Windfall (Weather Warden) by Rachel Caine

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Windfall (Weather Warden) by Rachel Caine

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Category: Fantasy
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Trish Simpson-Davis
Reviewed by Trish Simpson-Davis
Summary: Cool Weather Warden Rachel battles with baddies to find out who is creating havoc with the weather. A fast-paced fantasy-detective-chick lit read set in the near future with enough meat about climate change to set me thinking.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 336 Date: November 2008
Publisher: Allison and Busby
ISBN: 978-0749079291

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Fantasy? Fourth story in a series? Not really my thing … that is, until I suspended disbelief and enjoyed chilling out with this detective story cum thriller cum chick lit fantasy from Rachel Caine. OK, so maybe it's not great literature, but it was crisply written, the language edgy and the storyline entertaining. Generous helpings of tongue-in-cheek humour and small portions of magic made it a good read for fantasy sceptics like me.

The fast-paced plotline had me hooked within a couple of pages. Sassy American, Joanne Baldwin, is thrown out of her dream job as a Weather Warden but manages to land on her feet as a tv weather girl. The opening scene in the studio shows Joanne at a disadvantage. There she is, dressed in full wet-weather gear during a Florida heat wave, buckets of ice-cold water being thrown over her head. Shades of Bridget Jones at her comic best, but I very soon realized that this heroine is nobody's fool.

Joanne is tough, foul-mouthed and behaves more like a Miami Vice cop when she's up against the foes who regularly spring her through the story. Thought-provoking paradoxes keep our heroine on her toes as she discovers who are the goodies and baddies.

Fortunately we see Joanne's sensual and vulnerable sides pretty quickly, which just about flesh out her character into three dimensions. She juggles with a transmuting boyfriend (an entertaining slant on moodiness!), a newly divorced sister and saving the planet. As women do. I thought that the sex scenes were well-judged for a female audience, titillating without being invasive, and the violence strong, without ever being gratuitous. I wouldn't have too many qualms about a young teenager reading this book.

There's a good supporting cast of characters. Joanne's sidekick, Cherise, stars as an amusingly over-the-top seductive fashionista; the villains crept up on me, unnoticed. It was great, too, not to be predicting which of several men the author has it in mind to use as the romantic lead in the next book in the series.

Weather Wardens use their minds to manipulate the weather, which makes them important people in the increasingly unstable world climate of the near future. I swallowed this scenario whole. Well, why not? Convincing descriptions of a gigantic huricane brewing in the atmosphere wound up my tension chapter by chapter. To my mind, the climax started a hundred pages from home. Accustomed by now to the fantasy velcroed-onto-reality approach, my imagination swept through the bridge scene, Ifrit beasts and all, as if I was watching it on the News at Ten. From then on, I hardly drew breath.

That's why I gave Windfall four and a half stars. For me, it worked.

As I've already confessed, I'm a Fantasy virgin, so I checked out the Bookbag reviews for inspiration, rejecting the historical and the heavy. Three writers in parallel universes to Rachel Caine, recommended by my Bookbag colleagues (thank y'all), are Stephenie Meyer, Patricia Briggs and Kelley Armstrong.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

British editions of Heat Stroke and Chill Factor were published earlier this year and might be good starting points for the Weather Warden series.

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Buy Windfall (Weather Warden) by Rachel Caine at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Windfall (Weather Warden) by Rachel Caine at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Windfall (Weather Warden) by Rachel Caine at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Windfall (Weather Warden) by Rachel Caine at


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Lucy Beadle said:

Thanks to Trish for this review on Windfall, its got my fired up, I love teen fantasy particularly the chick flavours and I need another book particularly if I'm to get through the long commute on the bus because of the Tube strike (groan!) Always appreciating the reviews on the Book Bag :)

Lucy Beadle

Lucy Beadle said:

Please tell Trish I'm really enjoying Windfall its made my journey from work to uni and back home alot easier!!!