- The Good: Harry’s up against all odds yet again
- The Bad: Formulaic but Harry’s personality carries it through
- The Literary: Bob the skull and his many knowledges
During a white-out blizzard in Chicago, Mab, the fae Monarch of Winter, calls on wizard-for-hire Harry Dresden to repay an old favor. All hell breaks loose and Harry finds himself and his friends in danger once again. Johnny Marcone (Chicago’s biggest crime boss), the Denarians (a group of fallen angels), the fae Queen of Summer, and some were-goats keep Harry very busy.
So begins the tenth installment of the Dresden Files, and instead of vampires, Harry’s dealings with the fae this time. Returning to these books is like spending time with an old friend. I like Harry, and so I care about everyone Harry cares about, a group which has grown to be quite sizable this far in the series. I root for Harry, I want to see his relationships develop, and the plot just happens to be a place for that to happen. Queue Bob the skull (the repository of magical knowledge who lives in Harry’s basement), his best friend Michael the White Knight, his apprentice Molly, Harry’s extremely handsome vampire brother Thomas, old friend and police officer Karrin, and don’t forget Mouse the dog and Mister the cat.
Speaking of plot, though, this book strikes me as even more action-heavy than usual. I don’t mind the formulaic storytelling and low-stakes fights (we all know Harry will make it out alive) as long as there are plenty of snarky comments from Harry that keep me giggling. That’s not the say the series hasn’t developed. Sure, Harry is put up against forces above his pay grade in every book. He’s an underdog, but his magical abilities are growing. And he’s gained some authority and reputation, so I’m still interested in where the books will take Harry as he stands to lose more.
Oh, and lest I forget to mention, James Marsters is one fantastic narrator!
Highly recommended for fans of urban fantasy series!