I was a bit hesitant on this one because they changed the narrator on me. James Marsters is Harry Dresden for me and to have John Glover (who as I lisI was a bit hesitant on this one because they changed the narrator on me. James Marsters is Harry Dresden for me and to have John Glover (who as I listened I did recognize from what little Smallville I had managed to stomach) made this one harder to start.
John Glover doesn't do a bad job with this one. No, he isn't James Marsters, but he does a fairly good job of bring Harry to life. I wasn't as convinced with some of the other characters, but I do have to admit that I preferred his Mort and maybe even his Lea. He was good with the pacing and emotional context, but I still hope Marsters is back for book 14.
As for the story itself, I was kind of disappointed in how far Molly and Karin had fallen apart without Harry there. I get that the world without the Red Court was more vicious, but they had each other and the werewolves. They had a support system to keep them together and mentally stable, but they apparently needed Harry in order to be whole people. Since none of the guys broke down like that I felt a bit insulted for my gender... (view spoiler)[Well, none of the guys that you see until Thomas is shown at the end and Thomas is so tied to sex and family that he's a special case (hide spoiler)]
I love the fact that Harry is this awesome wizard, but I keep thinking that if he only asked for help from the right people at the right times he would be more effective. Mab was not the choice I would have made even if Uriel didn't/couldn't answer. The idea of correcting the balance of things with all of this was a bit strange even with what was revealed at the end (which I completely expected (view spoiler)[there was no way Mab was going to lose her investment (hide spoiler)]).
I think there are too many subplots, most of which could turn into plots at any given moment, being juggled right now. Butcher needs to solve at least some of them or at least give us a hint at the direction they are going.
This book contains spirit possession, speculation on the afterlife, creepy fairies torturing people, violence against mind slaves, violence against people, torture of people, curses including the f-word, and contemplation of romantic feelings.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
As others have noted, it is best to read this after having read Changes because Aftermath reveals the ending to Changes.
That said, some of these storiAs others have noted, it is best to read this after having read Changes because Aftermath reveals the ending to Changes.
That said, some of these stories were better than others. I liked that Mac was in a couple of them because I don't think we've seen enough of him for Harry trusting him so much. I really enjoyed the fact that the stories focused on smaller jobs. I also appreciated seeing Karin and Harry's first meeting since the graphic novel prequel I read didn't do that. The other story that really struck me was Thomas's Backup. It was great to finally see things from his point of view and I can't wait for those plot lines to continue. As for Aftermath, I have a feeling that the bad guys met here won't be addressed in Ghost Story, but they were eerie. (view spoiler)[The fact that Karin was dealing with them largely without magical assistance was a big handicap that she had no way of having time to have learned to deal with yet. (hide spoiler)]
The level of violence, aside from in Aftermath, was actually slightly less than normal. The amount of cursing was definitely lower with a higher ratio of fake cursing rather than real cursing mixed with f-bombs. There was some innuendo, but it was largely used for humorous purposes rather than to create sexual situations.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This book included some truly heart stopping moments where you wonder how everything will work out. Unfortunately, one of those moments is the last paThis book included some truly heart stopping moments where you wonder how everything will work out. Unfortunately, one of those moments is the last page. I can't stand cliffhangers so luckily, I started the series late enough that Ghost Story was already out by the time I finished this and Side Jobs. The pacing was almost enough to make me sit in my car to try and keep listening. I also listen while I crochet, so I didn't have to resort to that.
This story has all of the major characters. I am a huge fan of Mouse, Molly, Thomas and Karin. They all take up arms to help Harry get back a daughter he didn't know he had. I still don't really like Susan, but she was much easier to take in this book. She came off as more aware of the world and stronger, which made her more likable for me. Harry's godmother Lea revealed more about Harry's mother and in turn about Ebenezar McCoy, all of which was fascinating and will surely be used in later books.
Of course, the two major choices Harry makes in this book will be the biggest factors in stories to come. I couldn't understand why they were the only things he could think of at the time. Having read the next two books, I understand, but when I finished this I was a bit confused.
There is a slightly increased level of violence including (view spoiler)[genocide (hide spoiler)], a massive battle, and ritual sacrifice. The amount of cursing is pretty well the same, although the frequency of the f-bomb may have increased slightly. I don't remember as much innuendo or blatant perversity in Bob's case in this one; most likely due to the time restraints the characters were under.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I have to say that Morgan turning to Harry in a time of need was a bit of a shock at first. I did see the motivation quickly though. The results of thI have to say that Morgan turning to Harry in a time of need was a bit of a shock at first. I did see the motivation quickly though. The results of the true traitor's actions and the effect that traitor had on at least one of the major members of the White Council were more profound than I would have figured possible. Thomas's new feeding method seemed like such a good idea until the creepy bad dude got a hold of him because he wasn't quite getting enough life force at any given time. The battle with that creature was a good way to work in older powers and the continuing influence of Demon Reach will be interesting to see in later books. This particular entry in the series has a character tortured off screen, several characters killed, lots of damage taken and dealt by the main party and the same cursing as has been seen since about book 7 or 8. There isn't as much innuendo in this one, the space for that is taken up with political intrigue and supernatural creepiness....more
For the most part, I really enjoyed this addition to the Dresden series. It featured a lot of action and growth from all of the major characters. My bFor the most part, I really enjoyed this addition to the Dresden series. It featured a lot of action and growth from all of the major characters. My biggest problem with the book was that I didn't like the romantic relationships in it. Butcher didn't do a very good job inserting them into the narrative in my opinion. Also, I'm not one of the fans waiting for Harry to get with Karin, which made his jealousy even worse for me to read. I read these books for the magic, the friendship and camaraderie and the adventure. When Butcher mixes romance into things, he seems to hit exactly the wrong literary note with me. I liked Lucio, but the romance just seemed a bit awkward. The other issue with the book, was the ending. I don't like to see favorite characters get hurt and this time it was a major deal that would have had me sobbing if it had been any worse.
This book contains adult levels of cursing including the f-bomb alongside the more fun made up cursing of the earlier books, descriptions of violence both magical and physical as well as Bob the epic pervert and some other innuendo. I would not recommend it to teens who are not already reading adult fiction....more
I was definitely excited to read this one and to continue reading the next one even though this one wasn't as good as some of the others. I think theI was definitely excited to read this one and to continue reading the next one even though this one wasn't as good as some of the others. I think the big thing is that Masao is incapable of being at a sympathetic for me and he drags the other characters down in my eyes.
This volume has people getting beaten to a pulp, someone threatening to kill someone else and make it look like suicide, someone almost killing someone else, and hints at a previous sexual assault....more
I have to say that the only things this book lost points for were how inconclusive Butcher was about whether the sheer viciousness of Harry's revengeI have to say that the only things this book lost points for were how inconclusive Butcher was about whether the sheer viciousness of Harry's revenge against another being in one scene was all his own or partially due to Lasciel's influence, bringing back a dead villain or at least making it look like he did, and (view spoiler)[making Lara the villain when I like her character so much otherwise. It just isn't fair that she is one of the best female monsters around that isn't always trying to kill Harry and yet she hatched a plot to kill more minor practitioners just to subvert the White Council... (hide spoiler)]
I loved the bits with Harry defending Thomas to everyone because that's how family should be in my view, tight-knit and there for each other. It sucks that they have to hide their brotherhood from other parties because it is a real chink in both of their armors.
We got to see more of Mouse which was awesome. I knew Mouse had to be more than just a special, intelligent dog from the previous books, but to have actual super powers is just cool beyond words. Harry really jipped those monks if none of the other pups from the litter displayed the same powers.
It was really cool to see the different types of magic slung around in this book with Molly, Elaine and Ramirez along with Harry each having their own style. Knowing that Elaine and Harry had the same teacher, you would expect some similarities between their magic, but they still had some very fundamental differences seemingly aligned both with personality and talent.
There are quite a few references to sex and even sexual misconduct in this book given the fact that the White Court vampires are succubi and incubi. Other than that, Harry and Lara Wraith trade innuendo, Harry pretends to be his brother's jilted lover, and Thomas pretends (view spoiler)[to be a gay hair dresser (hide spoiler)] The last two are just hilarious to me, but might offend some people with delicate sensibilities. Oh, and the fallen angel definitely tries to come on to Harry as part of her temptation to take up the coin. There is one instance of sexual violence against (view spoiler)[a teenager that fortunately is left vague, though not vague enough to lessen the emotional sucker punch (even committed by monsters; that one was hard to listen to). (hide spoiler)] The f-bomb as well as various other curse words make appearances in this one. I think this book actually had instances where the f-bomb felt like it fit though. As for violence, after the sexual violence mentioned above, there is a revenge scene as well as a duel that got pretty nasty, another fight after that which was massive and included machine guns as well as massive spells, and then some C-4. Nothing aside from the teenager was really described in a way that hit me too hard, but I'm not the best gauge sometimes.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
May contain minor spoilers. Read at your own peril.
I knew who the warlock was even before I accidentally spoiled myself by looking up the Laws of MagiMay contain minor spoilers. Read at your own peril.
I knew who the warlock was even before I accidentally spoiled myself by looking up the Laws of Magic on Wikipedia (they need a non-spoiler version...). It was fairly obvious, I think Harry was just trying to deny it even to himself.
I have to say that I love the faeries in this series more every time I see them even though the winter fey creep me out immensely. They don't think or act like people. They follow a completely different set of rules. It makes them difficult to deal with and I thoroughly enjoy reading about Harry struggling with them. Finding out that they played him every time is pretty sweet for the reader (at least the ones playing him this time around were on his side for the most part).
Thomas was awesome yet again. His fighting prowess is just impressive, though I'm not sure I'd want to stick around my half-brother who happens to be a supernatural magnet for trouble even if I did have superpowers (he's obviously a much better person than most people despite sucking the life out of people for sustenance).
I wish they hadn't gotten into the "Harry and Murphy should be together" thing. I love Murphy as a character, but I'm just not sure I want them to date each other. I think it would greatly diminish her character to be the love interest.
Charity proved to be a more interesting character than I previously thought. I already liked Michael and somewhat respected Charity (for taking care of all those kids if nothing else), but I really couldn't stand the way she treated Harry. Even with the new explanation, I still think she owed him, but Harry's too good of a guy to make her own up to it. Anyway, I guess she was just being Momma Bear.
Oh, and I can't wait for more of Mouse because obviously the dog is not just an awesome dog. He is more than just an intelligent sidekick. I seriously hope the others in the litter had the same qualities...
The language was a lot more adult in this one with at least 4 or five instances of the f-bomb that I didn't really feel were necessary (for one I don't really think that they fit Harry's character; if they had been from someone else I might have been less jarred). I rather appreciated the use of other euphemisms like stars and stones and Hell's bells. And him using it to get a teenage girl to sit back down just seemed excessive. There was some sexuality including a minor's (seventeen year old) attempt to get an adult to engage in sexual activity, talk about incubus habits, talk about the seventeen year old's other experience and masturbation. There was also a Winter Lady discussing how long it had been since Harry had last gotten any and getting off on pain and death. As for violence, there were beatings by incorporeal beings, torture of a couple beings through both psychological and physical means, murders (by sickle and by a predatory animal), a couple of hit and runs (including one on an animal), an assault on a castle with Hellfire and talk of battles between wizards and vampires....more
Confession time: When I read the name of the narrator, I thought it said James Marsden (Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) so I was really excited.Confession time: When I read the name of the narrator, I thought it said James Marsden (Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) so I was really excited. James Marsters is obviously not James Marsden.
Luckily for me, Mr Marsters is an excellent narrator and has now become the voice of Harry Dresden for me. He has an excellent tone for the dry, sardonic wit that Harry pulls every once in a while and does fairly well distinguishing most of the characters. There were a couple of times I was confused as to who was speaking, but that was true when I was reading the print version as well.
This book contains evil necromancers done right. They are gross and creepy to the extreme; hordes of the undead (both zombies and ghosts), body jumping (I hadn't connected that to necromancy but it does make sense) and ghouls. These are the kinds of wizards that the laws of magic are made for. Although how they haven't been hunted down before (I guess having only three of them helps), is a mystery to me. If Kemmler was so awful, I would have hunted his students to the last one no matter how long it took (especially if I lived as long as the Council members).
I loved Butters. Polka will never die! Him thinking that Harry and Thomas were gay lovers was classic and Thomas encouraging it was even better (and he did fix it). I think I like Thomas even better as Harry's brother than as just the random snarky vampire who helps out every so often. Oh, and Butter's comment about Mouse being a small pony was hilarious. Of course, it might not have been as funny on paper as it was in audio.
As for the Wardens and the White Council, I couldn't believe that the vampires were able to get the drop on them. I guess when you stop playing by the rules it gets easier to beat the people who are though. I'm still a tad shocked that Luccio succeeded at convincing everyone to follow her plan (even though she is the head of the Wardens). I think I would have called her crazy even with the situation.
I was a bit surprised that zombies could take down the steel door even with a whole bunch of them pressing against it. The idea that the older a corpse is the more powerful it is doesn't make much sense to me because of rotting, but I guess the magic used to raise it would counteract that in a way that sci-fi zombies don't get the benefit of.
I'm a tad concerned about Harry's psyche what with Lasciel and a part of himself teaming up to get him to accept her help even if he still isn't going to dig up the coin. I was especially pissed after she tricked him with Shiela, but I guess the fate of the world is more important when your grave says "He died doing the right thing."
I was really glad his dad said that everyone dies alone (not only is it technically true it makes it less likely that he'll die friendless).
Harry using Sue the T-Rex to join the necromancy party was totally awesome!...more
I had pretty low expectations for this book. It wasn't actually as bad as I thought it would be, but there were some parts that made me giggle. HavingI had pretty low expectations for this book. It wasn't actually as bad as I thought it would be, but there were some parts that made me giggle. Having trouble distinguishing between the male lead and his stallion? Yeah, right, not even a virgin... They were definitely entertaining though.
They include detailed sex scenes, some language (though nothing too horrible if I remember correctly), and fairies (the Irish kind not the slur)....more