UNDONE (Outcast Season #1) by Rachel Caine
UNDONE (Outcast Season #1) is the first novel in Rachel Caine’s urban fantasy spin-off to the Weather Warden series. Focusing on the outcast Djinn Cassiel, UNDONE follows Cassiel as she traverses the pitfalls of being almost-human in a world of vengeful beings and controlled puppets.
Cassiel fell to earth as a human. Banished by Ashan, from the Old Djinn for disobeying a direct order, Cassiel is ‘rescued’ by a group of Wardens, hoping to avoid any further complications with the Djinn. As a source of power for the Djinn, the Wardens must allow their energy to flow when a Djinn is in need. Although not entirely human, Cassiel requires a continuous refueling when she expends too much energy trying to manipulate the human world. But it is her human body that is susceptible to outside danger and pain.
Manny Rocha soon finds himself the Warden to Cassiel, but with his own wife Angela and daughter Isabel to protect, he is soon embroiled in a war between the Djinn, Wardens and a murderous gang for revenge against his brother Luis. Hoping to integrate Cassiel into the world, Manny reluctantly allows Cassiel time with his family and friends. But when both he and Cassiel are suddenly targets from both Fire Wardens and gang bangers, it is Manny’s family that will suffer the most.
Luis Rocha is Manny’s brother, a one-time member of the infamous Norteno drug gang and an Earth Warden. With his ability to manipulate and use the Earth elements, Luis is a much stronger Warden then his brother Manny. But when Manny and his wife are gunned down in a drive-by shooting, it takes everything for Luis not to place the blame in another direction-at Cassiel. The danger for everyone has escalated from the time that Cassiel descended to Earth. Knowing that these deaths are a direct result of his previous gang affiliation, Luis must somehow make amends to Isabel. Isabel’s friendship with Cassiel is further enhanced when the child ‘s distress is only eased by the fallen Djinn. But when the Isabel is abducted and the power shift leads to the Wardens, it is Luis who must now ask Cassiel for her assistance in finding his niece.
Luis and Cassiel’s hunt for the missing child covers miles of dangerous ground, catastrophes and road blocks, all manipulated using the power of the earth, weather and fire. Knowing that a war between the Djinn and the Wardens is only escalating, Luis and Cassiel push further until both find themselves prisoner at the Ranch-where more than just the discovery of Isabel Rocha will pray heavily on their minds. An enemy, once thought long gone, has resurfaced, hoping for revenge against the fallen Djinn. And a training ground for future soldiers in the war between Djinn and Wardens, is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
UNDONE is an interesting story. Although I had not read the Weather Warden series, I did not find myself lost in a world of unknowns and confusion. The story is fast paced with plenty of action and information. Like many Urban Fantasy novels, the hero and heroine are trying desperately to save the world from one disaster after another, and in the end it will take more than just two reluctant saviors, but perhaps a small child who has lost both of her parents.
Reviewed by Sandy