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Rachel Caine

book review Rachel Caine fantasy author(1962- )
Rachel Caine is a pen name of Roxanne Longstreet Conrad, an American writer of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, suspense, and horror novels. Conrad also publishes media tie-in novels as Julie Fortune. Rachel Caine has been writing and publishing novels and short stories since 1991. She is a former professional musician who has the distinction of having played with such musical legends as Henry Mancini, Peter Nero and John Williams. Read excerpts at Rachel Caine’s website.

Ill Wind: Not brain food, just a guilty pleasure

Ill Wind by Rachel Caine

Ill Wind is the first book in Rachel Caine's urban fantasy series Weather Warden. The book stands well on its own and doesn't have any of those nasty cliffhangers so often found in fantasy series, but it still keeps you interested in what happens in the next book.

Ill Wind starts in the middle of the action and I was impressed with the first chapter because Caine seamlessly juxtaposes the present with flashbacks and keeps readers on the edge of their seats. This world's magic system is also original and, thankfully, Caine manages to narrate an exciting tale to accompany it.

Ill Wind has a lot of elements that identify it as an urban fantasy but without overdoing it. There's romance in the book (albeit a predictable one) but unlike, say, Read More

The Morganville Vampires: The omnibus is a worthy purchase

The Morganville Vampires (Glass Houses & The Dead Girl’s Dance) by Rachel Caine

I pretty much avoid sparkly vampire stories. I’ve never read Twilight, and have not seen the movies. I am only vaguely familiar with Anne Rice’s stuff. I have been “self-sheltered” from vampire fantasy fiction. But when I saw that Penguin Books was re-releasing Rachel Caine’s The Morganville Vampires in omnibus editions, I asked for a copy of the first one (Glass Houses and The Dead Girl’s Dance). I wanted to get a feel for this whole area of fantasy about which I was mostly clueless.

Glass Houses ... Read More

Working Stiff: Always riveting

Working Stiff by Rachel Caine

Rachel Caine’s Working Stiff is technically a zombie novel, but it’s not your typical zombie novel. It’s not your typical urban fantasy, either. In fact, it might be more properly termed urban soft science fiction, as the zombifying agent is a nanotech drug rather than magic. But whatever you call it, it’s an excellent book that has me kicking myself for not having tried Caine’s novels before (I’d only read her short story “Death Warmed Over”).

Bryn Davis is one of the most relatable urban-fantasy heroines I’ve seen. She’s neither Superwoman nor a clinging vine. She’s just a young career woman with an endearing mix of strengths and vulnerabilities, who is forced into a desperate existence and must struggle to survive.

We first meet Bryn as she’s about to begin work at Fairview Mortuary. Working in the funeral business may seem like an o... Read More

Ink and Bone: Is a life worth more than a book?

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

Imagine a world in which the Library of Alexandria still existed, a world in which all of that accumulated knowledge and human history was still accessible to any literate person. That sounds pretty amazing, right? What most people might not take into account, however, is how drastically different that world would be from our own with the benefit of said knowledge and the attendant power given to its keepers. Ink and Bone, the first volume of a planned YA series by Rachel Caine, explores the ramifications of the Great Library’s continued existence and its effect on the course of human society. Readers who expect this to be a light, happy tale would do well to remember the old adage about the corruption potential of absolute power.

The year is 2025. Alexandria’s Great Library has spread... Read More

Strange Brew: Something for everyone

Strange Brew by P.N. Elrod (ed)

The theme of Strange Brew is witchcraft. This anthology features nine well-known urban fantasy authors, each with their own spin on the theme. Some of these stories feature well-known characters. Others focus on characters who are secondary in the author's series, or characters who are entirely new. Glancing at the table of contents and doing a little mental math, most of the stories are around 40 pages, give or take a few. (The longest is Karen Chance's at just under 60.) As is always the case with anthologies, I had my favorites and my less-favorites, but if you like urban fantasy, there will probably be something here for you.

"Seeing Eye" by Patricia Briggs: A werewolf enlists the help of a blind witch to help him find his brother who has been kidnapped by a sinister coven. The witch has some his... Read More

Dark Duets: A horror anthology

Dark Duets edited by Christopher Golden

Christopher Golden explains in his introduction to Dark Duets that writing is a solitary occupation right up until that moment an alchemical reaction takes place and a bolt of inspiration simultaneously strikes two writers who are friends. Golden has found that the results of collaboration are often fascinating and sometimes magical, as when Stephen King and Peter Straub teamed up to write The Talisman. Writing is an intimate, very personal process, Golden says, and finding someone to share it with is difficult but exciting. Golden therefore undertook to create a book full of such difficult, mag... Read More

More fantasy novels by Rachel Caine

The Red Letter Days — (2005-2006) Publisher: Jazz Callender is an ex-cop struggling to prove her partner’s innocence after he is sent to prison for murder, and she’s willing to take whatever help comes along… but she’s about to make a bargain with the devil. Approached by a mysterious, attractive stranger with a check and a business offer, she finds herself plunged deep into a world where nothing is as it seems… not James Borden, Attorney At Law, who fascinates her even as she doubts his honesty… not Lucia Garza, her beautiful, brilliant new partner with hidden depths and secrets… not The Cross Society, who seems to be able to know more about the cases she’s being sent to investigate than Jazz does herself. With each new revelation, Jazz and Lucia uncover a world of psychic predictions and unseen forces, and find themselves playing not just for keeps, but for souls… With lives at stake, Jazz finds that every choice she makes is dangerous… even the one to fall in love.

book review Rachel Caine Devil's Bargainbook review Rachel Caine The Red Letter Days Devil's Due

See the series at Amazon.

The Outcast Season — (2009-2012) This is a spin-off of the Weather Warden series and will contain at least 4 novels. Publisher: Once she was Cassiel, a Djinn of limitless power. Now, she has been reshaped in human flesh as punishment for defying her master — and living among the Weather Wardens, whose power she must tap into regularly or she will die. And as she copes with the emotions and frailties of her human condition, a malevolent entity threatens her new existence…

Rachel Caine The Outcast Season 1. Undone 2. Unknown 3. UnseenRachel Caine The Outcast Season 1. Undone 2. UnknownRachel Caine The Outcast Season 1. Undone 2. Unknown 3. UnseenRachel Caine The Outcast Season 1. Undone 2. Unknown

See the series at Amazon.

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsPrince of Shadows: A Novel of Romeo and Juliet — (2014) Publisher: A thrilling retelling of the star-crossed tale of Romeo and Juliet, from the New York Times bestselling author of the Morganville Vampires series. In the Houses of Montague and Capulet, there is only one goal: power. The boys are born to fight and die for honor and—if they survive—marry for influence and money, not love. The girls are assets, to be spent wisely. Their wishes are of no import. Their fates are written on the day they are born. Benvolio Montague, cousin to Romeo, knows all this. He expects to die for his cousin, for his house, but a spark of rebellion still lives inside him. At night, he is the Prince of Shadows, the greatest thief in Verona—and he risks all as he steals from House Capulet. In doing so, he sets eyes on convent-bound Rosaline, and a terrible curse begins that will claim the lives of many in Verona… …And will rewrite all their fates, forever.