My rating: 4 of 5 stars
You know, it has taken me a long time to recognise the merits of the Dresden novels. Indeed, since Summer Knight, I now recognise the pure wit and adventure of these novels, but as for the intricacy, it seems like I’m only just realising it now. Surprising, ey? Truly a mark of how for granted I can be when it comes to reading. I guess I’ve read so much, that I’ve become desensitised, but in the midst of all the hell-raising piles of uni work, each Dresden novel, each novel I read, brings me something new and illuminating. Quite a fascinating phenomenon, I think! Lol
There’s no love lost between Harry Dresden, the only wizard in the Chicago phone book, and the White Council of Wizards, who find him brash and undisciplined. But war with the vampires has thinned their ranks, so the Council has drafted Harry as a Warden and assigned him to look into rumors of black magic in the Windy City.
As Harry adjusts to his new role, another problem arrives in the form of the tattooed and pierced daughter of an old friend, all grown-up and already in trouble. Her boyfriend is the only suspect in what looks like a supernatural assault straight out of a horror film. Malevolent entities that feed on fear are loose in Chicago, but it’s all in a day’s work for a wizard, his faithful dog, and a talking skull named Bob….
The book was like 500pages long, and I swear, this summary says it all and at the same time hardly said anything at all. Do you know just how much stuff was compact into this book??? Seriously it was jam-packed, car-stuffed, filled to the brim with not a moment of rest for the poor engrossed reader. Yeah, that was me. I literally couldn’t pull my head out of Dresden’s grasp. Or Butcher’s now that I think about it. It’s totally unfair!!!
Harry Dresden > Do I really need to comment? Stupidly chivalrous, powerful, complicated past, not your all-round stereotypical male character. Yeah, he’s great.
Supporting characters > if I listed them all, I don’t think I’d have enough space. Really you see characters that are new, some that are familiar and some that are old. It’s always lovely seeing old faces. Guess that’s what I love about long series like this.
Oh but there is one character that absolutely deserves special attention: Mouse. The Dog. Dresden’s dog. Now he’s once special cookie. I think he’s got to be my favourite character of them all with Dresden coming a close second. Really, nothing can beat Mouse. And when he nearly died in the book or two before this one, I think I nearly cried!
Chicago, or as Dresden calls it “my chicago”. Bits of Nevernever.
So you’ve heard me whine about the writing, praise the simplicity of the writing, and gush about the wittiness. Well, today I’m going talk about all of that, except whine about the writing since I’ve completely gotten over that, and now I love it. The wittiness got me. See:
“This map,” Bob said, “is pretty cool. I’d have thought you would have shown it off to someone by now.”
“Nah,” I said. “Tiny model of the city down here in my basement laboratory. Sort of projects more of a that evil, psychotoic, Lex Luthor vibe than I’d like.”
“Bah,” Bob said. “None of the evil geniuses I ever worked for could have have handled something like this.” He paused. “Though some of the psychotics could have, I guess.”
“If that’s meant to be flattering, you need some practice.”
And I have to say, Butcher knows how to build a web of intrigue, there’s so many plots going on, subplots, sub-sub-plots, main plot. There’s also a lot between characters. I love how he somehow builds a connection between Dresden and all the other characters that feel real and existing, rather than phony and flaky. It’s a mazing. I’m stunned. Again. After again. After once again. It’s ridiculous.
Oh geeezzzzz if you haven’t started reading this series, and you’re into supernatural, action, urban fantasy, then get on it!