I've been reading the Weather Warden books for a few years now and each time I think heroine Joanne Baldwin is about to come to the end of her trouble Ms Caine drops her in it again. In fact - it's becoming a tad predictable. That doesn't mean to say that this isn't an enjoyable read. Plot happens. Lots of plot. I tuned pages fast and read this in one sitting. It fairly romps along at a great pace with a fair amount of slick dialogue which occasionally veers a bit towards the chick-lit end of the spectrum, but I can cope. It qualifies as 'comfort reading' Open a Weather Warden book and you know what you're in for. Maybe that's not always a good thing, bit it's not always bad, either.
The Weather Wardens have powers over earth, weather (air and water) and fire. For centuries they have been saving mankind quietly by reducing the power in hurricanes, the spread of forest fires and the devastation of earthquakes. Yeah, what we get are the reduced versions. Most Wardens only have one power. Joanne Baldwin has all three, though she still a bit shaky with her earth powers - they're new. Wardens used to have enslaved Djinn to help them, but the Djinn shook off their slavery a few books ago and are now, at most, independent contractors and, at worst, still mightily pissed off with mankind.
Jo is about to marry her Djinn lover, David, leader of the New Djinn, who manifests in human form (predictably) as just about the hottest male on the planet, but neither the two factions of Djinn nor her fellow Wardens think this particular mixed marriage is a good idea. As far as the New Djinn go it's a temporary aberration for maybe sixty years max (Jo, after all, is mortal and David is not), but the Old Djinn have got a big problem with it. Not - at it turns out - as big a problem as 'The Sentinels' a renegade Warden organisation not above terrorism using antimatter that the supposedly all-powerful Djinn can't even detect. So Jo and her fellow wardens have a problem and what better place to set a trap than the wedding of the year (or millennium, come to that).
But my big grouch is that this is only half a book. By the end of it we've discovered who's behind the Sentinels, but not done anything about it. It's not a cliffhanger ending but it has lots of loose threads and firmly pushes you towards the next book in the series. I know this is great business, Ms Caine, but just for once can we have a happy-ever-after? Please.
After seven books a heroine who cares almost as much for her fast car and her Manolo Blahniks (horribly uncomfortable looking designer shoes for the uninitiated) as she does for saving the world can get a bit samey. It was cute in the first couple of books, but by now I would have thought Jo might have got her priorities sorted out after several major battles.
I sound as if I didn't enjoy this book, that's not the case, but I do have a caveat: it's not for people who have not read all the previous Weather Warden books. If you've enjoyed the others, odds-on this is for you.