Review: Heat Stroke by Rachel Caine

Reviewed by Jen

I have to say, at the end of Ill Wind, I wasn’t really sure how Rachel Caine would continue with the Weather Warden series. After all, the main character wasn’t even a Weather Warden anymore. Maybe it should’ve been called the Weather Warden Turned Djinn series… Or maybe something a little snappier. But I am happy to say that be author did not disappoint. And while there is definitely a different feel here, I tore through this book in no time at all. I blinked and it was already over. Not because it was short, but because I was so engrossed in what was happening, I did not realize how much I had read.

If you did not read the first book in the series, do yourself a favor. Don’t start here. Realistically, I’m not sure this review is going to drive too many people to jump into a series that started 15 years ago, but I can’t be the only one late to the party and I I am enjoying the ride. Maybe you will too, especially if you missed it the first time around.

Anyway, spoiler alert, Joanna is now a djinn. David saved her at the very end of the last book, somehow turning her into this new form before she died. The how of it is really a major part of this story, so I won’t go into details. We kick off almost immediately on the heels of the events from Ill Wind. Joanna has to learn how to handle her new body, and this is no small feat. Adding pressure, Jonathan, the ruler of the djinn is furious about her creation and puts a clock on her learning process. Either she figures out how to maintain her new form or he will take her out. He puts her under the care of the only other djinn who started as a human and it all goes downhill from there.

Obviously this is a story primarily told through the eyes of the djinn. We learned about their race, how they originated, and how their power works. But what really drives the book is Joanna‘s desperate attempts to mend a tear in the world and do it while forced under the control of an unsavory human. I probably already I’m giving away too much, but Caine did a phenomenal job of creating some spectacular villains here. There were so many people I hated and, honestly, only one of them was not at least a little nuanced. I hated Patrick, the djinn who was supposed to be teaching Joanna, for the things he did, but I understood him. I hated the teenager who held power over her, but I understand how he became so damaged.

There is so much action and angst. All right in my lane. David and Joanne were separated much of the book, which was dictated by the plot. But the thing is, while I like David and I love the way he loves her, I don’t feel totally vested in the romance. I believe in the author. But she keeps dangling Lewis around like he is some kind of contender for Joanna‘s affections. And maybe he is the end game, maybe he’s a red herring. But it is kind of hard to think of a possibility where David‘s love and sacrifice may not be enough for a happily ever after.

I’m not even sure 100% what I want.

I will say, that the ending was unexpected and it entices me to want to jump straight in to book three. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Rating: B+

Click to purchase: Amazon

Heat Stroke
by Rachel Caine
Release Date: March 8, 2004
Publisher: Roc

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