Saturday, February 7, 2009

Review – Undone by Rachel Caine

Once she was a powerful Djinn. Then Cassiel defied her ruler, Ashan, who tore her very essence away and reshaped her in human flesh as punishment. Forced to live among mortals, Cassiel has found refuge among the Weather Wardens—whose power she must tap into regularly, or she will die.

Cassiel earns her keep by assisting the Earth Warden Manny Rocha on his missions—which she finds much easier than coping with the emotions and frailties of her human conditions especially her growing affection for Manny's brother, Luis. But when Cassiel encounters a malevolent force that threatens the Rocha family, she discovers that her perceived human weaknesses may be her greatest strengths....
Undone is the first book in a new urban fantasy series set in Rachel Caine’s Weather Warden universe called the Outcast Season. Four books are planned. The opening of Undone finds Cassiel being cast down to earth in human form for refusing to obey an order from her master. Cassiel is one of the oldest of the True Djinn - arrogant, powerful and dismissive of human concerns. So when she is consigned to earth her emotional and physical adjustment is excruciating and overwhelming.

The underlying theme in Undone is a study in what it means to be human. Cassiel retains much of her Djinn magic but can no longer recharge it without access to a Weather Warden so she is partnered with Manny in Albuquerque, New Mexico, who has earth magic. Her very life, her existence is now dependent on others. Cassiel is angry at her circumstances but shows grit and determination to accept and deal with her situation.

Cassiel begins to learn the ropes of her new life and responsibilities. She becomes attached to her partner and his family and recognizes a blossoming rapport with the humanity that she now protects and in many ways serves. But things quickly become more complicated when they become the targets of an unknown enemy. The threats escalate and they investigate Weather Warden and Djinn possibilities. What they discover leads them to The Ranch – a compound where the enemy is a surreal and nightmarish blend of forces – human, Djinn and rogue Weather Wardens. A veritable village of the damned.

The action in Undone is non-stop and relentless. People close to her are murdered, children kidnapped and her own life is in constant peril. Cassiel’s emotional upheaval is palpable and real and fresh as it is filtered through her ex-Djinn perspective. I liked Cassiel a lot. Experiencing the reshaping of her beliefs and expectations. Her burgeoning humanity. And she loves her Victory motorcycle. The use and portrayal of Djinn and Weather Warden magic is quite unique and gives Undone a completely different feel from the usual urban fantasy fare.

From the very beginning, the reason for Cassiel being ‘undone’ remains a mystery and is only revealed in the closing chapters of the novel. When she finally divulges the truth, the explanation is profound and completely unexpected. I was both shocked and delighted at the scope of the author’s imagination and intentions for the character and the series.

Undone is a powerful start to what promises to be an exciting and rewarding series. If you find yourself wanting more of the Weather Warden universe while you await the next Outcast Season book, check out the seven books in the alternate series already available (see below).

Read an excerpt.

Interviews :
Darque Reviews

Penguin Group (USA)
Published: February 2009
ISBN #: 9780451462619
Format: Paperback
Pages: 305


A. Outcast Season Series:

  1. Undone
  2. Unknown (2010)
  3. Book 3 (2011)
  4. Book 4 (TBD)

B. Weather Warden Series:

  1. Ill Wind (2003)
  2. Heat Stroke (2004)
  3. Chill Factor (2005)
  4. Windfall (2005)
  5. Firestorm (2006)
  6. Thin Air (2007)
  7. Gale Force (2008)
  8. Cape Storm (August 2009)
  9. Untitled Final Novel (Summer 2010)

Morganville Vampires YA Series:

  1. Glass Houses (2006)
  2. The Dead Girls' Dance (2007)
  3. Midnight Alley (2007)
  4. Feast of Fools (2008)
  5. Lord of Misrule (2009)
  6. Carpe Corpus (June 2009)
  7. Fade Out (November 2009)
  8. Book 8 (2010)
  9. Book 9 (2010)


From Rachel Caine’s Newsletter -

"Cape Storm, the 8th (and next to last!) Weather Warden novel will be out in August 2009 -- it's now available for preorder! I don't have cover art to share yet, but I'll pass it along as soon as I can.

And -- speaking of that -- I have made the difficult decision to make Book 9 the last Weather Warden novel. Truly, it's been an amazing experience writing that series, but I want to give Joanne and David (and Lewis and Rahel and Cherise and everybody else) the chance at having a non-crisis-related existence, and a little happiness. Also, life without a cliffhanger interruption. So -- Book 8 continues Joanne's pursuit of Bad Bob, and Book 9 will, finally, bring resolution to the Wardens and Djinn (and regular people, too). I expect Book 9 (which is currently in search of a title) to be released in the summer of 2010.

Currently, the Morganville Vampires will run through at least 2010."


  1. Great review! I'm going to be reading this one soon. It sounds really good.

  2. The seventh Morganville novel will be titled Fade Out, I believe.

    Have a lovely day! :-)

  3. Hi Mo Hope you like it! I've never been disappointed in a Rachel Caine book.

    Thanks Tez, I updated the listing accordingly.

  4. I loved this as well. Great review! :)

  5. Thanks Kimberly. Looking forward to Unknown now.

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