7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2011
I was a little unsure how Unseen would be since the main series it's spun off from, The Weather Warder Series, which ended this last August. But I shouldn't have worried because when you have a writer as creative and talented as Rachel Caine you don't need to worry about the continuity of a series.
Unseen takes place right after the end of Unknown and around Cape Storm in the Weather Warden Series. It's fast paced, exciting, and full of rich characters. Because the series takes place over four books Caine is better able to show the evolution of her protagonist Cassiel, from a hard uncaring dangerous Djinn, to a more compassionate fuller character that we're able to see in Unseen.
Not only that, but the other characters such as Ibby and Luis are given in my opinion a much bigger (and much deserved) role in this book in the series. I found Ibby in particular especially well written and interesting. Caine does a great job treading that fine line of a broken little girl and a hardened soldier that the Ibby is forced to inhabit in her character. Not only that but the other new characters such as Esmeralda make a great new addition to the story and really help bring out the action.
That said, this is the third book in a series spun off from another series. Readers should make sure to read the previous books to truly grasp all that is happening in the book.
All in all this is a fun book with plenty of action. The characters are interesting and redeemable, and the dialog is well written. This book wont win the Hugo or Pulitzer Prize, but it makes for a great book to read on vacation or just for anyone looking for an exciting and captivating book on the go. All in all a very entertaining book.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2011
I just finished this book and *sigh* I am even more in love with this series than ever. I'm really glad that Rachel Caine decided to do a spinoff of her Weather Warden series. I enjoyed that series a lot, but this series has quickly surpassed it and become my favorite.
I know a few people who had a problem with Joanne's personality and the constant rotation of big bads in such a short timeframe in the Weather Warden series. If you're one of them, you might want to take another crack at it with this series because it's written very differently. There's one big bad that spans the series instead of a different problem in each book. They just have specific things to accomplish in one book to get them closer to defeating the bad guy.
Also, I wasn't as big of a fan of Jo and David as I think I was supposed to be. I seemed to like the other characters I met along the way better. This one I actually like for the characters and the relationship development (plus the action too). It all feels very solid and even though there's a big bad and the battle to beat her is important, Cassiel's growth and change through the series is a huge part too.
The action and intensity really ratchets up in this installment. We've had some pretty gnarly actions scenes to date, but now the stakes seem higher so it it's all a bit more intense. I don't think anything can compete for the sheer badass WTF-ery of a certain scene in the second book, Unknown, where Cassiel proves that she's still Djinn where it counts, but this one certainly doesn't disappoint.
Cassiel continues to be a fascinating, complex character. She questions her old beliefs as a Djinn and weighs them against her new experiences as a human. Even when she changes, she never feels different than her core self. Cassiel is someone who will never be weak where it counts. Her practicality and willingness to make the hard choice do not endear her to everyone. She knows herself and her worth and doesn't care if people think she's arrogant because of it.
"I can manage."
"Do you have any idea of your own arrogance, lady?"
"Yes," I said. "Do you have any idea of yours?"
Her connection to various people is tested here. The bonds that she has built are put to the test and not all of them survive. There was one character who crossed a shocking line for me and I'm curious to see how that will continue to play out in the next book and if it can be fixed. Cassiel also has to make some hard decisions here, even when it hurts the ones she cares about the most.
"I was breaking his heart, and mine, and there was nothing I could do that would heal that wound. It was better to let it bleed out the poison...if that was possible.
I wasn't sure that it wouldn't kill us both."
I feel bad that Cassiel has to shoulder the blame because she's strong enough to take a harsh look at the situation and do what needs to be done, even when she doesn't want to. I can see why other characters are hurt by her decisions and it seems like no one wins in situations like that.
We got to see more of Rashid--who continues to fascinate me--and also a bit of Ashan. Things are quickly getting out of control, and something toward the end happened that upped the ante dramatically. Something must be done, and it must be done now or it will be too late. The next (and last) book in the series that comes out in 2012 promises to be a wild, intense ride. I can't wait.
I know that I haven't gone into much detail about the actual events of the story, but I think it'll lose its punch if I give anything away. A large part of the fun of Rachel Caine's writing is uncovering the wild ride page by page. The only caution I would make about this book is that it does not stand alone well. You really need to start it from the beginning to follow along well.
Everything's fine," I said. "I bought Isabel a pet."
There was an interestingly long silence, and finally he said, "Is it poisonous?"
"Not that I'm aware of."
"That's...surprising, somehow, from you. All right. You can explain it all to me later."
Review originally posted on Fiction Vixen.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I have to admit, I go all fangirl when a new Rachel Caine arrives in my mailbox and Unseen is no exception. Set in the same world as the Weather Warden novels (another rockin' series, if you're into urban fantasy), Unseen is the third in the series featuring the ex-Djinn, Cassiel, and her human Warden, Luis. (Since this is the third in the series, there are some spoilers if you haven't read the prior novels.)
Cassiel is growing more comfortable in her human skin, experiencing emotions on a level she never felt as a Djinn, and actually growing to love the humans she's surrounded by. She's not entirely sure she likes this new compassion. It makes her vulnerable in ways she never was when she was a Djinn. This includes caring for and loving humans like little Ibby and, of course, Luis. However, she never loses her practicality and willingness to do what's necessary, no matter what the consequences might be (oh, and there are some serious consequences).
Speaking of that hot Weather Warden Luis, things are moving along quite swimmingly between Cass and Luis. As in, they're finally getting together-together. Oh, thank all that is good--the sexual tension between the two of them was about to kill me! Except, despite the ongoing tension and their every-growing feelings for each other, Luis's first priority is his niece, Ibby, and protecting her from the psychotic Djinn Pearl, and Cass's priority is stopping Pearl without offing all of humanity. While that seems like that would go hand-in-hand, it doesn't. Those crazy kids. I have faith they'll work it out, especially considering they really do care for one another and, despite their differences, they just have such a fantastic connection.
Added into the mix are Djinn from Cass's past: Rashid and Ashan. Rashid has always fascinated me, popping in unexpectedly, interfering in Cass's now-human life, and lending aid when least expected but most needed. Then disappearing. And then there's Ashan. If you've read any of the Weather Warden series, you're familiar with Ashan and his distain for human-kind. He's perfectly comfortable ordering Cassiel to wipe out the human race in order to stop Pearl and then turning Cass into a human as punishment when she refuses. So, when he pops up back on her radar, she's somewhat unsure how to deal with him, especially with all those new-to-her human emotions roiling around in her brain. I have the feeling we'll be seeing more of him in the very near future.
Rachel Caine seems to take inordinate pleasure in torturing her characters. She takes the writers' maxim of making characters' lives miserable to a higher level. I'm awed--and a little scared--every time I pick up a book to find out what torture is in store for the characters. Cassiel gets dumped on hard core. Characters die right and left (Just a little warning--don't get attached to anyone new. Most of them don't make it very long in the Outcast world.). Ibby grows up way too fast and is forced to make decisions no one under seven should ever have to make. Unseen is an action-packed, tension-filled story that will have you reading late into the night.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 2011
I loved the first two books of the series. Cassiel has a lot of spunk, she is not ashamed of what she feels, owns up to her actions and her dialogues are just great. I was absolutely thrilled to get to read this book since the main weather warden series was over.
However, this was not a book I could not put down. There was a lot of back and forth, a lot of unnecessary tensions between Cass and Luis. I felt that the tension was made up and quite honestly could not understand it half of the time. Some of the plot is really convoluted and contributed to my feelings of kind of slowness of pace. On one hand, some parts are the story are just too busy and made me feel like I needed to put it down and go back later and at the same time, some parts were just very slow and felt unnecessary.
Also, at several points of the story, the characters seem to be at the very end of their capacities and yet they still multitask their way out of the next 20 pages. Sometimes it's believable, sometimes it just seems stretched out too thin. Whether the drama should be lowered - no need to say how they're gonna snap soon when soon means another 15 pages - or the scene needs to be shorten.
Nevertheless, I think Cassiel's character is well developped and very interesting to follow. Now that finally we get to see what the big evil plan is, I must say it is a great original idea. Kinda scary too. Cassiel's capacities to deal with human deaths are very well explained and interesting.
I guess I would give 3 3/4 stars. I still very much want to know what happens in the next book and I like Cassiel even more (maybe Luis a little less though).
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Cassiel and Luis recently saved his niece Isabel from her murderous djinn sister Pearl (see Unknown). However, both are concerned with what they learned during the rescue. First Isabel is too young to display her otherworldly power yet she has. Second there were a horde of other abducted kids with her.
Pearl and her followers have kidnapped the offspring of deceased Wardens. They brainwash their prisoners before raising the powers of the children. Cassiel and Luis fear what will happen to the kids as obtaining power before puberty leads to a significant chance of dying. Wanting to prevent Pearl's plans from fruition, Cassiel infiltrates one of her compounds hoping to uncover her sister's diabolical scheme. However what she learns frightens her with what her evil sibling has set in motion.
The latest Outcast Season (see Unknown and Undone) thriller is an entreating Warden fantasy. The story line focuses on the collateral damage caused by the misuse of power, but loses the opportunity to profoundly dig into why and how the sisters mentally and emotionally traversed different roads (nature vs. nurture). Still the story line is fast-paced and filled with action as readers anticipate round three between Cassiel and Pearl.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 30, 2012
This is definitely a book I will be re-reading.
This series is the best I've read from Rachel Caine so far. The main character, Cassiel, is delightfully intriguing. To see her character grow from djinn to human has been fascinating. All of the characters have been well written and become more real with each page and book into the series. I found the elemental paranormal aspect to this story very interesting and complex with it's universal connections. I'm curious in how the author is going to end the series since the next one is the last. I can't wait to read it and find out!
I would recommend this series to any fantasy, paranormal urban fantasy, or science fiction fan. It has it all including romance, action, and mystery.
*Although I won a free copy of this book through a Goodreads first reads giveaway, my review is not altered. This is my honest opinion.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 23, 2011
I loved the Weather Warden series and the Outcast Season books, which are set in the same world, are also exceptional! Cassiel has some tough choices to make and unfortunately, she's feels like the only one who can do what it takes to stop a child-stealing monster. Even when it breaks her heart to leave Luis and Ibby - but losing them entirely along with every other human on the planet is unconscionable to her. I like the evolution that we've seen in Cassiel from Undone through Unseen. She started out Djinn-cold and has grown into a more caring...human. I very highly recommend this book and this series!! Ms. Caine has created a flawed, charming, and kick-ass heroine thrust into a situation...and world...she doesn't understand and fighting for more than just her own survival.
Outcast Season series: Undone (1), Unknown (2), Unseen (3), Unbroken (4)
on February 24, 2012
Now that Cassiel and Luis have rescued Ibby, his niece, they realize that pearl's threat goes so much deeper than they ever realized. The horrors of what was done to these children, and what the rescued ones must still face comes at a killing blow to them. Stuck between a rock and a hard place, Cassiel must find a way to get into one of Pearl's cult operations, even if is means sacrificing everything she holds dear. Failure is not an option.
While the previous book focused more on romantic development than forward plot momentum, the complete opposite can be said for Unseen. The plot was thrown into hyper drive, with plenty of intense action. Meanwhile, my heart was thrown into a blender as Cassiel experiences her first taste of heartbreak. I should have know everything couldn't have stayed all roses between the two of them. I realize things could have been worse, but that really doesn't make it much easier, especially when all I want to do is strangle Luis for his behavior. Somehow Cassiel, takes all of the blame upon herself, even though she is the one making the touch choices. I mean news flash, if she didn't there wouldn't be a world much longer. How could she just let everything she has grown to love slip through her fingers rather than stand up and fight? She can't and she doesn't, yet it costs hers more than she could have ever realized, so my heart bled right along with hers.
It has been a very long time since I have despised a villain as much as I despise Pearl. My anger is almost all consuming, to the point where I am desperate to get my hands on the final installment just so I can yell: "Ding Dong the Wicked (b)witch is Dead!" At least I hope I will get that satisfaction, Rachel Caine couldn't be quite so cruel to let that psychotic, manipulative creature succeed, right? That being said, I have absolutely no idea how Cassiel could possibly win in the end as she has been thwarted at every attempt and basically demolished each and every time. Not that really is a bad thing as it promises for a completely unpredictable and entertaining final installment.
It still amazes me just how different this series is from the Weather Warden series, yet somehow still can tie into that world so well. The emotions and stakes are so very different that what was experienced before. I can imagine it was no easy feat to accomplish this, so my hat goes off to Rachel Caine for yet again knocking my socks off and thoroughly impressing me with her creative genius. (Even if she does drive me a little batty with her love of cliffhangers. Evil Author! Seriously, I met her on tour and she has the evil laugh perfected. It is quite creepy.) That all being said, I do feel like a little bit of a hypocrite as I flew through Unseen as fast as possible in trying to get one step closer to the resolution, yet I know I will be very sad to say goodbye to another set of awesome characters that I have come to love. It really is a catch 22 situation, but that just shows how enjoyable the books are.
on April 15, 2011
It has been months since Cassiel `Cass' was ripped from the Dijn world to have humanity thrust upon her. Since then Cass has witnessed the slaying murder of her Weather Warden, Manny, and his wife, Angela. She has seen their little girl, Isabel, be kidnapped and used as a ticking time-bomb weapon of mass destruction. Cass has fallen in love with Manny's Warden brother, Luis. And Cass has been shamed by the fact that a fallen Dijn sister called Pearl was behind Isabel's kidnapping, and the kidnapping of hundreds of other talented Weather Warden children . . . because Pearl is building an army. An army of future Weather Wardens who can control earth, fire, wind and water. And she will use them to execute the most awful take over imaginable, unless Cass can stand in her way.
`Unseen' is the third book in Rachel Caine's spin-off Weather Warden series.
Caine's Weather Warden series came to an end last year with the final book `Total Eclipse'. I was both sad and elated to read the last instalment to Jo Baldwin's harrowing adventures . . . but I have to admit, the sting is lessened somewhat by Caine's continuing `Outcast Season', and the journey of former Dijn, Cassiel.
I love, love, loved `Unseen' because it's a book of big concepts and dramatic changes. The first of these revolutions is in Cass's relationship with Luis Rocha . . . for two books now; Luis has been uneasy and somewhat horrified by his attraction to Cassiel. He would be fighting his lust one moment, and throwing barbed comments the next. But in `Unseen' Luis has his wanting under control. He and Cass have been through too much - Manny's slaying and Isabel's kidnapping - and he has come to trust her completely. They share some intimate and transformative moments, and their sweetness rival that of even Jo Baldwin and Dijn David.
But there is also a backlash to these character revolutions. Cass is slowly starting to understand and embrace her humanity, the good and the bad. This book is really about Cass coming to terms with the limits and dismal aspects of being human. She realizes that when you open yourself up to love, you also welcome heartache. She finds that caring leads the way to losing what you care about. And being mostly human means she is dispensable in this grand battle.
For all of their sweet moments, Cass and Luis also experience an incredible turn-about in their relationship. One that will leave you gob-smacked and pained on Cass's behalf.
I also loved `Unseen' because Caine brings back a favourite secondary character we first met in `Unknown'. Rashid is a mysterious Dijn who is fascinated with Cass and currently under command of an unknown master. He is as beautiful as a Greek God, and has a penchant for wearing his birthday suit around Cass, because he loves flustering her. I am so smitten with Rashid! I was thrilled to read his return in `Unseen'. He's like dark chocolate - wickedly good and bitter. I can't figure him out, but I love reading his interactions with Cass. I would love it if, when the `Outcast Season' comes to an end, Rachel Caine could do a spin-off of a spin-off and write Rashid's story!
`Unseen' also marks the beginning of the end. This book reveals a lot about Pearl and her grand plan . . . and it's spine-tinglingly awful. Caine is definitely setting up Pearl's long-game, and preparing Cass and Luis for an epic battle. I don't want to give anything away, but Pearl's devilish plan is chillingly villainous.
`Unseen' is yet another brilliantly thrilling instalment in Caine's `Outcast Season' spin-off series. Jo Baldwin and `Weather Warden' may be done and dusted, but Caine's still got a lot to offer in Cassiel and Luis. This is a transformative book for all characters - Cass comes to terms with the downfalls of humanity, and Pearl reveals her villainous grand-plans. It is epically glorious, and exactly what fans have come to expect from Rachel Caine's brilliant paranormal pen.
on April 12, 2011
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy:
Sometimes an author can do their work all too well when creating a villain for protagonists to overcome. As in the Jane True series (where I felt I would never be truly satisfied until Jarl was dead), my dislike for the rogue djinn Pearl has now reached fever pitch. Her cult-like followers, cultivated through a combination of magical manipulation and murder, are heartbreaking enough on their own. Add an army of children being trained as holy warriors and cannon fodder, and I'm out for blood.
Outcast Season book 2, UNKNOWN, revealed a lot of Pearl's evil without much by way of victory for Cassiel and her allies, circumstances that drove me up the wall with frustration to get my hands on the next in book in the series. UNSEEN did not disappoint. It's a fast, exciting story that moved the plot forward in several satisfying ways. Normally I dislike books where the love interests are separated for much of the story, but Cassiel and Luis seem to grow deeper in their relationship through the trials they face. In this book more than any other, Cassiel faces how much she has changed since being cast out of the djinn, and her personal growth amidst all of the action and danger was both well written and believable.
UNSEEN includes even more revelations regarding Pearl, and sets the stage for a very satisfying resolution to the series in book four, UNBROKEN. The reality of Pearl's fanatics and child soldiers is chilling, to the point where Pearl is definitely in the top five of my list of Villains Who Should Die. I've got my fingers crossed and high hopes for UNBROKEN, here's hoping Pearl gets what's coming to her.
Sexual Content: Mildly explicit sex scenes.