Tuesday, June 7th 2011

Review: Heat Stroke, Rachel Caine.

Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books
Publication Date: June 23, 2008
Received From: Bought
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9780749079215

The Wardens Association continues to protect the human race from extermination by climatic extremes. That is, when they’re not turning on their own…

Joanne’s survived one challenge – technically – but now she’s got a whole new set of problems. After being accused of murder and chased around the country – and killed – by a team charged with hunting down rogue Wardens, Joanne’s human life is over. Reborn into Djinnhood, she has to master her enhanced powers whilst trying to avoid being ‘claimed’ by a human. With the help of a hot supernatural lover, things are looking bright – until they go wrong. There’s trouble brewing, and it’s not confined to River City…or to the Wardens. No, this trouble could kill every Djinn on the planet – and unleash a storm that could send humanity to join them.

Armed with her keen fashion sense, Manolo Blahniks and a really fast car, Joanne prepares to do battle with the enemy.

Just one problem…it may be herself.

Heat Stroke is the second instalment of Rachel Caine’s Weather Warden series. I would definitely recommend reading this series in book order, beginning with the first instalment Ill Wind. This will save from experiencing any confusion when reading Heat Stroke as the storyline does flow continuously from book to book.

The protagonist Joanne, once a powerful and passionate Weather Warden, is faced with the challenge of adjusting to her new life as a Djinn. Following the events of the previous book, Joanne’s old life is now over and there’s a lot to learn about her new one. Luckily for her, David, her love interest and reason for her survival and transformation, is on hand to help her grow accustomed to her altered state. As he’s a Djinn too, he appears to be the perfect man for the job. However, David’s act of saving Joanne is not without terrible consequences.

Alike to the first book, Heat Stroke is fast paced and full of action. However, I felt it took a bit longer for this action to start in this instalment in comparison to the first. On the other hand, when it did arise, the plot consisted of a lot of twists and turns which help to ensure I kept reading. One of the best things about the story lines in this series so far is that they’re never predictable.

In this instalment readers can expect to achieve a greater understanding of the Djinn which were introduced to us in the first book. I found the concept of the Djinn and their history captivating and I was certainly pleased to learn more about them. As well as the revisiting of great characters from the first book, we’re introduced to some equally great new ones. For instance, there’s Jonathan, the Djinn God, who’s powerful but also pretty cool. There’s also Patrick, the once-human Djinn, who provides some laughs with his pervy Santa Claus persona.

Arguably, the only downside to Heat Stroke is that although it’s a book of 389 pages, it consists of only two chapters. This could give the impression that it’s a lengthy read but the plot is ongoing so it’s understandable that it hasn’t been broken up into smaller parts. Don’t let the length of the two chapters put you off as there’s sufficient exciting action which gives the book the potential to be read in one sitting alone.

Overall, I am pleased with the Weather Warden series so far. Caine’s art of blending together fantasy with an urban setting results in a believable, unique take on the supernatural. Not only are the plots interesting and fresh, but her take on the magical is new and enthralling. I believe this series has the potential to grow stronger with each instalment. Heat Stroke will provide you with a great read and will captivate you throughout. The ending includes a big twist I didn’t see coming and has left me eager to continue to the next book in the series, Chill Factor.

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