Still SO good. Previous review: Rereading Storm Front and the rest of the series for the upcoming release of Skin Game, and it's great to read with theStill SO good. Previous review: Rereading Storm Front and the rest of the series for the upcoming release of Skin Game, and it's great to read with the perspective of knowing how the whole series unfolds. Now I can see where the foreshadowing came in from the start. I can better understand Harry's choices. And I can see how he's changed over the course of 14 books. When Skin Game comes out, that Harry Dresden will not be the same character that was introduced in Storm Front.
Below is my review from my first read of Storm Front. I adjusted my rating to 4.5 stars because I would say it's not the strongest book in the series. It's clear Mr. Butcher was just revving up. *** I listened to the audiobook, and couldn't stop listening till I finished -- two and a half days in all. This book grabbed me immediately, and it was all in the character in Harry Dresden (and perhaps in the great narration by James Marsters). The character's voice is distinct, captivating, and utterly his own. Harry Dresden is someone you could see yourself sitting down and having a beer with in your favorite pub. He's not a tough guy, he gets sick at the sight of mangled bodies. He truly wants to do the right thing, but sometimes people suffer for his efforts.
There's plenty of his past we haven't learned yet. We got a tantalizing taste of what his life has been like. I look forward to learning all his secrets.
I'm thrilled there are a dozen more books to get to know Harry better. It's like meeting a new friend you really enjoy and can't wait to meet up with again. How did it take me so long to read this? No clue, but I'm about to make up for it!...more
These are some creepy stories! I don't generally read horror, so I might be a bit of a wimp for this kind of story. After starting the first story, IThese are some creepy stories! I don't generally read horror, so I might be a bit of a wimp for this kind of story. After starting the first story, I decided this would be better read during the day. Ok, I am a wimp. Many of these stories are very short, but manage to convey just enough to portray real horror. The first story, Inside, for example - the demeanor of the changed people was unsettling. The briefness of the story, leaving you to imagine how it unfolds, adds to its disturbing nature. That is the way with many of these stories - short enough to set up a disturbing scenario and leaving you to fill in the blanks. Truly chilling. Some have a surprise ending, like Mr. and Mrs. Odd, that startle you at the last moment. Body Parts was appropriately creepy - until that ending! Did not expect that! I really enjoyed Mrs. O'Malley's children. The tension was high from the start, good characters with just enough backstory. I even got a little emotional a couple of times. Great climax, and this time we got a good, if not happy, ending. All in all, a great collections of stories that will chill you and keep you up at night. ...more
Harper is in a tough place to start this story, separated from Quinton as she is. When they do meet, you can feel the gulf of the eight months they'veHarper is in a tough place to start this story, separated from Quinton as she is. When they do meet, you can feel the gulf of the eight months they've been apart, as well as their efforts to bridge it. As the story progresses, their relationship takes as much of center stage as the main events, which is nice for a change. There is as much emotional turmoil for Harper as there is trouble and danger.
(view spoiler)[The mystery unfolds gradually, piece meal, which is frustrating for Harper, but adds to the suspense for the reader. But soon enough, things take a dark turn. And things get *dark*. The bone mage aspect of the story has added a truly horrific element. Even Harpers' torture was rather gruesome. And while the story and mystery is complex, it doesn't feel convoluted. Things always feel logical and sensible.
The trouble piles on, and Harper and Quinton have to do double duty, rescue the girl and stop dad's plans. Harper's had trouble practically since the first page, actually. Revenant has had more twists and turns than a mountain road.
Didn't think the author would kill off Carlos, though! Kept waiting for him to return -- he's too good a character to knock off permanently (mind you, I was thinking this before I realized they were all singing their finales). The evolution of his character has been so interesting, and he was getting even more interesting when he admitted his opinion of Harper. I should have known a necromancer would know how to cheat death. (hide spoiler)]
This was one of the best of the Greywalker series, and I will say, without a spoiler warning because I wish I had known, that it's also the last. I'm very sad there won't be more in the Greywalker series, and I have my fingers crossed that the author changes her mind in the future! How can you not miss Harper!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I only read the short story "Love Hurts" by Jim Butcher. This one is such a tease! It gives us what we've (okay, I've) been waiting for - almost. ThenI only read the short story "Love Hurts" by Jim Butcher. This one is such a tease! It gives us what we've (okay, I've) been waiting for - almost. Then takes it away completely. :-p...more
Backup is a fun and fascinating look at Harry Dresden's world from Thomas's point of view. I only wish it were longer! I would love to read more talesBackup is a fun and fascinating look at Harry Dresden's world from Thomas's point of view. I only wish it were longer! I would love to read more tales from Harry's older brother. It was interesting to see how he viewed his vampire side and how he saw Harry. Loved his conversation with Bob. Great novelette!...more
This review is specifically for "It's My Birthday, Too," the short story by Jim Butcher in this collection.
I would highly recommend NOT reading thisThis review is specifically for "It's My Birthday, Too," the short story by Jim Butcher in this collection.
I would highly recommend NOT reading this until you've read earlier Dresden books (it's set after White Night). The premise of this story is based on a detail that is not revealed until several books into the series. I'm hiding the rest of my (short) review as a result.
(view spoiler)[This was a fun tale focusing on Harry and his brother Thomas. Of course an occasion for a birthday can't help but devolve into mayhem when Harry's involved. Harry was resourceful as ever, Thomas was in fine form, and their sibling relationship might be stronger for it. There's nothing like fighting side by side for a wizard and his vampire half-brother. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This book is well-titled. Lots of changes. Lots. It may be the twelfth or so in the series, but somehow Butcher manages to not ever get stuck in a rutThis book is well-titled. Lots of changes. Lots. It may be the twelfth or so in the series, but somehow Butcher manages to not ever get stuck in a rut. He doesn't do anything that seems to be done already. There are new problems, although this time not necessarily new enemies. The long-term arc that runs through the series comes more into play this time, with more questions answered, more secrets revealed, and yet, we still get some bombshells. There are a few things in this one I just did not see coming. In fact, neither did Harry! I mean, wow. No spoilers. Just, wow.
Some changes I suspected, some were long overdue. But there was a hint for something else quite unexpected that, if it does happen at some point, I would NOT be happy to see.
(view spoiler)[I had thought, optimistically, most of the changes for this story would be for the better. That perhaps one of the changes might be between Murphy and Harry. Instead, everything else about Harry's life changed. He lost everything: First a daughter he never knew he had, then his office building, his car, which had his staff, so that's gone too, And then his house. Not to mention any remnants of what was between him and Susan. His losses continued when he became paralyzed from the waist down. I was worried for a time that he might lose the bag that was hidden in the Nevernever -- which included Bob. I would never forgive Butcher for that!
But no, it got worse, far worse. The losses kept piling up for Harry and culminated when he gave up his freedom. He went over to the dark side when he pledged himself to Mab -- I mean, the Winter Knight! She's going to own him. I'm thinking that's going to leave a mark.
I wish I could say I'll wait to see how Harry's going to get out of his promise, but one thing Jim Butcher does well -- that's good for his readers but bad for the characters -- is he doesn't just return things to the status quo at the end of each book. The characters live with the consequences of what they've done. Which is going to suck monkey balls for Harry if he really has to be Mab's Winter Knight. I'm betting he will too. Butcher doesn't let his characters off easy. Harry was willing to pay the price of selling his soul knowing full well what he was doing. He committed murder (twice), although he did it for Maggie. He decided he'd give up himself, his principles, his freedom, for her. He was told twice, by Bob and Ebenezar, that this challenge would show him who he was, what his principles were, and what lines he would cross. He certainly found out and crossed those lines. Turns out, there wasn't much he wouldn't do.
I held on to hope to the end for a change between Harry and Murphy. It was clear she would lose her job. I figured that would be what pushed her to take up the sword. But she's still resisting that one. And of course, I want her with Harry. If Butcher puts Harry with Molly that will be a great disappointment -- a first in this whole series. It will be the first out of character move the author has made. It would be all wrong for Harry and for the story arc.
What we did get was a tease of potential between Murphy and Harry, then Harry loses the only thing he has left. He's SHOT and KILLED. Maybe this way he'll get out having to be the Winter Knight?
It's telling also that even when I was nearly at the end, I couldn't say whether Harry and company would succeed in saving his daughter or not. In fact, I was rather terrified that he wouldn't. I didn't think he'd handle it too well. He already had so much rage. He had already stepped a bit over the line of sanity. He gave up so much, made deals with the devil -- then to fail -- it would have been too much.
And I don't think he's getting Murphy ever -- that's my latest prediction. I think they're a couple who will never be, and that's sad. Harry will be the Winter Knight now. He won't be able to be with her. He even told her about his will. He'd never been so sure he wouldn't make it -- or at least, as he said, he won't be around after. I felt real grief for Harry during this story. Yes, for a fictional character. Thank you, Jim Butcher.
Some good lines: Merlin: Uncounted billions now living and yet to be born will be saved if we stop the Red Court from feeding on humanity ever again. No one life, innocent or not, is worth more than that. Dresden: You've got it backward, you know. No life is worth more than that? No, Merlin. No life is worth less. Butcher knows how to use dialogue to express the essential nature of a character.
Sanya to Harry: If you turn into a hideous monster and I am sent to slay you, I will remember this and make it as painless as I can, out of respect for you. Always good to know.
I enjoyed their Lord of the Rings discussion , but it was sobering when Harry remembered Gollum's role. His mindset was clear from his next line: And right now, I didn't give a damn about good and bad. I just wanted a little girl home safe.(hide spoiler)]
Again, I must thank Jim Butcher. Thank you -- with a large dose of hate you, hate you, hate you! thrown in. Thank you for creating characters so full and real I've come to care about them and their fates. I grieve for them and with them. It's what every writer aims for, and I am telling you, you've exceeded your goals. Superb, even though this last story has me out of my mind.
But I DON'T thank you for that ending. Are you out of your mind!!!
On my second reading, a few thoughts: (view spoiler)[ I think the first time I read this, I didn't realize how bad everything was. Now, with every step, every battle, I understand the enormity of what they're doing. Chilling.
And Murphy taking up the sword, the coolest, even if temporary.
It might have made me more sad, knowing how much Harry was going to lose by the end of this book. Knowing that every time he said, "But it's mine," he was going to lose that, have everything stripped away. But there's something to be said for friendship. He never loses those. And they are worth so much more.
Harry did find out his lines were way further out than he would have admitted. That he would break laws, go against his own morality, against what he has forbidden himself to do, work for the "enemy," to save his daughter. I wonder, what does this say about him? Does it mean he's willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done? Does it mean he's not a good person at his core, just someone who's willing to stand up for others? Does it mean he's self-righteous, but not righteous? Is this why he'd never be a Knight of the Cross? Or does it just mean his emotions have a greater hold on him than he'd like to admit?
Seeing this story play out while knowing how it ended, I got the sense the universe, or something very powerful in it, was forcing Dresden's hand so he had only Mab to turn to. The universe had struck out with him, but then found his Achilles heel and knew it had him by the balls. (hide spoiler)]
Ghost Story isn't much of a way to recover from this, but I'm getting closer to Skin Game!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Harry really had himself in a pickle this time. One of the big bads in Turn Coat was actually the politics of the Council, with all its layers and impHarry really had himself in a pickle this time. One of the big bads in Turn Coat was actually the politics of the Council, with all its layers and implications. While that may sound boring, the Council's politics are nothing to play with. They can be deadly for those who fall into disfavor -- literally. Then there's the potential for civil war hanging over everything. Politics isn't always boring!
(view spoiler)[The situation made Harry's choices harder, and added a bit of irony (I mean, Morgan?). We see sides of Morgan we never expected, and sides we entirely expected. The clash of Morgan and Molly was full of tension, and I loved how Mouse handled them -- faking his injury to show Molly a lesson -- He rocks!
The other big bad, the Skinwalker, was a scary son of a bitch. It seemed strange at the time to see Listens to Wind rescue Harry from the demon, but that's when I realized the Skinwalker wasn't the big villain of the story. It was the traitor and the internal politics of the Council, and Harry had to uncover that traitor to save himself and Morgan.
Molly made a big mistake and I really felt for her. She can't seem to find that right path. Harry had no choice but to find a way out of the situation. The Council might have been a threat to his life, since they'd take his head too, but he'd also have to face the Wrath of Charity. And that wouldn't be pretty.
That goodbye scene between Murphy and Harry... so close! But just a tease. If it were Murphy going, I would have actually been worried she wasn't going to make it back. I saw the end of Luccio and Harry coming, but not quite in the way it came about. It doesn't necessarily give me hope for Murphy and Harry. I'm beginning to think they're one of those who can never have the happiness of being together.
I'm worried about a consequence that was alluded to as an aside and never brought up again -- and given how Jim Butcher works, it'll come back later to bite Harry in the ass. Rashid had warned Harry not to use the power from the island. But he did, perhaps without even realizing it. There was no mention of it after, but I wonder how it will play out in the coming stories. There's a lot we don't know about the island, about how his mother plays into it, and Harry's own power, but it's clearly connected to Harry's future. For now, hints and implications are all we have.
"See, here's the thing. Morgan was right: you can't win them all. But that doesn't mean that you give up. Not ever. Morgan never said that part -- he was too busy living it." (hide spoiler)]
Harry ends this one more scarred than ever, literally. Two scars run down his face now. There were tough lessons to learn. And now there are more conspiracies to uncover. The ending was bittersweet, tough to swallow. I was really hoping for a better outcome. I'm anxious to go on to the next story and see if there's anything good in Harry's future.
And on rereading: (view spoiler)[ (Spoilers for following books) Now this books seems a big set-up for what's to come, Demonreach, the parasite, the Mantle, even Molly...
Roles have changed for several characters. Murphy is further set up for the sword, with her diminishing role with CPD. Thomas is further from Harry in a sense, but still stands by him. He's not the same person, though. The Nagloshi was right. He left nothing of Thomas for Harry. The Thomas he knew is gone.
Making the connection to Demonreach seems to be one of those things that Harry was destined to do. Luccio said that his feeling of familiarity with the island could be his prescience coming to maturity, which could mean the location will have significance for him in the future. I think it's clear there's a link b/w Harry and that island. And I think it's about more than Demonreach's later request. There's an overriding Something we have yet to learn.
Rashid knows something about it, I think. He's definitely involved in time travel. He knew too much, mentioned time quite a bit when talking with Harry, and he seemed to see into the future. He speaks as if he has Intellectus, a sense of everything at once rather than past, present, and future. Perhaps that's all 'time travel' is... I wonder if whatever he did to Demonreach has happened yet.
Rashid, Ebenezer, even Listens to Wind know way more than they let on to Harry. Do they know Harry is about to "die," become the Winter Knight? Perhaps they know even further into the future and know this is what has to happen for a better future than what they've seen. Maybe that's why Rashid warned Harry about Molly's black magic. He was trying to push events toward a better possible future than what he'd seen. If Harry's current life is a better option than what the other wizards have seen, that boy is definitely cursed.
They left hanging a mention of a connection of Madeleine Raith in Algiers. I wonder when that will come back into play.
Now I get to move on to the most traumatic book in the series. Oh joy. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Ok, I'll admit it. I love Harry Dresden. Shocker, right?
Mr. Butcher, you've got yourself a die-hard fan here. Your characters rock. Your battles leaveOk, I'll admit it. I love Harry Dresden. Shocker, right?
Mr. Butcher, you've got yourself a die-hard fan here. Your characters rock. Your battles leave me breathless. And the world you created is fascinating -- though I wouldn't want to live there! Just one request: Can you let Harry sleep a little more?
And great lines in this one: "Damn, there ain't nothing like a good entrance."
And an entrance that was. Awe. some.
"I was going for cool and strong, but my voice came out sounding angry and not overly burdened with sanity."
Harry's pretense of being Thomas's boyfriend to get out of the apartment was priceless.
(view spoiler)[Interesting developments with Molly. And Lasciel. I wonder if this is the last we'll see of her. And when we thought they'd saved the women and gotten the bad guy, there was more to do! But the plan for taking down the White Court, well, they didn't reveal much beforehand, but I figured it would be as nuts as Murphy thought. Hah! Possibly was worse than her imagination could conjure up.
During the big battle scene, I kept waiting for Murphy to show up. I knew she had to, since Harry specifically asked if she was "in." I couldn't wait to see how she'd come riding in on her motorcycle or something -- it was so worth the wait! Marcone and his mercenaries added an interesting element to their exit strategy -- kind of emphasized how desperate they were. And speaking of exits, nice one, Harry! I'm sure there was no other way but to kiss her, huh?
This was hilarious: "Welcome, sir," the redhead said. "May I take your coat and...and stick?" "That's the closest I've come to being propositioned in years."
Poor Harry! And right in front of Murphy! Hint, hint! Murphy and Dresden continue their strictly "friends" policy. I'm hoping for a change in that. Thomas sure thinks they should. They have grown on me! (hide spoiler)]
Perhaps the only thing I missed from this one was there was a bit less in the Bob department. But the next story, which I've already started, is making up for it!
On rereading, well, the scene in The Deeps was just as cool. But I picked up on something I missed last time. (view spoiler)[Lash's explanation for why Harry can fight and perhaps defeat Outsiders. The "energies, events, and circumstances" of Harry's birth gave him the ability to fight Outsiders, something Harry took for granted but is actually quite rare. And apparently his mother was aware at least that Harry was special, if not why, and that's why she ran from Raith. I wonder how much she knew. How much was planned, destined? And how much more Bad is in store for Harry? Cuz clearly they're going to keep coming for him! (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Another excellent installment of the Dresden files. Are my reviews getting monotonous? I really have enjoyed every one of the books. They never feel lAnother excellent installment of the Dresden files. Are my reviews getting monotonous? I really have enjoyed every one of the books. They never feel like the same story shuffled around. Butcher finds a way to create new mayhem and near-apocalyptic conditions every time. And if you question that I've rated each with five stars, I'll say that my thinking is to start at five stars and consider what detracts from that. Things like a subplot that doesn't connect well with the main plot would knock down a five-star story to a four-star for me. A character acting out of character would lose a half or possibly a full star. None of those things have happened in any of the Dresden stories. In fact, I had rated the first few stories as four stars, but then realized there were no circumstances detracting from a five-star rating.
So I fully enjoyed this story. But, oh, Murphy, Murphy, Murphy. How could you do that to Harry! Come to your senses! Please!
(view spoiler)[The battle in the Nevernever was one of the scarier ones they've had to get through yet. It wouldn't have surprised me if they'd lost someone. The fact that they made it all back, well, I'm glad, even if it makes it tests one's suspension of disbelief. It didn't reach my limits of disbelief, though, since Harry had help from the Summer fire. Sure loved when he burned up the last Fetch and then yelled "Who's next?" And all the fetches went running. Awesome. I'm sure he would have looked kind of scary at that moment, but from this distance... cool. (hide spoiler)]
I finally figured out how to hide spoilers. Sorry if I've let any slip before this.
Eagerly anticipating the next story, I'm a true Harry Dresden fan now!
On my rereading, I see bits of foreshadowing, and I see the importance comments or actions will have later. (view spoiler)[The fact that Rashid risks messing with time, and with breaking the rule against messing with time hints to the level of danger they face in the future. I can only guess that Molly's future is deemed preferable or even desirable to the alternative.
I now see Murphy's demotion in SI as a setup for a possible future. I'm still holding out for her taking up the sword! Now I see the significance of Michael asking Harry to investigate how the sword was passed on to the next wielder in the past. I suspect he'll discover Murphy's ancestry is linked to it.
I did wonder: if had Harry killed Lloyd Slate like he had asked, would the mantle have passed to Harry right then? Or would it first have had to return to Mab? That would have changed everything. Possibly messing up Mab's and others' plans. Food for thought. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Butcher manages to find new ways every time to create trouble for Harry and not have it seem like 'been there done that.' Implications the White CouncButcher manages to find new ways every time to create trouble for Harry and not have it seem like 'been there done that.' Implications the White Council isn't all it seems, changes Harry's going through, and a hint of romance to boot. Bring it on!
Great evolution of characters in this one. We still get action and suspense, but we also get to know the characters better and see how they've changed. At the same time, the larger arc for Harry continues to develop. But I feel sorry for him sometimes! He continues to get banged up, attacked from multiple directions, and the pace of events is unrelenting. Which for the reader is awesome. For Harry, not so much.
Harry is definitely the flawed hero, and at times even a dark hero. His choices can be questionable. He has weaknesses that get him into trouble -- too often. But why oh why, Harry, did you say yes? No spoilers here, but dear Harry, you know that's going to bite you in the ass, and probably sooner than later...
A fantastic, wild climax, everything you want, and still laugh out loud funny. The wrap up was a bit briefer than I'd like, but that's mainly because I'm waiting to see what happens to certain people. I know they'll be addressed in the next book -- I hope!
I must say--and I should have said this in one of my earlier reviews for this series -- that I highly recommend starting this series from the first book. While Butcher does give brief reviews of the basics of the story world and how Harry's magic works, etc., there is a larger story arc that unfolds gradually, a little bit in each book. If you started a few books in, or say, in book #6, you'd miss a lot of the implications of what was going on, you'd be missing an understanding of the characters and how they developed, and certain revelations or events wouldn't have as much meaning for you. It's even possible you wouldn't understand what's going on -- though I can't say for sure, since I'm reading them in order. So, do yourself a favor and start from book #1. You'll enjoy the series all the more -- and I bet you won't be able to stop there!
And on my second read: (view spoiler)[I appreciate Butters so much more this time around. His attempts to reconcile his scientific knowledge with the magic he's seen is quite believable, even though this second time around it felt like it took a while. And his sarcasm is priceless. He's a trooper!
I have tons of questions about Malcolm Dresden. He wasn't allowed to visit before "others crossed the line" - what line? Necromancy? That he knows about his brother? And Malcolm refers to the beast in the woods as "the Demon." Does he mean Lasciel? She's not really a demon. I had thought it was He Who Walks Behind. Is that a Demon? I supposed they all could come under the general term of Demon. And by what power is Malcolm appearing? And who sent him? Or was it his idea?
Calling up Lea and getting Mab was even more scary now that I know how scary she really is, how badass she is. [Unless you've read through Cold Days:] (view spoiler)[And her certainty that Harry will one day take up the mantle as her knight is nothing less than creepy. Ominous, seeing as she's right. (hide spoiler)]
Even Captain Luccio bowed deeply to Mac. Can't wait to find out who and what he really is.
A reanimated Tyrannosaurus Rex named Sue gets the prize. And polka will never die. (hide spoiler)] ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
"The building was on fire, and it wasn't my fault." Now that's an opening line.
Number six of the Dresden Files and I'm still as excited to read it as t"The building was on fire, and it wasn't my fault." Now that's an opening line.
Number six of the Dresden Files and I'm still as excited to read it as the first. Some major revelations here. No spoilers, just, wow.
This tale was a tad lighter one than previous stories. It seems Harry has gotten himself contracted by a porn filmmaker. Completely by accident, but Murphy's not convinced. Harry's due for a bit of a breather, though. So the lighter mood is welcome, though as the story progresses, things do become more serious and potentially deadly for Harry.
We learn more about Murphy in this story, which I enjoy. I like seeing how her friendship with Harry develops. I'm glad to see Thomas taking a greater role in this book, too. He's great fun as a character.
Not as all-encompassing doomsday scenario as previous stories, but plenty of danger, trouble, and enemies around Harry. We learn some good stuff. And the larger story continues to unfold. And Harry is as lovable as ever.
On my second read: I mentioned Murphy and Thomas, but failed to mention Mouse! What a great character he turns out to be. He looked after Harry right from the beginning. And I also failed to say anything about Kincaid. (view spoiler)[He said he was as human as Harry, and yet, he's not. Don't know if it counts as just being ambiguous, since Harry's not your average human, or outright lying, since Kincaid is actually just half human and half ...Hellhound or something. At least I know Harry doesn't trust him. (view spoiler)[ Don't know what gets into Murphy's head though, later. (hide spoiler)] I also don't think it was a great idea for Harry to reveal the connection between him and Thomas to Lara. But as he sees it, he has something over her too, so he seems to feel on equal footing there.
I was left with a lot of questions too. I was surprised by the level of fear Lara showed for the Black court vamp when it attacked her and wondered: what would happen if a Black court vamp bit a White court vamp? Does Black + White = Black? Or something else?
I wonder what kind of magic it takes to plant such a message in a soul gaze as Margaret Le Fey did. I would think it was no trivial thing. Which means the woman was powerful. And what sort of business could she have had with House Raith? Why did she turn from her allies and go on the run? Did she piss off Lord Raith? Some of the Fae? Ebenezar said she met Harry's father when she was on the run. But what if she went on the run because of Harry? Could she have known something about Harry's future? Everyone else seems to. And DuMorne was one of her allies - why? Is that how Harry ended up with DuMorne? (hide spoiler)]
Ah, tons of questions, but the answers have to wait! On to Death Masks!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
"I was scared. Not in that half-pleasant adrenaline charged way, but quietly scared. …It's a rational sort of fear that puts a lawn chair down in the"I was scared. Not in that half-pleasant adrenaline charged way, but quietly scared. …It's a rational sort of fear that puts a lawn chair down in the front of your thoughts and brings a cooler of drinks along with it."
There's an image to start a story.
Harry's not in good shape at the start of this book. It's interesting to see the level of continuity. Considering the end of the last book, he shouldn't be in good shape. But many authors would just give their main character some recup time and move on to the next adventure. Nope, we get Harry in the midst of crisis, obsession, assassination attempts, and generally being on everyone's bad side.
We learn even more about Harry here. His story is more complex. The trouble he's in is deeper. There's war brewing -- on two fronts. Truths are revealed. Alliances made. It's actually the biggest trouble Harry's been in. And the consequences are bigger, with potential to affect the whole mortal world.
Harry's character is summed up well towards the end when the Gatekeeper tells him he's accomplished his task, he can stop. But he doesn't, though he desperately wants to, "because I'm an idiot. And there are people in trouble." Harry puts others before himself every time. Not in a saintly, holier-than-thou way. Reluctantly, with regrets at times, with dread often. But he does it because it's the only way he can live with himself. And when he wins, it's just barely, and always at a price.
I'm getting the sense there's a larger tale going on, being revealed in small doses, with hints and insinuations at times, sometimes more overtly. We learn about his mother a little bit each book, and it's becoming clear there's more to that story than even Harry knows. There was a huge revelation in this book I won't mention to avoid spoiling anyone. But I can now see how there's over a dozen books and counting. Along with the crisis du jour, there's trouble brewing in the background, secrets threatening to rise to the surface.
I can't wait.
Observations on my second read: (view spoiler)[This story held a lot more foreboding for me knowing how he will become embroiled with Winter later. I felt bad for Harry, actually. He thought this was a one-shot deal, aside from owing Mab two more favors. But he was just beginning.
I was able to pick out more specific foreshadowing now, though I don't know what many of them refer to yet. Such as the reference to him as a Starchild. I'm thinking that's what Martha Liberty might have been referring to when she said to Ebenezar, "You know what he was meant to be." And it has to be connected to his mother. I was intrigued by Lea's statement that someone Harry did not know will pay his price. Harry guesses she was referring to his mother, but he doesn't question her further. My question is, how can someone pay the price if they're dead? So -- is Margaret Le Fey really dead?
Everyone seems to know things about Harry he doesn't. They expect his moves, they vie for his loyalty, and he's pursued by all sorts of beings. Everyone wants a piece of him. And it's only going to get worse.
And on my third read... Harry insists he's entangled with Winter as just a one shot, but he will never be free of them after this. I watched carefully for signs of the infection afflicting the fae. Butcher has a way of introducing seemingly minor details, or even whole storylines that seemed settled, that will come back later with greater importance. I now think Lea's knife, that continues to pop up, and which she said had as much power as the sword, will have an important part to play later. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
"Wow," Bob said. "You're dying. What a great plan."
Bob always knows how to put things.
Still loving Harry Dresden. The third installment offers a broad"Wow," Bob said. "You're dying. What a great plan."
Bob always knows how to put things.
Still loving Harry Dresden. The third installment offers a broader picture of Harry Dresden's world, and like before, he starts playing with the line between good and bad magic.
Jim Butcher is teaching me a lot about writing, about story, and storytelling. How to continue to make things worse for your character. Don't just put a time limit on him saving everyone. Make him take poison that puts a time limit on his life-saving! How to unfold backstory: in drips and drabs. He mentions the Nevernever nearly immediately in the first book. But I don't think he ever outright explains it. Harry will mention, say, Faeries, and Bob will elaborate: "Either we get the Disney version of Faerie, with elves and tinkerbell pixies and who knows what sugary cuteness, or we get the wicked witch version, which is considerably more entertaining, but less healthy." He drops bits of information only when we need them. And sometimes even then we have to wait. It makes for a smoothly flowing story that seems to unfold effortlessly and keeps you turning the pages.
I like the character of Michael, though I don't know exactly what he is. I don't know if we'll see him again, but I hope so.
And Harry continues to make mistakes and pay the price for them. He loses people. He makes enemies. He starts wars. And he doesn't even get paid.
And I love him even more for it.
And upon my rereading: I can now see how well Jim Butcher does his foreshadowing. Rarely is anything we read for nothing. (view spoiler)[In some small ways, like when he's hit with some nails in Faerie. Or his taking the poison to avoid fulfilling his bargain with Lea -- won't be the first time he tries to use suicide to avoid becoming a lackey of Winter.
I can see how in this book the Big Bads stepped up their game a bit. Harry had to go bigger and badder. But he only sees it in the context of the current situation. I'm thinking something was afoot overall, even from this early on. And earlier, likely. Lea bargained with Harry for his fealty when he was a kid. Even then, people/beings were trying to get a piece of him. There's a reason for that.
I'm so glad this wasn't the last we saw of Michael or Thomas. They were great additions to the cast. I really wish Susan hadn't been so obstinate about going to that ball, though...
And I've finished a third read! Still having new insights into the characters and series arc. I really enjoy seeing Michael and Harry's friendship develop. But this book made me realize that even this early, Michael is a lot older than I realized. Which makes him even more badass. And he is badass.
I'd really like to know what made Harry's mom make Lea his godmother. Lea clearly had interest in Harry from the beginning. And she was interested in Molly even now, since she did ask Michael for her.
I also wonder about Harry's memories of his nightmares of "monsters" shortly before his father's death. Could they have not been nightmares? Were there beings -- monsters -- after his father, or after Harry? (hide spoiler)]
"There should be some kind of rule against needing to kill anything more than once." Yes, Harry, there should be.
Oh, such torture, and loving every minute of it. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
**spoiler alert** Richardson took us on a ride this time! I had many bleary mornings because I could not put the book down the night before. I was fas**spoiler alert** Richardson took us on a ride this time! I had many bleary mornings because I could not put the book down the night before. I was fascinated by the change Harper was undergoing as well as the new abilities she gained with each passing day. The mystery of what Wygan would use her for was just as riveting and became more horrible as more was revealed. A thoroughly exciting story. The only thing I hold against the author is the torturous ending, where she almost had me believing Harper wasn't coming back--till the very end! ;-) I loved every moment of torture and suspense. ...more