caine tells this story both in the present — what Joanne is currently doing — and by utilizing flashbacks. I totally understand why she did — in fact, given the layers of the story she was trying to tell and the amount of background that was required to make it understandable, I would have probably made the same decision. It almost felt disruptive, however. Yeah, the flashback scenes fit in well with the thoughts Joanne was thinking at the time, and just about every flashback (though not exactly all) ended up being required to get a full appreciation for the impact of the final scene of the book. Without utilizing this technique, the book would have either been very long or the buildup of the plot wouldn’t have made any sense.
But I feel like it was missing something to really make the flashback style work. Not only do I get the sense that I’m missing out on some of Joanne’s character development, but I ended up feeling very uncomfortable whenever we came back to the main plot, or whenever we diverted from a scene at what seemed like a relatively weird place to switch.
All in all, this book didn’t sit well with me, at least not the second time round. I’m on the edge right now about whether I’ll read the next one again or not. I guess we’ll see.
Posted on August 8, 2014, in Urban Fantasy/Paranormal and tagged book reviews, books, Djinn, fantasy, ill wind, rachel caine, urban fantasy, wardens, weather warden. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.