In this fourth instalment in the Weather Warden series our heroine, Jo, has been banished from the Wardens and is eking out a living as Florida station WXTV-38’s Weather Girl, zany side-kick to Marvellous Marvin McLarty, who “knows dick about the weather” but somehow still seems to have an amazing prediction record, even when what he forecasts isn’t remotely what Jo’s insight indicates to her.
Further investigation reveals that someone’s been tinkering with the weather to assist Marvin, and the Council suspect Jo. She’s in danger of being ‘neutered’ – having her powers forcibly removed, which may or may not leave her gaga for the rest of her life. And that’s not even the worst part – Jo also has to put up with her princess sister Sarah, newly divorced and pre-nup penniless, living with her. All Sarah has is the clothes on her back, a sense of entitlement, and no concept of restraint or budget.
Sarah does manage to pick up a lovely, charming and apparently wealthy man friend, charismatic Brit Eamon. Jo’s a little concerned that Sarah’s jumping from one rescuing prince to another, but her humiliations at work are becoming more pressing (dressing up in a padded sun costume? Getting drenched by buckets of icy water?), and her beloved Djinn boyfriend David is turning into an Ifrit – the Djinn version of a vampire, all hunger and darkness and diminished cognition.
And there’s something big brewing on the world stage, too – the Djinn are starting to turn on their human ‘owners’, decimating the Warden population, while the weather is becoming increasingly hard to manage. Earthquakes, tornadoes, super forest fires and tidal waves are only the beginning, and they’re getting worse. Even though the Warden’s have kicked her out, they can’t manage without Jo’s gifts, but not everybody’s happy about it. Can Jo keep David, protect her sister, and save the world?
Well, not to ruin the novel for you, but yeah.
Along the way Jo loses a fetus and gains a daughter, and we meet a great new character, Cherise, a friend from work. Caine does manage a cracking pace, her characters are involving, and there are a couple of great lines: Marvin is described as “holding onto his fleeing, screaming youth with both fists;” and at one point Lewis (greatest Warden of them all) says “If we were any more screwed, we’d be having a cigarette and enjoying the afterglow.”
But I think I’m overdosing on the genre, if not the author. I’ve got the next book sitting next to my bed (looove my library) so I’ll give that a whirl and see how we go. - Alex