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Ill Wind Hardcover – June 1, 1995

4.1 out of 5 stars 221 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A promising disaster scenario fizzles as Anderson and Beason (coauthors of Assemblers of Infinity and The Trinity Paradox) succumb to lightweight plotting, facile characterization and an apparent need to allude to as many pop-cultural artifacts as possible. When a panicky oil company tries to clean up a major spill in San Francisco Bay by dropping genetically engineered oil-eating microbes on it, the little organisms go berserk and start devouring most of the world's long-chain polycarbons (gasoline, plastics, etc.). Within the first 150 pages, this leads to a breakdown of communications and information-processing systems. From there until the end of the novel, however, affairs are basically limited to several displays of plucky ingenuity (during which one character compares the work of his group, unfavorably, to that of the Professor on Gilligan's Island). Meanwhile, an acting president and a general, independently, attempt to enforce martial law on an unwilling populace. The heroes are heroic, especially scientist Spencer Lockwood and pilots Billy Carron and Todd Severyn (the latter atoning for having unwittingly dropped the petrol-eating organism in the first place). Todd's girlfriend, Iris Shikozu, stages a post-apocalyptic rock concert at the Altamont Speedway. Almost all the chapter headings are titles of old pop songs, books or movies (Good Vibrations, The Stand, Urban Cowboy). It's possible that those who care, as Iris does, about Kansas's live comeback album will find this fascinating, but most readers are likely to feel that The End of the World As We Know It deserves better handling.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Two best-selling authors team up to confront a biotechnological catastrophe.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 383 pages
  • Publisher: Forge; 1st edition (June 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312857608
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312857608
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (221 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,850,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you are looking for an entertaining book to help you pass a dragging afternoon, this one might be it. Don't expect deep meanings or complicated character introspection, just lots of action-packed fun, lots of magic, a decent mystery and a very likable lead character -- which is better than I could say about many urban fantasy stories out there. Joanne is a Weather Warden with a big problem: she is running a race against time to rid herself of a Demon Mark inflicted on her by her former, corrupted boss. The mark is like a parasite: if she doesn't get rid of it fast, it will pervert her power and turn it into something impossible to control. If the other wardens get to her first, she will lose all her power, if not her life. The alternative is to pass the mark on to somebody else, preferably a djinn, and condemn him or her to a life of eternal torment. She thinks she knows her choices, but in fact she has no idea what her choices really are. As the story unfolds, friends and enemies become no longer easily distinguishable, even more so when willing friends are forced to turn into unwilling enemies. The one person that might have the key to it is nowhere to be found and doesn't seem that friendly after all.
If the plot structure sounds well-known to you, is because you've already encountered it (Jim Butcher's "Dresden files" series springs to mind, to give but an example). Hopefully, that won't prevent you from checking out the book: it makes good on its promises, with a nice twist at the end. If Harry Dresden charmed the readers with his dry wit and inborn talent of making a mess of just about everything, Joanne will appeal to the readers (some readers, anyway) with her disarming honesty about her likes and dislikes.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm always looking for something new in the whole paranormal/supernatural genre and so I picked up Ill Wind after I'd seen people talking about Rachel Caine online. I must admit to an initial hesitance, I read the back and was slightly interested.
I'm so glad that I forged ahead and picked it up to read because it's so much better than the back cover makes it out to be.
Weather wardens, Earth Wardens, Fire Wardens - I wasn't overly interested by the cover and yet, Caine introduces us to these wardens who protect the rest of us from the weather and the earth and other natural disasters with a really unique and interesting spin. That they are aided bu djinn only adds something else.
Joanne Baldwin is a weather warden who is on the run from a murder wrap, oh and she's bearing a demon mark too. Knowing that the only way to get rid of the demon that's been forced into her body is to force it on another human, which is against her moral code, or a djinn, who are rare but she knows who might have a spare or two. Jo drives all over the eastern seaboard and into the south with djinn, friends, foes and killer storms all popping in and out.
The results, rather than seeming scattered or disconnected, actually create a tight story and a macro universe from which many other stories can come (and I hear she's working on two more books now).
The story has a few good twists that you don't see coming and lots of action and a bit of sexual tension. All in all, a great recipe and a very readable book.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I purchased this book based on the "Amazon" recommendation page. This was not a bad book, but it was not what I had expected either. I like science fiction/fantasy books and I thought this was going to be a little bit of sci-fi and mystery. Unfortunately, this ended up being more of a "romance" novel with a bit of sci-fi thrown in, if you can call it that. I liked the idea of weather wardens (people having the power to control the weather); I also liked the lead character Joanne. But, too much of this book focused on her sexuality and her attraction to the opposite sex. While I don't dislike this idea completely, it seemed out of place as the story progressed. It felt like Joanne was more concerned with her appearance and her love life than the fact that she was running for her life.

All in all it was not a horrible book and if you want a nice fluff piece with somewhat interesting characters this is an ok book. If you are looking for something with a little more depth and not in the mood for a "romance" type book, this is not the story for you.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
That seems to be true of this book as well. Ill Wind is the story of the chaos that results when a tailored microorganism destroys the world's petrochemical products. I found the descriptions of the collapse of civilization to be interesting, but found the scientific basis not quite believable. The jump from an organism that just destroys octane to an organism that destroys all oil- and plastic-based products is just too great.
Nonetheless, I enjoyed the book. Other reviewers have mentioned that it follows the standard "disaster format" of multiple characters and plotlines, but this works for me. I found each of the characters to be engaging (with the possible exception of Connor Brooks, who was just too whiney for belief).
I admit that I initially picked up this book because I enjoy biotech thrillers, but I'm glad I did.
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