Total Eclipse by Rachel Caine (Weather Warden novel #9)
August 3, 2010
Paperback, 320 pages
Today, one of my absolute favorite reviewers, Danielle from Alpha Reader is guest reviewing.
‘Total Eclipse’ is the ninth and last book, in Rachel Caine’s ‘Weather Warden’ series.
The ‘Weather Warden’ books are set in our world, but not as we know it. There is a covert organization of humans, called Weather Wardens, with special talents for commanding the elements: earth, fire, wind and water. They use these powers to control Mother Nature – from tornadoes to tidal waves. The Wardens work tirelessly and fearlessly to prevent and handle natural disasters, and save humanity from the worst of Mother Nature.
Helping the Wardens are Dijn, or as they are known in popular culture, genies. But don’t get them confused with the ‘I dream of‘ variety. These Dijn are badass and dangerous. They have claws, fangs and can control space and time.
At the centre of this series is earth Warden, Joanne ‘Jo’ Baldwin, and her Dijn husband, David Prince. These two have had an epic romance that has spanned death, aetheric planes, and conquered both Dijn and Warden’s who would keep them apart. But in ‘Total Eclipse’ Jo and David will face their worst battle yet, against Mother Nature herself.
Following the events of ‘Cape Storm’, Mother Nature has been wounded by Bad Bob’s attack and is now lashing out. The Mother is turning against the world, calling her Dijn home and preparing for battle against those who would destroy her – mainly, humanity.
The ‘Weather Warden’ series comes in the aftermath of the Boxing Day Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and this year’s Haiti earthquake. We are more aware than ever of our tenuous place on this earth, and our treatment of it. This year has also seen one of the worst man-made disasters in BP’s oil leak off the Gulf of Mexico. Rachel Caine has really tapped into the devastation and fear of these natural disasters and human impacts, so it’s not hard to suspend disbelief in the ‘Weather Warden’ series. It’s not hard to believe that Mother Nature has had enough of our environmental foibles, and wants a reckoning;
“Excuse me,” Lewis said, a little too loudly. “Somebody want to clue me in?”
David was the one to say it, which was good, because I wasn’t sure I had it in me. “It’s the Mother,” he said. “It was her scream, echoing through the Dijn. She’s been hurt, and she’s angry. She gathered the Dijn to her. They’re in her power now.”
I watched Lewis’s face go very quickly pale. He put out a hand to steady himself. “You’re saying –”
“I’m saying that the Earth is awake,” David said. “At least, I believe she is coming awake. The Dijn serve her, and when she calls, they must come.”
The ‘Weather Warden’ books are a dark urban fantasy. This is one series in which the good guys occasionally get smacked down, and the bad guys triumph. The darkness is looming in this, the last book, making for a wonderfully eerie atmosphere. This is one book that, going into it, you really won’t know what to expect… Caine has thrown enough curve-balls around in this series that fans really should be on their toes and expect a complicated ending with plenty of angst, drama and an uncertain ‘happily ever after’ to cap off the series.
Caine writes with such scope – her action scenes live on the page, frenzied and furious scenes that get your heart-rate pumping and make your hands tremble as you read them. Caine revels in writing catastrophe and disaster – she sets up big impacts, writes huge explosions and death-defying battles. Fans have come to expect and delight in Jo’s epic crusades against nature, and Caine really pulls out all the stops in ‘Total Eclipse’ – fans will not be disappointed. Jo is her usual heroic self, standing on the front-lines of disaster and staring death in the face, ready with a quippy comeback. Jo is, without a doubt, the best thing about the ‘Weather Warden’ series. She is a heroine to admire – she gets beaten, disheartened, resentful and angry – but even when she’s down, she is never out. Jo is really at her fighting best in ‘Total Eclipse’, and fans will enjoy reading Jo’s last stand… it’s a doozy!
In this book Ms. Caine also writes a gentle reminder that while the ‘Weather Warden’ series is over, her spin-off ‘Outcast Season’ lives on. Cassiel and Luis Rocha, the main characters of ‘Outcast’, make a vital cameo in ‘Total Eclipse’, reminding fans that their story is still being told and will continue in the third book ‘Unseen’ (released February 2011).
I also loved the fact that in this book, Caine tips her hat to where it all began in ‘Ill Wind’. She writes no stone unturned, no issues unresolved and she brings back a cache of characters for the end. She also addresses pent-up personal problems that have been plaguing Jo (and readers) for 8 books now, mainly in the love triangle between Jo, David and head-honcho Warden, Lewis Orwell. There’s been a lot left unsaid between Jo and her first love, Lewis… I don’t want to give anything away, but fans will be pleased to know that their unrequited love is finally addressed.
I’m sad that ‘Weather Warden’ has come to a close (especially ending on book number 9 -why not a nice, round even 10?) but at the same time I can’t fault Caine’s finale. This whole series has been a grand-scale journey of epic proportions and emotions, and Caine delivers a last book that compliments all that have come before it. Rachel Caine doesn’t just let Jo and David go out on a bang… she gives them a ROARING send-off, one befitting this unique series.
This series includes: