Once she was a powerful Djinn. Then Cassiel defied her ruler, Ashan, who tore her very essence away and reshaped her in human flesh as punishment. Forced to live among mortals, Cassiel has found refuge among the Weather Wardens–whose power she must tap into regularly, or she will die.
Cassiel earns her keep by assisting the Earth Warden Manny Rocha on his missions–which she finds much easier than coping with the emotions and frailties of her human condition, especially her growing affection for Manny’s brother, Luis. But when Cassiel encounters a malevolent force that threatens the Rocha family, se discovers that her perceived human weaknesses must be her greatest strengths…
Rachel Caine has been one of my favorite authors for a long time now, and if you haven’t read her Weather Warden series you should. This series is a spin off of the Weather Warden series, taking place in the same universe as that series, even with a couple of familiar characters popping into the beginning of this book. That being said I think this book stands completely on its own.
I really liked Cassiel, she is kind of a crazy person by human standards, as I think all Djinn are, they have a very interesting view of the world. You start following Cassiel right at the beginning of her fall from “grace” and while she is shocked about her new condition, she handles things shockingly well. In a lot of ways this novel is really just a starting point to the real action which I assume will start to pick up in the next book.
Cassiel works with Manny, and start to form human connections with him and his family. Manny is a great guy for Cassiel I think, he’s just a good person at heart and can really teach her what it is to be human by allowing her to really become a part of his family. When Manny’s family comes under fire, and his daughter, Ibby, goes missing, Cassiel really realizes how much she has come to care about these people.
Cassiel teams up with Luis, Manny’s brother and Ibby’s uncle to find and bring Ibby back home. Luis is much less trusting that Manny was with Cassiel. He’s lived a harder life, having been in a gang before, and generally not sure if Cassiel is actually going to help things. The two of them together I think work really well together. It’s like they are both such hardened people on their own, that they are able to come to an understanding about how to work with each other really quickly. I really hope their dynamic starts to evolve in the next book into something more, but I think I just have a thing for characters pairing up.
The action in this book really starts after Ibby goes missing, and then it never really stops. It’s a constant ride from that point on, a race against time if you will to find her before something else happens to her. And throughout the race to find her they discover that what it is really going on is even more than anyone could have conceived. The book ends with pretty much a cliff hanger, but at a decent stopping point.
Overall, I liked the book a lot, as I like almost all of Caine’s books. I think any urban fantasy reader would enjoy reading this book, although PNR people are going to be craving more romance since there is next to zero in this book. I really did enjoy this book and I look forward to reading book two and the rest of the series.