Review: Windfall by Rachel Caine

Reviewed by Jen

Hmm. I wish I could say that I enjoyed this fourth Weather Warden book as much as I did the earlier installment in the series, but I have to be real with you. This one felt different.

I had a very hard time connecting with it, especially in the first half. Joanne has left the wardens and is making ends meet as some kind of assistant to a weatherman. Let me stop right here and say this might have been part of my problem. I work in television news and I have for the past 20+ years. I have never seen any dynamic like the one portrayed here. Apparently, Jo is paid to dress up like a fool or a bikini babe to be a prop for a TV weatherman. She gets water dumped on her. She gets her bathing suit popped. She wears foam. This does not happen in real life and frankly it bothered me quite a bit. Yes, I know this book is more than 10 years old, but this didn’t happen in 2005 either. So yeah, grr.

Anyway, her powers are virtually nonexistent, since David is barely hanging on as an infirit and using her for a power source. Things are made worse when Joanna‘s sister shows up, having been unceremoniously dumped by her husband and uses Joanna as a cushion to fall back on. Jo has to take care of Sarah, tried to fix David, and shake off a cop who is investigating her off the record for Quinn’s Death.

Weather wardens and djinn do pop up after a while. A war is brewing between the two factions and no one is a big fan of Joanna’s. This thread intensifies in the second half, and the stakes are driven up on what will happen with David.

I missed Joanna as a weather warden. There are several interludes about a brewing storm, but it is nowhere near the same as seeing her manipulate the weather. She is incredibly weak throughout this book, and I don’t like seeing her this way. Once again, she and David are separated and the disconnect between them is growing tedious. A few stolen moment do not make a romance, and that’s all these to have had for a long time.

Lewis is back, but again I’m not really sure how to interpret his relationship with Jo. There is a villain revealed, but by no means is it surprise. You knew the guy was bad news, it was just an issue of what he was doing there. I really did not like the ending, by the way, and I felt like there were loose ends all over the place. Like with her sister and even the lecherous weatherman.

I will keep reading, to see if this series recaptures what I loved about it, but I am disappointed in this one. It just wasn’t the same.

Rating: B-/C+

Click to purchase: Amazon

by Rachel Caine
Release Date: November 1, 2005
Publisher: Ace


  1. This was one of the first series I read when I discovered UF and initially I loved it like you did, but then I got tired of the way poor Joanne could never catch a break. I made it through book 5 and then gave up and never did finish the series, although I did read some spoilers to see how it all ended. Good luck, maybe it will pick up for you.

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