Science fiction and fantasy                                            

Chill Factor

by Rachel Caine


Keeping a low profile goes against everything in Joanne Baldwin's nature. She may have her life and her car back, and a Djinn called David for company, but she's still intent on saving the world. A teenager called Kevin is on the loose with far more power than he can handle, and his actions are unbalancing the world's weather.

Kevin stole the powers of the strongest Warden in the world (now an ex-Warden), Lewis Levander Orwell. This loss is killing Lewis. Meanwhile Kevin is in Las Vegas, living it up and not allowing the Wardens to come anywhere near him. But the Djinn he is with is using vast amounts of energy, and Joanne wants to discover why. Few Wardens could negotiate with Kevin and survive, but Joanne is willing to brave his distrust of her in order to save lives.

In Chill Factor things get complicated as Joanne unearths corruption that overturns her views about the way the world works and who the good guys are. Djinn have been disappearing. Joanne is stalked by an Ifrit, which in this series means a dark and insubstantial being that feeds off Djinn. And to cap it all she meets a secret society who want her to help them to destroy the young man at the centre of all the trouble.

Whether free or bound to a person, the Djinn are dangerous to have as enemies. As the saying goes, be careful what you wish for because you may get it.

Breathless and deadly, this book certainly doesn't lack for action or pace. However some of the vagaries of the plot seem to have been bolted on as an afterthought rather than planned from the start. We're introduced for the first time to a number of major events in Joanne's past, the kind of things that would tend to haunt a person. So it's strange that these things do not even come up until the middle of the third book in the series. As a result the story is a little less credible than it could have been.

Aside from this plotting issue, Chill Factor is highly enjoyable urban fantasy. Rachel Caine has a brilliantly visual way of writing that allows her dress-conscious characters to shine. In Joanne Baldwin the author has created a protagonist with no pretensions of depth or saintliness, a rash and tenacious modern woman who's very easy to like. Joanne and other characters like her make this is an electrifying novel.

Book Details

Year: 2005

Categories: Books

  Female Protagonist  

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4 star rating

Review © Ros Jackson
Read more about Rachel Caine