Friday, July 31, 2009

"Gale Force" by Rachel Caine

It's business as usual for Weather Warden Joanne Baldwin. Yeah, the weather is going a bit crazy again, and someone's trying to kill her again. In other words, business as usual in this seventh book of the series.

Joanne and her Djinn lover, David, are back in her home state of Florida. Jo is supposed to be on vacation, but as usual, she's got her finger in the weather workings around her, much to the chagrin of her boss, Paul. She needs to stop meddling, and David seems to have the perfect plan - a wedding. He asks Jo to marry him, and she accepts, after a lot of soul searching. The hunt is on for a wedding dress; Jo's best friend Cherise should have no problem coming up with something stunning. While the ladies are out shopping, a sudden earthquake hits; the bridal store and surrounding area are thrown into complete chaos. While on the aetheric to assess the damage, Jo notices a boiling red zone and heads out with another Warden to investigate. What they discover is alarming - there's a sliver of some sort of black substance that has been plunged into Mother Earth, thus causing the quake. At first, they're not sure what it is, just that there's something horribly wrong about it.

When Jo and another Earth Warden go to investigate in person, they learn that the black substance is the worst possible thing for the planet - antimatter. Someone or something has created the antimatter and is using it as a weapon. Their focus? Jo herself. A group called The Sentinels takes responsibility for the antimatter, and they have a very specific purpose in using it, the complete elimnation of the Djinn. The group feels that the Djinn don't deserve to live after the recent Warden/Djinn war, and they mean business. To make matters worse, the Djinn have no idea just how dangerous this stuff is; as antimatter, the Djinn can't see, touch, feel, or sense anything about it. At first, they think the Wardens might be having a mass hallucination. But as the bodies and damage pile up, they realize that something is wrong and vow to help. Well, David's "New Djinn" do; the "Old Djinn", led by Ashan, want nothing to do with the fight.

It's Caine at her best, writing about love in the face of danger. It's been a while since I read the last book in this series, and I'd forgotten how much I like Jo. But I have to admit, much as I enjoy these books, I really do think it's time to let the girl have some breathing room! Surely there's a way to have some suspense without putting her life on the line every time? My only other complaint about this book is more of a pet peeve, but I was ready to throw the book across the room, so I need to address it. The book doesn't really have an ending - it's more of a cliffhanger - and I HATE that! Yes, I know that not every book in a series will wrap up neatly, and I get that, but this time it was very jarring. I even wondered if Caine had written this and the next book as an entire work, then was told to split it up so it would still be a manageable length for mass market paperback release. Whatever the case, I was not happy to realize I'd reached the end; it felt all wrong.

Guess I'll just have to pick up the next book when it's released this fall, huh?

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