Heat Stroke is the second novel in Rachel Caine’s Weather Warden series. It picks up where the first book, Ill Wind, left off. It moves well, and has a decent story, but its not quite as good as the first one. I still read it all in one sitting. If you haven’t read the first novel then you may not want to read this review because it has spoilers for the first novel.
Joanne was a weather warden. These are people who can use magic to manipulate the weather. They try to keep floods, tornadoes and all those other weather nasties from destroying humanity. But it is all a secret; no one knows that the wardens are out there protecting humanity.
At the end of the first novel Joanne (the main character for this series) dies. But David, another Djinn turns her into a Djinn rather than letting her die. So Joanne quickly has to learn how to be a Djinn or she will cause the death of herself and David. Joanne is magically tied to David and is draining his energy, if she drains all his energy, both of them will die. Jonathon who is the “king” of the Djinn and a close of friend of David’s decides that Joanne should be left with Patrick who is another human turned Djinn so that he can teach her to be a Djinn. But Lewis, a weather warden friend of Joanne’s and incidentally the most powerful weather warden, discovers that there is the something weird going on in the magical plane. Weird sparkles that can consume the Djinn that they come into contact with have appeared on the magical plane and Lewis needs their help in order to stop them before all the Djinn including Joanne get consumed. He doesn’t have time for Joanne to play how to become a Djinn. Can Joanne learn to be a Djinn before she kills herself and her love, and then help Lewis stop the sparkles? You will have to read the novel to find out.
Unlike the first novel, this one is a little slower to get started, not as much action. Caine has to pause a bit at the beginning of this novel to give us some background about how the magic in her realm works. It still doesn’t seem like information overload and most of it is pretty interesting. We get some new characters like Jonathon, the king of the Djinn, Rahel who is Lewis’s Djinn, Patrick who is Joanne’s teacher, and we have a few more wardens that come into and out of the story as it progresses. There is some action in the latter half of the book including a monster storm (which always seems to make an appearance in Caine’s novels).
I like Caine’s writing style. I think she gives us the right amount of action and information. Her novels read easily and quickly. I have read most of her books in one or two sittings and rather than waiting to trade for her books and I am actively purchasing them because they are downright addictive. She has these great normal seeming characters that just happen to have power whom I really enjoy. And her storylines are consistently solid.
In Heat Stroke, we again have some great characters. I just love Joanne. She has all this power, once as a weather warden and now as a Djinn, but she still is obsessed with fashion, boys and fast cars. She has an “I can take care of myself attitude” that just won’t quit even though she has all these men who want to take care of her. David is a good character even though he is often absent in the book because he is away from Joanne so we don’t know as much about him as we would like. I also like Lewis who we get to know better as the novels progress. He is an interesting character who I feel like will do more interesting things in the later books. Jonathon is also an interesting character. He is probably the most powerful being in the universe. But he is also so down to Earth that he lives in a cabin and drinks beer'”who knew? Caine does create some very interesting characters that I am loving getting to know.
Overall, Heat Stroke was a good installment to the series. I like Caine’s writing style. The world she set up is an interesting deviation from our reality much in the way of a Kim Harrison novel or a Laurell K Hamilton novel. While not as action filled as the first novel, the plot is still solid and holds it own. This novel seems to be a bridge novel between the first and third books both of which are more action filled than Heat Stroke. I would suggest taking along two or three of Caine’s novels on your vacation to the beach because once you read one of them it will leave you craving for more.