Oh, Jo, you're sinking low.
If I had to name a favorite series, I think Caine's Weather Warden would edge out Harrison's The Hollows (Rachel Morgan), and Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld. I love the characters, I love the pace, I love the world Caine has created and the things these stories make me think about.
So it is with heavy heart that I suggest that Caine is losing her way. Gale Force is the next chapter in the saga, and we get the usual cast of characters - Joanne with her penchant for fast cars and designer shoes, her copper-eyed omniscient lover David, the best friend Cherise, the creepy-but-cool Rahel, the ever-sexy Lewis, and on and on. A few old faces have cameos in this book.
Again, Jo and friends are faced with some mysterious force that is threatening the lives of wardens, djin, and the Mother Earth herself. Again, Jo is the epicenter of the chaos, the missing piece to every puzzle. Again, there are quiet, tender, funny moments between Jo and her David, as well as some of the other characters. And again, those tender moments lead to a monumental choice that threatens to tear the fabric of their lives apart, that shakes the unity of Jo and David, and leaves us witnessing our star-crossed lovers saying goodbye... again.
See, I understand that all series are going to feel formulaic to some extent. Same author, same characters, same world, different bad guy. The problem that is happening with the Warden series is, as the reader, I am starting to feel like I'm being played. Each time something catastrophic happens, we see it through Jo's pain, and we are supposed to feel it with her. But seriously, how many times can people be killed, wiped from existence (because only in a series like this, is death considered an inconvenience compared to what ELSE can happen), turned bad, before none of it seems to matter anymore?
What, a djin has been captured and enslaved, which was NEVER SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN EVER IN THIS WORLD AGAIN? Meh. Jo will kill them.
Joanne's decision has broken the bond between her and David, and they may never speak to each other again? Meh. Jo will fix it.
Where is this going? I feel like this series has been amping up for the final act for a few books now, and if a character death is what we are being prepared for, then please, Ms. Caine, do it before it's so late in the series that nobody cares. Because if this is going where I think it is, I want to care. I want to weep. I want to curl up with my book and hurt with those characters, and flip the pages feverishly to find out what happens next, which is what I used to do... about three "deaths" ago.
I love these characters, and I want to feel their loss when they're gone, so stop giving me cardboard cutout stories and get to the meat of it. Git 'er done.