Ill Wind (Weather Warden Series #1)

Ill Wind - Rachel Caine Joanne is a Weather Warden. A Warden gifted in the elements of Water and Air, who has the solemn duty to protect humanity from Mother Nature’s devastating wrath. But one mission to dissipate a terrible storm enmeshes her in plots beyond her measure.She’s now on the run, with a demon mark, no less, and with the entire organisation of the Wardens hunting her for murder. A crime for which they could kill her or strip her of her powers. And if they find the demon within her, then it’s a near certainty that she will have her powers ripped away.Her only chance is to get rid of the demon – but there are so few ways to do that. The easiest would be to pass it on to a Djinn – and curse the Djinn to live the rest of eternity in torment – not a fate she can contemplate, especially after meeting Djinn. Or there is Lewis, an old friend, a rebel and the most powerful Warden the world has ever seen.But she has no idea who she can trust, very few friends and she is hunted not just by the Wardens, but also by a vast storm she conjured accidentally while fighting for her life – that now follows her relentlessly. And then there’s someone else, some enemy who continually strikes at her. To say nothing of Djinn that pop in and out – and who knows who they serve or what agenda they follow?The world is rich and huge and novel. The different Wardens acting to protect humanity from the vagaries of Mother Nature is such an unusual concept. Throw in the Demons and the Djinn and we have something fascinating that actually took an effort of will for me not to reach instantly for book 2 the minute book 1 was finished, I wanted to know much more so soon. Storywise I’m impressed. We have a combination of survival and mystery with an extra side-order of mystery. The main mystery of what Joanne’s doing and how she will save herself and who is to blame – or even if there is someone to blame- is huge and fascinating and constantly kept me guessing – and I guessed wrong every time. Yet the clues were there – but I never remotely imagined the results. But we have so many other mysteries along the way – who is David, who is Rahel serving and constantly what what what is happening!We also had what I normally consider a contrived plot line. We start with secondly – Joanne on the run from something. And we don’t know the why and wherefore of that something for a while, adding to the mystery. But it works because it allows the full mystery to be complicated without us having to be infodumped vast amounts of world building so we can understand it. Without this method, I suspect this would be the second book in the series and the first book would be slow, meandering and just full of infodumping to set up this book. So, I’m impressed, a literary trick I normally loathed was used to good, nay, brilliant effect.The world is doled out in nicely sized chunks through nice little vignettes that give us flash backs into Joanne’s past – and they fit and are interesting rather than a distraction. The various forces arrayed against Joanne happened often enough to keep the book exciting without it being too much of a survival horror that the mystery was lost. And the character interactions were fun, real and very human.Read More