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Chill Factor
Rachel Caine
Roc, 352 pages

Chill Factor
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: Heat Stroke
SF Site Review: Ill Wind
SF Site Review: Ill Wind

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Michael M Jones

Joanne Baldwin, ex-Weather Warden and ex-Djinn, just can't seem to catch a break, or her breath. In less than a month, she has died and been reborn twice, saved the world, and seen her entire life thrown into absolute chaos. She has found love and lost it, been betrayed by those closest to her, and been forced to betray in turn. And just when things should be settling down, it turns out she's in the eye of a very nasty world-threatening storm.

After the events described in Heat Stroke, there were a few loose ends. Not only are there a number of demon-infected Djinn loose in the world, but the most powerful Djinn extant, an amoral being of inconceivable power is in the hands of a bitter teenager. All the power in the world, commanded by a young man of questionable ethics and a bad upbringing. There's only one person who can sneak under the Djinn's magical radar, infiltrate Las Vegas, and confront Djinn and master. Unfortunately, Joanne's going to have to do it without her Djinn-turned-lover, who remains behind in the hands of her enemies. Luckily, there are people in Las Vegas willing to help her, but what game are they really playing?

As the stakes grow ever higher, and new players join the table, Joanne finds herself trapped in a game without rules, playing for the fate of the entire world. Everything she thought she knew about the Weather Wardens will be called into question, especially when she's introduced to a rival society known as the Ma'at, who are themselves connected to someone very close to Joanne. If Joanne wants to save the world from nature gone wild, defeat an old enemy, rescue her friends and lover, and keep alive, she'll have to draw upon resources she never even realized she had.

Chill Factor, the third in the Weather Wardens series, successfully builds upon the storylines begun in Ill Wind and continued in Heat Stroke, bringing them all to a furious climax. Caine just keeps getting better and better, as she puts her characters through a steady wringer, never quite letting up as she introduces new layers and levels of complexity to a fascinating setting. While the idea of secret societies policing the magical beings of the world is nothing new, the whole concept of the Weather Wardens is one of those ideas that's just begging for yet more exploration. It's clear that Caine's still scraping the tip of the iceberg, even now, three books into the series. Like a good hurricane, she builds slowly off-shore, and once ready, tears inland to wreak literary havoc in an unpredictable manner. (Okay, I'm still recovering from hurricane season, sorry.) Chill Factor, like the rest in the series, is a breath of fresh air in the urban fantasy field, and I continue to look forward to Rachel Caine's further offerings.

Copyright © 2005 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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