Review: Unknown by Rachel Caine

Posted March 1st, 2012 in book review / 8 comments


Book #2 of the Outcast Season Series

by Rachel Caine

Publisher: ROC (February 2010)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 305 (paperback)
Source: Personal Library (Purchased)
Purchase at: Amazon / Book Depository
Rating: ★★★★½ (4.5 stars)

Living among mortals, the djinn Cassiel has developed a reluctant affection for them-especially for Warden Luis Rocha. As the mystery deepens around the kidnapping of innocent Warden children, Cassiel and Luis are the only ones who can investigate both the human and djinn realms. But the trail will lead them to a traitor who may be more powerful than they can handle…

The Good
‘It’ Factor…
Sometimes I just can’t figure out how Caine does it. She writes in such rich detail and description that you would think it would bore the reader, but no. She has so much action and fighting going on in Unknown you would think it would be too much, but no. She writes about such complex characters you would think they’d be hard to understand, but no. I think Caine has that ‘it’ factor, whatever the hell it means, doesn’t matter, she’s got it in spades. Sometimes I think it’s not even the stories she writes that fascinate me so much, it’s HOW she writes these stories that gets me every time.

Cassiel is faced with a world-changing predicament. Give into Ashan, the Djinn conduit, and destroy all of humanity to ensure Djinn survival and her return as a Djinn, or fight with the humans (and remain one in the process) and hope that she can destroy Pearl, a one-time Djinn who has gained unspeakable power. The choice is not so easy anymore since Cassiel has turned human. Now her emotions control her actions and her growing attraction to Warden Luis Rocha has only solidified her determination to save the world. But with Luis’s niece and many other kidnapped children in the hands of the monster Pearl, Cassiel doesn’t know if she can win. Can she fight an army of well trained Warden children, even if they are trying to kill her and her friends, when her human side says never to hurt a child?

Up Sh!t Creek Without a Paddle…
Unknown starts off where Undone ends. It was revealed that Cassiel was cast out of the Djinn race for her refusal to destroy mankind. But even Cassiel has to admit that killing off every last human on Earth might be the only way to stop Pearl from destroying not only the world but all the Djinn as well. Soooo, yeah, Cassiel is pretty much up sh!t creek. Hey, but at least Luis will be at her side during the journey. Dying is so much more fun when you have a hunk at your side. Okay, maybe not, but a hottie at your side does make most things better.

Ms. Don’t Call Me Cass, My Name’s Cassiel…
I love Cassiel. I am literally obsessed with her character. I have this odd interest in characters without emotions. Characters that don’t follow the status quo of what ‘good’ characters should be like. Experiencing the world through her eyes is almost hypnotic. She doesn’t understand all the stupid crap humans do or put up with. She likes saying what she wants and doing what feels right, not worrying what society expects of her. Though turning human has taught her some things: weighing options before acting, how emotions make life worth living, how the physicality of the human body makes your time on the earth more precious because it’s finite. But what’s better than watching Cass learn her new world, is seeing what she was like as a Djinn. She pretty much was horrible, which is why I like her even more. I love flawed characters, ones who have not always been the heroes.

The Menfolk…
Sure, I like Luis, but he still hasn’t sparked too much interest in me. He is the kind of guy that I like when he is around Cassiel and they are arguing and saving each other’s lives, but I have a feeling that if I had to read a page with him as the main character, I would skip it. Now, I don’t think he deserves to be in the bad section of my review because he is still an overall cool character, he just hasn’t done it for me yet. Maybe in a few more books I will be under his spell. We shall see.

Now to the good part. The one, the only…Rashid. He’s a new Djinn, unlike Cassiel who was once an old Djinn (born Djinn). The old Djinn think very little of the new Djinn, who were once humans. But with Cassiel being humanfied and fragile, Rashid has started taking an interest in her. But we don’t know for sure what his true agenda is. Watching Cassiel fear a Djinn she would have once sneered for even existing is quite entertaining. Rashin thinks so, too. He is playing some kind of game with Cassiel, and I wish I knew what his goal is. But whatever it is, I can guarantee you it does not bode well for Cass.

When the Men are Scared of You, Then You Might have Gone Too Far…
I can’t tell you how exciting Unknown was to read. Some scenes literally made my jaw drop in horror and fascination. The lengths Cassiel will go are just amazing. All I can say is she does something so shocking that she has to let her human consciousness hide while the Djinn part of her takes over and gets the job done. And when she did this thing, the men around her witnessing this act didn’t even know what to do with themselves. They just sat their and stared at her in horror and fear. If I remember correctly, one person even threw-up from what he witnessed. So, yeah, good times.

I hate to say it but Cassiel might be even more interesting than Joanne (the main character in Caine’s connected series, Weather Wardens). And I LOVED Joanne. But there is something about Cassiel that just hits every trait I love about main characters.

And So…
The storyline may not be the most unique but it still makes me want to read more. The action was fast-paced and abundant and the character development was superb. The pace was perfect, never a dull moment. I felt all the emotions: fear, excitement, joy, and shock. And with how this book ended, I need the next book STAT.

The Bad
Though I had as much fun reading this book as I did the first book of the series, I couldn’t help but knock off a half a star for the dragged out plot. This book pretty much gained no momentum from the continued storyline of Undone. We just get a bunch of awesome actions scenes and crazy adventures then, pretty much, nothing is resolved once again. Come on, Caine, this is book two, you can’t drag this same storyline on for this many books. Don’t get me wrong, I love the concept, but having the characters running around trying to save the day two books in a row without any resolution is a little annoying.

The Snuggly
We get an almost sex scene which really annoyed me. Not that it wasn’t well written or interesting. No, my problem is a little more scandalous. I wanted to scream in frustration when Cassiel and Luis got interrupted because I actually wanted them to have SEX. I think Luis is kind of a chicken when it comes to admitting his feelings for Cassiel, so I know he is going to overthink it and probably say it’s not a good idea that they hook-up next time. Luis, you wuss, grow a pair and dive in because Cassiel is a cool chick who deserves to have her moment of fun. I can’t believe I am fighting over imaginary sex. *bangs head on desk*

If not for the lack of an ending to the storyline that has lasted two books, I would say this book is perfect. I read it in two days and was sad to put it down. Cassiel has easily become my second favorite heroine in urban fantasy history, and I can’t wait to see what Caine has in store for her next.

They (bikers) surrounded my Victory in a ring of metal and bodies.

I straddled the motorcycle, tossed the empty bottle effortlessly in the trash twenty feet away, and said, simply, “Move.”

They laughed.

“That’s a whole lot of bike for you, lady,” one of them said. “You sure you can handle it?” That woke suggestions from several about what else I could handle, or might want to.

For answer, I gave the speaker a brilliant, false smile. “Your bike is also nice,” I said. “Is it a ten speed?”


“I wanted to hate you,” he continued softly, “but I couldn’t. You’re just…baffling.”

“Baffling,” I repeated. I rather enjoyed that description. “How so? I try to speak my mind.”

“No shit.” He pulled in a breath as I circled my hips on his. “Holy crap, don’t do that.”

“Is it because I wish to touch you? To remove your clothes and touch you everywhere, to know you completely?” I was not certain of human protocols in these matters, but Luis didn’t seem offended. I leaned closer, slowly, and settled my arms around his neck. His skin felt hot and firm. “Because I wish to feel your body on mine? Your needs pounding through your veins?”

My Reviews of the Outcast Season Series:
Undone – Book #1

book review

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8 Responses to “Review: Unknown by Rachel Caine”

  1. Miss Vain's Paranormal Fantasy

    Hey girlie:)
    I need to read this series, I love Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampires. She rocks!
    Great review.:)
    If you ever get a blogger button I’m going to add it to my “Terrible Girls” blog roll.:)))

    • Jennifer L. Bielman

      I still have to read the Morganville Vampires Series. I heard great things. I do have a button, silly. It’s on the right. It has a crow on it. You just have to put the code somewhere else because my text box slows down my blog for some reason. It could just be my computer because it’s old. Just click on the button and it will take you to the code.

  2. Kristin

    It’s great to see another Rachel Caine fan out there!!! She’s a sentimental favorite of mine b/c her Weather Warden series was one of the first UF series I ever read (right next to Anita Blake and The Hollows). I felt the same exact way about book 2 as you did. I still have to read the next 2 books (I’m soooo behind!!)
    Kristin @myparahangover

    • Jennifer L. Bielman

      Yeah, not many series can beat the Weather Wardens. I too read Anita Blake and the Hollows when I first started reading UF. If you haven’t yet, try the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. My fav UF books ever.

  3. Sarah (saz101)

    AAAAAAAAAAH! OK, the interrupted sex scene you described? I FREAKING DIE. You wait so long for the build, the sexual tension, only for it go NOWHERE? AAAARGH! Fever series, I’m looking at you >:P

    “When the Men are Scared of You, Then You Might have Gone Too Far…” Ha! You made me laaaaauugh! And, uh, now I am SERIOOUSLY curious. What the HELL goes on? Want! Want! Want!

    • Jennifer L. Bielman

      I know, I know, Fever series had major delay in sex for so much sexual tension. Grrrr.

      Oh yeah, if you read this series you will be surprised. I sat there with my mouth open for at least 5 mintues before I could go on. I just couldn’t believe it.

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