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Saturday, April 16, 2011

'Unseen' Outcast Season #3 by Rachel CAINE

From the BLURB:

After Cassiel and Warden Luis Rocha rescue an adept child from a maniacal Djinn, they realize two things: the girl is already manifesting an incredible amount of power, and her kidnapping was not an isolated incident.

This Djinn-aided by her devoted followers-is capturing children all over the world, and indoctrinating them so she can use their strength for herself. With no other options, Cassiel infiltrates the Djinn's organization-because if Cassiel cannot stop the Djinn's apocalyptic designs, all of humanity may be destroyed.

It has been months since Cassiel ‘Cass’ was ripped from the Dijn world to have humanity thrust upon her. Since then Cass has witnessed the slaying murder of her Weather Warden, Manny, and his wife, Angela. She has seen their little girl, Isabel, be kidnapped and used as a ticking time-bomb weapon of mass destruction. Cass has fallen in love with Manny’s Warden brother, Luis. And Cass has been shamed by the fact that a fallen Dijn sister called Pearl was behind Isabel’s kidnapping, and the kidnapping of hundreds of other talented Weather Warden children . . . because Pearl is building an army. An army of future Weather Wardens who can control earth, fire, wind and water. And she will use them to execute the most awful take over imaginable, unless Cass can stand in her way.

‘Unseen’ is the third book in Rachel Caine’s spin-off Weather Warden series.

Caine’s Weather Warden series came to an end last year with the final book ‘Total Eclipse’. I was both sad and elated to read the last instalment to Jo Baldwin’s harrowing adventures . . . but I have to admit, the sting is lessened somewhat by Caine’s continuing ‘Outcast Season’, and the journey of former Dijn, Cassiel.

I love, love, loved ‘Unseen’ because it’s a book of big concepts and dramatic changes. The first of these revolutions is in Cass’s relationship with Luis Rocha . . . for two books now; Luis has been uneasy and somewhat horrified by his attraction to Cassiel. He would be fighting his lust one moment, and throwing barbed comments the next. But in ‘Unseen’ Luis has his wanting under control. He and Cass have been through too much – Manny’s slaying and Isabel’s kidnapping – and he has come to trust her completely. They share some intimate and transformative moments, and their sweetness rivals that of even Jo Baldwin and Dijn David.

But there is also a backlash to these character revolutions. Cass is slowly starting to understand and embrace her humanity, the good and the bad. This book is really about Cass coming to terms with the limits and dismal aspects of being human. She realizes that when you open yourself up to love, you also welcome heartache. She finds that caring leads the way to losing what you care about. And being mostly human means she is dispensable in this grand battle.

For all of their sweet moments, Cass and Luis also experience an incredible turn-about in their relationship. One that will leave you gob-smacked and pained on Cass’s behalf.
“Cass . . .” He sighed. “Damn, girl, I never know which way to jump with you. When it’s all action and danger, we’re synced like a sound track; when it’s just you and me, I never know what you’re thinking, or what you’re feeling, if you’re feeling anything. I look at you and you just . . .”
“Just what?”
He shrugged, frowning. “You just reflect,” he said. “Like steel.”
That surprised me, and it hurt a little. “I am not steel.” I said. “I am human. Blood and bone and muscle, heart and feeling and vulnerability. Don’t I show that?”
“Not even a little. Not here.” He sounded almost apologetic about it.
I also loved ‘Unseen’ because Caine brings back a favourite secondary character we first met in ‘Unknown’. Rashid is a mysterious Dijn who is fascinated with Cass and currently under command of an unknown master. He is as beautiful as a Greek God, and has a penchant for wearing his birthday suit around Cass, because he loves flustering her. I am so smitten with Rashid! I was thrilled to read his return in ‘Unseen’. He’s like dark chocolate – wickedly good and bitter. I can’t figure him out, but I love reading his interactions with Cass. I would love it if, when the ‘Outcast Season’ comes to an end, Rachel Caine could do a spin-off of a spin-off and write Rashid’s story!

‘Unseen’ also marks the beginning of the end. This book reveals a lot about Pearl and her grand plan . . . and it’s spine-tinglingly awful. Caine is definitely setting up Pearl’s long-game, and preparing Cass and Luis for an epic battle. I don’t want to give anything away, but Pearl’s devilish plan is chillingly villainous.

‘Unseen’ is yet another brilliantly thrilling instalment in Caine’s ‘Outcast Season’ spin-off series. Jo Baldwin and ‘Weather Warden’ may be done and dusted, but Caine’s still got a lot to offer in Cassiel and Luis. This is a transformative book for all characters – Cass comes to terms with the downfalls of humanity, and Pearl reveals her villainous grand-plans. It is epically glorious, and exactly what fans have come to expect from Rachel Caine’s brilliant paranormal pen.

5/5

1 comment:

  1. Awesome review Dani!!!

    I so gotta read this series! after Luis and Cassiel's cameo in Total Eclipse, I totally realized I just HAD to!

    I miss the weather warden series soooo much!

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