epiphany_maria (epiphany_maria) wrote,

Book Reviews: Firestorm + Better Off Undead

Firestorm: Weather Warden Book Five by Rachel Caine

Joanne Baldwin is in trouble, again. Only she can save humanity, again. The ancient agreement between the Djinn and the Wardens has been broken and now Mother Earth has woken from her slumber and she's angry.

For the most part, this is an enjoyable tale of a race against time to save the world. But the repetitive nature of the series is grating on the nerves at certain points. Joanne is in love with David the Djinn for reasons never fully explained. All they ever do is have sex. The idiot plotting of the magical kid continues. The other Wardens don't trust Joanne and threaten her with killing her and or removing her powers. Yet they never kill her or remove her powers, they just issue empty threats to do so. The Wardens are a pack of useless blowhards. The Djinn are smug. Then there is the idiot ball plot of Eamon, the psycho boyfriend of Sarah, Joanne's sister. Eamon runs around, threatening Joanne and her sister, physically assaulting Joanne and her sister and nobody kills him or has him arrested, they just let him run around being an ongoing villain. Also Joanne's designer shoe obsession and fast car obsession looks really damn shallow when people are dying all around her and the world is about to end.

The plots in the Weather Warden books are good, sadly too many of the characters are idiots. However I just like to read them. This is an okay read and I'll be reading Book Seven 'Gale Force' when I find it and Book Eight 'Cape Storm' when it is published next year.

Better Off Undead edited by Martin H. Greenberg & Daniel M. Hoyt

A DAW anthology collection about the undead. It is very similar to the earlier 'The Repentant' anthology but it is still good. Some of the tales in the collection are very weak and those are the ones that play the theme for comedy. The strong tales are the seriously scary ones.

The good stories are:

Mummy Knows Best
An immortal evil mummy is avoiding the afterlife by tricking women. But finally the tables are turned. This is a good blackly comic tale.

Genius Loci
A creepy little tale of a house and the spirit that embodies it. This is a good tale that builds menace and has a disturbing final line.

Gamma Ray Versus Death
A somewhat dim super hero dies in the line of duty but returns as a ghost. Can he still aid his team-mates from beyond the grave? This is an okay story.

Museum Hauntings
The ghosts of a murdered woman, a suicidal man and his long dead beloved pet cat live happily after in a museum. It's an oddly sweet tale of ghostly second chances.

My Tears Have Been My Meat
An abused wife has killed her husband to escape him at last. However she soon realises that her mother, neighbours and dead husband were part of an unholy conspiracy. A very creepy and disturbing story.

Two All Beef Patties
A young man becomes a zombie and frantically searches for a good meal. Another good creepy story.

That Saturday
Two kids enjoy a happy day of magic and zombie dogs. An nice, unnerving tale.

Night Shifted
A vampire comes up against a wannabe Buffy The Vampire Slayer in this very good and funny romp.

Twelve Stepping In The Dark
Two unwilling vampires are in the vampire version of AA. Very good.

Gobble, Gobble, One Of Us
The creepy, freaky tale of how an everyday young man becomes a vampire slayer. This is excellent stuff.

Bump in the Night
An author shares the inspiration for her latest work. This is okay.

Separation Anxiety
In another excellent story, the not so dead scion of a ruthless vampire family sees his daughter plot to kill her half-brother to inherit everything. But to his delight, his son proves to be no push over. (2014 note: this short story was a forerunner of 'The Shadowspawn' saga)
Tags: book review, chelsea quinn yarbro

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