Friday, December 4, 2009

Book Review: Ill Wind

I'm well past 52 books read for this year, but I just love the graphic that my friend Julie made that I'm going to keep using it. Instead of recounting every book I've read this year, I just wanted to review the ones I found to be memorable or interesting. I love romance novels as much as anyone, but some of them fade from memory as soon as I close the book.

*slight spoilers ahead*

I read Rachel Caine's Ill Wind during Thanksgiving week, while I was trying to finish up my first attempt at writing a novel. Its an interesting experience to be simultaneously trying to read a book and write one. It makes you hyper aware not only of the flaws in your writing, but also ones you might find in the published work. I found both of these things to be true while reading Ill Wind, the first in Rachel Caine's Weather Wardens series.

The basic plot involves the protagonist, Joanne, who is a Weather Warden (they work secretly to control Earth's weather) on the run from both the other wardens who think she murdered someone and a mysterious antagonist who is trying to kill her. Joanne has received a Demon Mark from another warden (who everyone thinks she murdered) and is trying to stay alive while tracking down the one person she thinks is powerful enough to help her, a rogue Weather Warden named Lewis.

One thing that I loved about this book was how clearly developed the mythology of Caine's world is. She sets very transparent rules for how the powers of the wardens work and manages to make the intricacies of meteorology interesting and fairly easy to understand, which is quite a feat. I didn't anticipate being so engrossed by how characters used weather against each other when the writer includes detailed descriptions of how its being done scientifically.

The part I didn't like about this book ventures deeply into the area of personal preference. This book is very well reviewed on Amazon and most of the reviews seem to adore the character of David and his romance with Joanne. However, for me, it fell flat. I just didn't find him interesting and couldn't make myself believe in their attraction to one another. I spent most of the book hoping that Joanne would hook up with Lewis Levander Orwell (great name!). The flashback scene where Joanne hooks up with Lewis in college had more spark than the entirety of the time she spent with David for me. And because the series seems to continue with Joanne and David as a couple, I'm not sure when or if I'll continue with it, unless someone promises me more Lewis.

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