Monday, March 7, 2011

Undone by Rachel Caine

Undone (Outcast Season, Book 1)I hadn't previously read any of Rachel Caine's books, so I saw this was the first book in a new series, Outcast Season, and thought it would be a good place to start. Somewhat unfortunately, this series is tightly intertwined with her Weather Warden series, so I had to interpolate a bit in the mystery areas, and managed to get by without understanding any of the history.

Undone is the story of a djinn, Cassiel, who has disobeyed one of the djinn chieftains and is exiled to Earth in the body of a human being. She finds refuge, albeit grudgingly, among the Weather Wardens, and is dependent on them to provide her with power, without which she will die. She is assigned to an Earth Warden named Manny, and he finds her a place to live and gives her a job assisting him in his duties, which seem to be things like defusing earthquakes before they build to dangerous levels. If I had read the other series, I'd probably understand what all the versions of wardens do a little better, but I've placed the first book in that series on hold at the library, so I should be caught up in a couple of months.

As one might expect, there are evil forces in play, and Cassiel and Manny come under attack for no apparent reason. As they work together, and Cassiel comes to know Manny's wife, Angela, and his daughter, Isabel, and also comes to know something the djinn have never learned - love, though she doesn't recognize it as anything more than a strange annoying feeling at first. Sounds pretty human to me.

As the forces against them escalate, and the situation grows more dire, they are joined by Manny's brother, Luis. Cassiel feels a different sort of attraction for Luis, which we humans recognize quite reaadily, but which has her even more mystified. I'll give you three guesses.

So, this feels like a good start to the series to me, although I thought that the potency of the enemies they faced escalated awfully fast. Not sure what Caine will do to top things as she goes along. It's also got a bit of a shameless cliffhanger at the end, forcing us to forever wonder about a beloved character, or just go buy the darned second book. I think the third one has already been published, so I imagine we're in for the long haul, folks.

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