Review: Ill Wind by Rachel Caine (Weather Warden #1)
December 2 2003
Mass Market Paperback
Kick Ass Chick – Joanne Baldwin
From Goodreads –
Joanne Baldwin is a Weather Warden. Usually, all it takes is a wave of her hand to tame the most violent weather. But now, she’s trying to outrun another kind of storm: accusations of corruption and murder. So, she’s resorting to the very human tactic of running for her life…
Her only hope is Lewis, the most powerful warden known. Unfortunately, he’s stolen not one but three bottles of Djinn-making him the most wanted man on earth. Still, she’s racing hard to find him-before the bad weather closes in fast…
Finally. Finally I have read this book.
Ill Wind is the first book in Rachel Caine’s Weather Warden series, which was released in 2003. Yes, 2003. And I just got around to reading it now.
Ill Wind introduces us to Joanne, a Weather Warden with power over air and water. The whole idea of Weather Wardens is very fascinating. The world’s weather is actually controlled by people who hold power over the elements. They can’t simply diffuse massive twisters or hurricanes though because it would disrupt things too badly but they can help make that they are not as destructive and dangerous. They are not known to human kind, being kept secret. Joanne is relatively new at the whole Weather Warden thing. She is a bit brash, which worries some of those above her, but she has the potential to be very powerful. No, scratch that. She is already very powerful but just needs to tweak her impulses and instincts.
And suddenly, something has happened and she is a wanted woman, running for her life.
I liked Joanne. I found her to be a well written and balanced character. She possesses all of the elements I enjoy in my urban fantasy heroines: she is strong, powerful, vulnerable, relatable and full of heart. We get to know her quite well through internal dialogue and flashbacks.
There are quite a few flashbacks. I liked these and not so much at the same time. I liked how they explained how Joanne met so and so or how she discovered her powers and such but at times I felt I just wanted to get on with the story and not get sucked into yet another look back. Sometimes I felt a simple “we met at the Y” would have been enough. (No, she did not meet anyone at the Y, I am just using that as an example ;)) But I know if the flashbacks were not all crammed into the first 120 or so pages, I would not have felt this way. Like I said, they were interesting and informative, just a bit much in a short amount of time.
Something else that I was not a huge fan of was how long it took for some of the details of Joanne’s plight to come to light. I agree with the idea of staggering it out a bit to play out the suspense, but there is a line that is too much and I found this book was following that line a little too closely.
So with the world building, which is expected in the first book of an urban fantasy series, the trickling of information about what Joanne was actually running from and the flashbacks, I found the story took a while to get going. But David changed all of that.
Okay, not David per say, but the introduction of his character. David is a man who appears to need a ride and Joanne picks him up. There is something about him but you have no idea what it is exactly. He is yummy and smooth and I love how he instantly starts taking care of Joanne, who needs is desperately. Once you find out the details, you learn that she has been put into an impossible situation and was completely helpless to stop it. You really feel for her so it’s nice to see David there, giving her some support, even though you have no idea what or who he truly is.
There are Djinn in this book! That is one aspect of the book that was a bit different back in 2003 and is still not written about all that much so it was nice to read. And the way they are written is very unique. Weather Wardens, after so many years of service and positions, receive a Djinn to control in order to diffuse some of the power they need to use when controlling big weather systems. Joanne does not have one yet but that doesn’t mean we do not see many of them in this book. These are crazy and mysterious creatures and they definitely added an interesting element to this book.
I mentioned the book picks up when we meet David and I feel it picks up super-speed about two-thirds in. Battles and twists and turns ensue that will surprise you and keep you on the edge of your seat. I was glad that the book finished with huge bang because I am well aware that this series is a favorite of many of you and I didn’t want to end up feeling disappointed in it.
But in the end, I was glad I finally got around to reading Ill Wind and I plan on continuing with Heat Stroke whenever time and schedule permit. Joanne is a character I can see myself wanting to learn more about and David…well, he’s just scrumptious.
Books in the Weather Warden series –