Sometimes a Weather Warden just can't catch a break! Instead of enjoying a honeymoon with her new djinn husband, David, with no more worries than whether she can match his passion for her, Joanne Baldwin finds herself once more demon-marked and struggling to retain control of her sanity, while about to set sail - on a luxury cruise ship, no less - into the teeth of hurricane, in an attempt to prevent it from devastating much of Florida. Luckily, she's accompanied on this voyage by a mixed group of Wardens and djinn, including David, of course; Lewis, leader of the Wardens and the most powerful human on the planet; Kevin, the semi-psychotic teenager; and her best friend, Cherise, whose beach-bunny beauty hides an inner core of steely determination, and a good thing, too, as Joanne's going to need all the help she can get, what with obnoxious first-class passengers who've refused to be evacuated, mysterious djinn-killers on board, and the demon-possessed Bad Bob, who's looking to bring about the end of the world.
If all this seems confusing, then you obviously haven't come across Rachel Caine's Weather Wardens series before, of which Cape Storm is the eighth volume. The initial concept - that the weather, and Mother Earth, is conscious and aware at some level, and would scour humanity from the planet if it weren't for the activities of a select group of people with powers over the elements - is undoubtedly a great one, and Joanne and David's travails thus far have made interesting, if undemanding, reading. Joanne makes a sassy protagonist - always bucking authority to do what's right, while also having a weakness for fast cars, designer fashion and her super-powered djinn lover - while David provides a dedicated foil - impossibly devoted and gorgeous, but yet vulnerable due to his djinn nature.
One of the strengths of this particular volume is how everything seems to make sense as Joanne gradually loses her battle with demon-mark and begins to behave in ways she normally wouldn't (the books are written in the first person) - a reader can follow her corruption from her own perspective, and Caine keeps the action moving swiftly and tells her story in a slim 300 or so pages. Weaknesses, I would say, are the central plot point of Joanne swimming through the Caribbean, which just seems unrealistic, and the somewhat pat solutions in the closing section, almost as if Caine suddenly realised she'd written herself into a corner and needed to get out of it quickly. Nevertheless, if you're a Weather Wardens fan, you'll enjoy this instalment, and probably look forward to the next one (the book ends on the by now customary cliff-hanger), although perhaps not as eagerly as you did to some of the earlier books; if you haven't entered Joanne and David's world before, take a look at Ill Wind , and see what you think.
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