Review: Ill Wind by Rachel Caine

Reviewed by Jen

Confession time. This is my first Rachel Caine book. I know, I know, she has written a ton of a very successful books, but for some reason, I always thought of her as only a YA author. But I’m happy to say, this book was definitely for adults, and I am so glad a friend nudged me into giving it a try.

The heroine, Joanne, is a Weather Warden, which is where the series gets its name. She has the ability to manipulate the weather, primarily with the elements of water and air. She and others of her kind protect the world from the worst of Mother Nature‘s fury, though others have different affinities with different elements to create specialties. Anyway, as the story begins, Joanne is on the run. Her own people are out to get her, and it seems to be because she is wearing the mark of a demon.

Let me stop here and acknowledge a couple of things. The book is a little slow to take off and it takes a while to build in the back story. The author does it largely through the thoughts, memories, and flashbacks of the main character. This didn’t really bother me, but I’ve read some reviews where this was a sticking point. Be prepared if your preference lives in very linear storytelling.

Jo decide to seek refuge with a friend of hers across the country. This, as she searches for Lewis, and old classmate who she hopes to be powerful enough to help her get rid of the mark. It’s on her journey she meets David, an enigmatic and sexy guy who always seems to pop-up at the moment she needs him most.

I enjoyed this book quite a bit. There is a lot of action as Jo gets targeted over and over by the people who are supposed to be her brethren. There is a lot of talk about the weather, which does get a little science-y at times, but I feel it was necessary to the plot. It wouldn’t do much for the story for the book to just say “and then I broke his storm” instead of the explanation of how she creatively manages to overcome her obstacles.

I like Jo as a character. She is a little typical urban fantasy in the sense of that she is very powerful, but still feels sort of like an every woman. She eats greasy hamburgers and wants to see her best friend; she thinks about getting laid. She’s a good person, but she does what it takes to stay alive.

There’s a bit of romance, but the thread is not huge. Again, pretty standard urban fantasy fare. I really liked the dynamic with David and there was just enough action between the sheets to satisfy the romance lover in me. The connection happened pretty quickly, but it is what it is.

Particularly I loved the djinn in this story. The weather wardens use them as slaves, but they are fascinating and powerful creatures. I can’t wait to see how their stories develop as a series progresses.

This is a hit for me. I will definitely be reading on in the series.

Rating: B+

Click to purchase: Amazon

Ill Wind
by Rachel Caine
Release Date: December 2, 2003
Publisher: Ace


  1. Jacqueline Nicholson says:

    Whenever I get in a rut and need something new to read, Jen book sugestions pulls me through. I look back at her reviews and strike gold. My next read is set! That is why it pains me so to disagree about this book. C maybe C+ on the run doing erands book. I love the world and the djinns, but it lacked luster. It did not live up to the potential the charaters and “magic” that was created. After the second book, I thought maybe a co wrighter would help. I enjoyed the books, but felt it could hav ed been (not better) more…

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