Rachel Caine,
Outcast Season #1: Undone
(Roc, 2009)

Cassiel is a Djinn, a magical creature of near-infinite power. She has never been captured or enslaved, as many of her race have. A bottle has never been her home and she has never been forced to serve a human. She has never taken on human guise and never intends to.

But Cassiel refuses to obey an order from her Conduit, an order she feels she cannot obey. That refusal comes at a high price: her magical core is ripped from her being and she is cast into the world of humans.

The outcast Djinn has been unmade and must learn what it is to be Human, coping with human inconveniences, such as learning to exist in a physical body and dealing with those pesky emotions. And, as if to add insult to injury, she must now build human relationships. Her very survival depends on it.

But can a being who holds humans in distain learn to live among them? Or will she seek forgiveness and restoration to her Djinn form by taking up the Conduit's task?

Set in the world of her Weather Warden books, Undone is the first in a four-part series by bestselling author Rachel Caine. Readers of the original series will delight in the brief guest appearances of series regulars Joanne, David and Lewis, and the minor character of Luis Roacha now grows into a major player.

Although this is the first book in a new series, it might be more accurate to call it the first book in a spin-off of the Weather Wardens books. I would not recommend reading this book without having read all seven of the currently available books in the previous series. (This story begins between Gale Force and Cape Storm). Without the background provided in those books, I'm not certain a reader could appreciate subtleties or even understand the plot.

That said, I loved this book so much that when I finished it, I turned back to page one and started over again. Caine's crisp style and rapid pacing move the story to an exciting cliffhanger conclusion. As is usually the case, the author liberally sprinkles humor among the pathos. The character of Cassiel is a wonderful mirror through which the reader can see the quirks, foibles and idosincracies of humankind, as well as its great capacity for love.

So yeah, I would recommend it pretty strongly.

review by
Belinda Christ

6 February 2010

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