Rachel Caine: Weather Wardens #9: Total Eclipse

Here’s what you need to know:

Some people can control the elements. These are the Wardens of Earth, Fire, and Weather. They want to keep us alive. Joanne Baldwin, Weather Warden, is dedicated to protecting humanity from all threats. Unfortunately, she’s been rendered powerless in the wake of previous events.

All-powerful Djinn exist. Some like us. Most hate us. They’ll help . . . for a price. But they’re a trifle angry over being enslaved until recently. They’re divided into the Old, which hate humanity, and the New, which occasionally tolerate us. One Djinn is David, Joanne’s husband. Once the most powerful of the New Djinn, he’s also powerless.

Mother Earth is awake, pissed, and ready to eradicate humanity once and for all. She can use anything and everything, from the smallest insects to the Djinn as her weapons.

This is the last-moment, all-out, no-holds-barred, anything-goes, balls-to-the-wall fight for survival for Joanne and her allies. If they fail, so does civilization. Not everyone will survive. The world will be changed forever.

The forecast: Stormy, with a hint of apocalypse.

The ninth and final book in Rachel Caine’s Weather Wardens series brings all of the threads from previous books together in an intense, pulse-pounding climax, in which the stakes have never been higher. And considering the sort of stuff that we’ve seen before in this series, that’s saying something. From the Earth’s brutal assault upon humanity, to Joanne’s desperate strategies and gambits for survival, it’s one thing after another, with little respite until that ultimate showdown.

Naturally, Caine still injects a heavy dose of humanity and emotion into the narrative. Joanne and David have plenty of little character moments that help showcase the emotional connection built through life and death, triumph and tragedy. Their allies, including Kevin and Cherise, find time to shine also, acting as a nice counterpoint. The guest appearance of Luis and Cassiel from the Outcast Season spinoff series comes as a welcome surprise, and a nice nod to that other corner of the Weather Wardens universe.

As the capstone to a long-running series, this may not be entirely friendly to newcomers, though Caine does a good job of summing things up in the opening pages. As the finale to an epic storyline, it’s definitely everything I’d been expecting and hoping for. I’ll miss these characters and their world now that’s over, but it was a hell of a ride in the meantime.

(Roc, 2010)

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