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Heat Stroke
Rachel Caine
Roc, 352 pages

Heat Stroke
Rachel Caine
Rachel Caine has been writing and publishing novels and short stories since 1991.  She is a former professional musician who has the distinction of having played with such musical legends as Henry Mancini, Peter Nero and John Williams. She's also an avid movie buff, a TV-holic, and prefers a good stout Guinness to wimpy American beers.

Stormwatch: Rachel Caine's Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Ill Wind
SF Site Review: Ill Wind

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Michael M Jones

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Ill-fated Weather Warden Joanne Baldwin is back, in an adventure that takes her beyond death, to battle an unnatural disaster which could destroy the world, in Heat Stroke, the sequel to Rachel Caine's debut novel, Ill Wind.

When we last left our heroine, she'd been chased across the United States by the Weather Wardens, the very people she'd been working for. Accused of murder, tainted by the dreaded Demon Mark, and in search of the only friend she had left, Rachel survived everything thrown at her... until she was forced to sacrifice herself to save the world. But that wasn't the end of her story. Her new found traveling companion and lover, David, one of the much-coveted and rare free Djinn, brought her back from the dead as a Djinn. In a very short time, Joanne Baldwin went from phenomenally powerful Weather Warden, capable of manipulating the natural forces of air and water to create or control storms, to Djinn, capable of manipulating the very fabric of reality. Mind you, it hasn't affected her fashion sense, or need for speed on the highway. But now she has to master her newfound powers and get the hang of being a Djinn before she's claimed and enslaved by someone with the ability and know-how. But it's not going to be easy, not with some nasty enemies on the horizon, and a distinct lack of allies amongst the Djinn themselves. And there's a storm brewing in the aetheric plane, one which could rip the world apart if left to its own devices. Only Joanne and David can deal with the problem, and in the doing so, make it worse.

Much worse.

Now, as the world shudders towards a meteorological apocalypse, Joanne has fallen into the hands of a ruthless Warden and a disgruntled teenager, either of whom will use her for their own selfish, twisted ambitions. David's missing and probably dying, Joanne's other allies are incapacitated or busy, and she's on her own, once again. Oh, and despite mastering the art of manifesting whatever clothes she likes, she can't get her hair just right. Priorities must be observed.

Heat Stroke combines the fashion savvy and dry, cutting humor of the best "chick lit" heroines with the high-octane thrill of a disaster movie, producing a modern fantasy with an edge. One thing's for certain: the twists and surprises not only keep the story moving at a breakneck pace, they ensure a thoroughly delightful unpredictability. My only complaint is that Caine leaves us hanging at the end with several plotlines left to be resolved, and it'll be some time before book three, Chill Factor, is released. I think Caine's blending of magical creatures, secret societies, and stormy weather is a welcome addition to the field, filling a niche I didn't even realize existed, and I look forward to further explorations of the setting.

Copyright © 2004 Michael M Jones

Michael M Jones enjoys an addiction to books, for which he's glad there is no cure. He lives with his very patient wife (who doesn't complain about books taking over the house... much), eight cats, and a large plaster penguin that once tasted blood and enjoyed it. A prophecy states that when Michael finishes reading everything on his list, he'll finally die. He aims to be immortal.


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