Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ill Wind (Weather Warden, Book 1) by Rachel Caine

"We come in three basic flavors. People who control water and air are Weather Wardens, and we're in charge of keeping the furious storms the planet stirs up from scouring mankind off the face of the planet. Earth Wardens keep us from joining the great march to extinction by diverting dozens of planet-crushing catastrophes every year. Fire Wardens control--or try to control-- the tendency of the planet to burn things to crispy ash. Mother Nature is schizophrenic and homicidal, and the only thing that stands between you and hideous, painful death is a couple of thousand people worldwide hanging on by their fingernails. Happy, huh?" 

Joanne Baldwin is on the run and a storm is brewing in her path. Not one of her own making, but rather from circumstances beyond her control. Accused of killing her boss, she is seeking out her friend Lewis, in the hopes he can help protect and save her. He's one of the most powerful of Wardens because he can control all the elements. First, however, she needs to find him. He's gone into hiding. Wardens who are thought to be unable to control their powers or are deemed unworthy of them are stripped of their powers. Killing your boss would definitely deem an individual dangerous and unworthy of powers. The biggest problem with losing your powers is, if you can survive the process, you'll most likely end up no better than a vegetable and that is not something Jo's willing to chance.

This was such a fun book! Ms. Caine created a truly wonderful world which included Djinn (Genies). Some Wardens are assigned a personal Djinn. A Djinn can enhance the powers of a Warden and are, in effect, a slave to whichever Warden they are bound. I must confess I wasn't sure if the first couple of pages entitled "Owning Your First Djinn" were part of this book or advertising another. Turns out even though those pages aren't numbered (at least not in my book), they are indeed part of this story.

As the story unfolds, we slowly learn the events that led the predicament Jo finds herself in at the beginning of the book. We also learn how Jo first became a Warden and more about the relationships and friendships she'd forged over the years. The little flash backs of past events give us nice insights into the other characters personalities while also providing clues to what happened.

The Warden Council, in charge of the Wardens, are  a powerful group. With all that power it's not surprising that parts of it could be corrupt. They have the ability to decide which individuals should be stripped of their powers. They are an intimidating group of individuals to meet when you are first assessed to be a Warden. They in essence hold your future in their hands.

During the chaos of Jo's cross country road trip to find Lewis, she comes across David. It quickly becomes obvious that David is not your average, typical guy. He's something more. I kept wondering who exactly David was and if his bumping into Jo was truly coincidental. I must confess, my guess as to who David might be was incorrect.

The attraction between Jo and David was sizzling, however, I'm not going to label this story as a romance. There is just too much to the story that I felt it would be wrong to label it as such. At times I shook my head at Jo's choices where David was concerned, but I could understand the dilemma she found herself in.

Overall, I gave it 3 1/2 out of 5 roses. There were many twists and I was totally taken by surprise by a number of things at the end. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

Order of series:

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