[Book Review] Another nifty series starter from Rachel Caine

Devil’s Bargain by Rachel Caine

(The Red Letter Days series, book #1)

devilsbargain

I prefer this cover. The other one (below) gives me the cheekbone shot of a goth teen angsting after, I can only presume, her equally morose and dramatic love interest.  

Oh man. Each book I read by Rachel Caine reminds me just why I love this author so very much. The dialogue flows naturally with just the right amount of wit and freshness, the plot and action doesn’t let up, and the mystery and tension just keeps on coming.

 

For our main lead, we get Jazz-don’t-call-me-Jasmine, who’s hit rock bottom, but is still digging – her world was rocked when Ben, her partner, was convicted of murder. One part denial, two parts wishful thinking, she’s desperate to find proof of his innocence, unable to come to terms with the fact that she might have been so terribly wrong about him. In the meantime, she’s dumped into a whirlwind mystery of red envelopes and strange assignments.

Ex-decorated ex-homicide detective Jazz Callender’s career is over – her partner is in jail for murder, her reputation in tatters, and her one achievement for the week is finding a good bar with cheap drinks.  So when a guy in a leather getup hands her a check for a hundred thousand dollars in a red envelope, she can’t figure out whether she’s being set up or the butt of some twisted joke.

But the offer’s legit – all she has to do is partner with a gorgeous stranger, set up a private detective agency on retainer for a law firm funded by the mysterious Cross Society, and accept any assignments they send her way.

Simple enough, right? Continue reading

Series Review: Outcast Season series by Rachel Caine

Rachel Caine is a master of building nonstop suspense, fun characters who love fast cars (and classy motorcycles), and fast-paced action. The Outcast Season series follows Cassiel, an immortal djinn, after she is stripped of her powers and sent to Earth to live as a human.  This Urban Fantasy is part spin-off, part continuation of the Weather Warden universe. It can be read as a very entertaining standalone, but it’s better with a couple of the Weather Warden books already under the belt. But if you’ve read up on that series (at least a couple books in) and haven’t given this one a try, here’s what you’ve been missing:

Undone (Outcast Season #1) by Rachel Caine

Cassiel is powerful, immortal, and she has existed for millennia.  But when she refuses a direct order from the oldest among her kind, he breaks her connection to her power and reshapes her into human form. Forced to exist as a mortal but still needing power to stay alive, Cassiel must live among (and drain the power of) Wardens–humans who wield magic.

She ends up with Earth Warden Manny Rocha–in return for helping him on his missions, she gets access to his power, even as she struggles to understand the (frustrating and inconvenient) emotions and weaknesses of her new human body. But when something threatens Rocha’s family, Cassiel’s forced to decide what she is and whose side she’s on.

This is, in a way, a fallen angel story, and that was one of the reasons it took me so long to get to the series (oh me of little faith!). It’s a rare thing to see an author pull off a believable immortal–especially one as old as Cassiel, and with a first person point of view, no less. But I shouldn’t have worried; Cassiel’s voice convinced me. Continue reading