I picked Cape Storm to review, because I’d encountered Caine’s work in an anthology not long ago. I didn’t realize that I was getting the eighth book in the Weather Warden series, which would have been fine if it featured different couples, but this is a series that follows a central character, Joanne Baldwin. To say that I was lost is a bit of an understatement. That’s no fault of the book, however, since I did basically understand what was going down, but I was clearly missing a lot of backstory. In other words, do not start the series with this book. It needs to be read in order.
With that said, the book picks up right where the prior one left off. Joanne and David’s wedding was interrupted by a malevolent storm that was generated by Bad Bob. Now, they and a bunch of other Wardens and Djinn must board a cruise ship and head into the ocean, hopefully drawing the catastrophic storm away from civilization and out into the open sea. But, there are several high-class passengers who flatly refuse to leave the ship, so the supernatural beings must also protect these innocent lives, including Joanne’s best friend, Cherise, who willingly joins them despite her mortal status.
Once they’re far enough from the shore, they will begin the task of bringing the storm down. See, Weather Wardens can control the elements and use their powers to protect humanity. Djinn are powerful beings who keep balance and order in the world (I think) and are also basically genies, in that they can be trapped in bottles and forced to do their masters bidding. So, with these two powers on board, they should be able to withstand most any evil, right? In a preliminary battle, it becomes apparent just how powerful and vicious this storm is and everyone starts doubting their ability to take on the big evil – Bad Bob and his minions.
An additional problem is that Joanne isn’t exactly trustworthy right now. She is a powerful Warden and her marriage to a Djinn has ramped up the power, but she has been infected with a Demon Mark. It is visible as a tattoo on her back and little by little the darkness is winning. She becomes the enemy at certain points in the story as Bad Bob’s mark gains control and she acts under his influence.
I enjoy Caine’s writing and I was intrigued enough by what came before this story to begin the series correctly. But, there were some things that bothered me. Joanne’s evil self got on my nerves. I realize that it was an important part of the plot, but I’ve never liked seeing characters totally succumb to the dark side. It’s a personal preference, but when your hero goes so far over the edge that they cannot save themselves and have to have others do it for them, it’s something of a letdown. And she wasn’t even the uber-evil. She was a minion, doing someone else’s bidding, which just seemed weak. Then there’s the other evil, Bad Bob. I realize that it’s just a name, but I had to really resist the urge to throw the book every time I read it. It’s something I would expect to see in a farcical book, not as a serious name for a serious evil person.
Cape Storm is the eighth book in the Weather Warden series, so I definitely came into the story late, something I wouldn’t recommend. However, I would recommend this book. Caine writes well and easily pulls you into the Wardens’ world. Many important things happen in this book that I’m sure fans of the series will enjoy. Also, it made me want to start the series correctly from the beginning, which speaks well of the book and its ability to captivate readers.