In the Balance of Keeping Balance (Chill Factor – A Book Review)

Chill Factor (Weather Wardens #3)

Author: Rachel Caine

Published: 2005

On Goodreads

My Rating:

Rated

It’s shouldn’t be my job to decide who’s right,

Who’s wrong, who lies, who dies.

But you do the job you’re handed.

Weather Warden, Joanne “Jo” Baldwin has been through quite a lot. Possessed with a demon mark, killed and turned into a Djinn, and restored to her natural self. It doesn’t matter how often she’s stuck her neck out for others, she’s always finding herself in a pot of trouble.

This time, she gets mixed up with the Ma’at, a secret society of once-upon-a-time potential wardens, and is tasked with killing Kevin, a disturbed kid who’s also a warden. He’s got the most powerful Djinn, Jonathan, in his clutches, and amid the world falling apart, Djinn are going missing. While she’d love to get the job done after all Kevin has done, she can’t do it. She’s determined to find a way around this and save the world, including him. But, as she does, she is forced to remember an audit gone wrong that may have more to do with the current situation than she likes.

Weather Warden Reviews

Ill Wind

Heat Stroke

Jo found herself in Las Vegas and in a whole new pot-calling-the-kettle-black kind of trouble that began with a Warden assignment from her past and a Djinn-wielding Kevin ending with heartache and life-changing surprises. There was no shortage of shocking moments in this installment. More so, this one gave us a flashback to when Jo was on one of her first assignments for the Wardens, performing an audit. It all went well until it didn’t. She uncovered a dark dealing and handling it came back to bite her in the ass. An audit gone bad comes to light and she relearns what really happened. Meanwhile, David, Djinn and love of her life, struggled to recuperate from their last fight in the previous book and it has him on the verge of becoming a deadly Ifrit.

Oh the cringe—I love it! In movies and shows and the wonders in between, there’s those moments where you cringe with embarrassment for the characters you love because they either did something humiliating or crazy happens. Then, you blush and grimace because, damn, you felt that and felt bad for them and it was just—nope. You shrink. Also, you’ve been there and done that. LOL. Caine managed that very well throughout this series and I applaud it. You can seriously feel this reverberate through you and it’s a tone that doesn’t come across strong enough in books. Caine really embraces the humanity of this along with love, heartache, humor, badassery, etc. She encompassed this so well and I really loved it.

Suggy Emotions

The struggle that Jo and David still go through STILL makes my heart bleed. They aren’t toxic, but they are the type to give their all for each other even though there’s so much that keeps them apart. Such as David still being bound to Jo and then nearly dying. Then there’s Jo doing all she can to protect him from those that would use him for their own horrifying benefits. It’s a beautiful tragedy. It’s also passionately tragic. Truly. Like, deep down in the heart of things, while they love each and I so deeply want them to survive every obstacle, I can’t help but wonder if they’re more star-crossed. I am still hopelessly following that light at the end of the tunnel for them though.

This was an action-packed book. Las Vegas is rowdy on its own. Bring Wardens and Djinn into it? Talk about a party. But then there’s the Ma’at, the enemy nobody knew the Wardens had. Talk about a plot twist! And the fact that the Wardens are looked at as the actual villains!? Whoa. Unexpected but not wrong or that surprised. Paul, the head of the organization, has been growing darker and darker and more controlling, tightening his reins on people. That wasn’t the only twist. Jo faced a few life-altering secrets that were mind-blowing. Absolutely jaw-dropping.

Tenor

I praise Caine for always keeping me on the edge of my seat, knowing how to bring a badass set of characters together for an epic fight, and because when she ends on a cliffhanger, it’s not ridiculous. She manages to keep me hungry for the next book and I love that feeling. The gathering of Jo, Lewis, Rahel, Kevin, and Marione was incredible. Between the Wardens, Ma’at, and Djinn, these guys just wanted to do the right thing.

The imagery is still stellar. Though light, it’s powerful. Caine embraces all of it through the pace of action and never halts for a second. It’s not only in her world-building that the imagery takes on life, but in Warden abilities as well. Her edge is original and engaging. I’m always amazed.

Overall

This book was as exhilarating as the last. The twists and turns were incredible and kept me on my toes. I love seeing how much Jo has evolved as a character. Loaded with class and sass, her moral compass is still unwavering as it points north. More, she is very bold in her opinion and always being herself. An incredibly passionate read and wild.

Quotables:

“Sentimentality should have no place in an analysis of the environment. Things die. It’s the nature of the world. You acknowledge that sometimes fires must burn so that the forests may be renewed. Surely you apply the standard to the entire world.” (p. 147-148)

“When did being the good guys include contracting murder?” (p, 218)

“How’s it feel when the chicken come home to crap all over you?” (p. 262)

“Can’t what? Can’t survive? Sure you can. That’s what people do. They survive. It’s the one thing I admire about them.” (Jonathan, p. 267)

“Well, that’s the way the world crumbles. Sometimes you get surprised.” (p. 288)

More to come soon…                                                                                               

  -K.

Song Today? Set Fire to the Rain by Adele.

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