Sunday, January 29, 2012

Review: Undone (Outcast Season #1) by Rachel Caine

Book: Undone (Outcast Season #1) by Rachel Caine
Release Date: 3 Feb 2009
Publisher: Roc
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Summary: 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...
Buy It: Paperback or Kindle eBook

Review: I am completely in love with the circumstances of Cassiel's character. I love that she's a djinn who's been cast out and now must learn to be not only human but to have a physical presence at all. Her annoyance and displeasure over simple things that we take for granted made me truly appreciate her as a unique character. How many other characters do you read about who go through eating food for the first time? Eating is something we all do and have likes and dislikes for but the idea that it's a hassle for Cassiel because she never had to eat before is very interesting to me.

Cassiel's struggle with human emotion is what makes Undone such a compelling read. Sometimes Cassiel came off as cruel and uncaring but it was such a pleasure to watch her slowly open up. Early on in the book, when Cassiel first encounters compassion when she heals someone on pure instinct, I was blown away by how much the moment affected me. From that moment on it was impossible to do anything but root for her success and happiness. Even the tiny shows of humanity that she exhibits like offering Isabel part of her cookie made me want to squee, hug her and exclaim 'yay! progress!'

The beginning of Undone was a lot slower than most urban fantasy novels. It was enjoyable for me to read but action junkies will probably find it boring. It wasn't until about a third of the way way through the book that the actual plot even began. I think it was necessary for the book to begin so slowly because it allowed time for Cassiel to adjust and the reader to adjust to her. I think without this, that Cassiel might have become harsher and much less likable as a character. Once the action starts though, it's a never ending roller coaster of constant loop-de-loops and ninety degree drops. There was so much going on and it was always so big.

I love urban fantasy as a genre. Everything about it captures my book loving heart. I can read hundreds of vampire and werewolves novels and not get sick of them. But when something new comes along, I do find that it becomes more special to me. Caine's djinns and Wardens were so interesting to read about and I'm taken aback that they're the first I've experienced in the genre considering they aren't that uncommon in older literature (as elementals and genies). I haven't read the series that Undone is a spin-off of, Weather Warden, but I was never confused or felt like I was missing information. I'm so glad that this unique take on urban fantasy has more for me to read though because I will definitely be reading the rest of Outcast Season then picking up the Weather Warden series as soon as possible.

My only complaint about Undone is sort of a major one. Undone is in no way a complete book. It ends on not only a major cliffhanger but there is absolutely no resolution to the plot. I want to compare it to an episode of a TV show but at least they complete the mini story in each episode while carrying on the overall story arc. Instead Undone was like only having the first half of a movie. I really, really loved this book but I don't like what was done. Now I feel forced to buy and read the next book instead of doing so because the first was so enjoyable.

"Just remember. Flying was your choice." He paused a second, then said without looking directly at me, "I thought you’d lose your temper."
I almost had. “I did not.”
"Yeah. Good. Let’s keep it that way."
I had been powerful once. Powerful enough to reduce this building to smoking ash. Instead of comforting me, that thought made me feel heavy in my skin, and helpless. Again.
I put on my shoes, belt, and jacket; grabbed my single bag; and followed Manny as he set out down the long, broad, busy hallway.

Rating: 4 Bites (Really enjoyed it)


  1. I'm so glad you enjoyed this book, I just love this series. I can't wait to read the last books to finally know all the answers, I hope you'll like the other books as much as I do.

    1. I recently received Unbroken for review which is why I finally started this series. I can't believe I didn't read it sooner! So good :) I can't imagine having to wait for the next book to come out though; the endings are so intense and abrupt. I'd go crazy while waiting.

    2. I agree, you'll see the others are really great too!


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