The Dresden Files [Books 11-12]
by Jim Butcher
I can definitely see why Jim Butcher is considered a staple in the Urban Fantasy genre – he has an excellent main character (who is a tad whiny at times, but that’s kind of why I like him), loads of paranormal that will continually ding your creep-o-meter (even though I admit it doesn’t take much to set mine off), and plenty of action, humor, and intrigue. Overall, if you’ve never read an urban fantasy, this author is a great place to start. The best thing about him is that he seems to get better with each book.
Finally! We dig into the wizarding White Council and find out more about how it operates (and the many interesting characters involved). Delightful politicking ensued left and right, and it was really fun to see how Dresden fit in (or stuck out, depending on how you look at it). My favorite elements of Turn Coat were the settings and the mystery surrounding the Council. I had lots of theories on “whodunit,” and even though none of them turned out to be correct, I love it when books get me so involved.
What an appropriately titled book. Changes marked the turning point in the series where Butcher brings all of his conflicts to a head so he can take the story in a new direction. I admit I wasn’t thrilled with this book – I found the plot construction for it uncharacteristically all over the place. There were a few conflicts that had absolutely nothing to do with the overall plot that only managed to drag the story down (his books usually have subplots, but they are normally at least a little related). For that matter, the entire novel felt a little random and forced. It came together eventually, but I can’t say as though I enjoyed the journey as well as his past novels. However, I liked the ending enough to want to keep reading…
All the Dresden fun, but with a few alternate POV’s like Murphy and Thomas to sweeten the deal – sign me up! I enjoyed this compilation of novellas immensely – maybe even slightly more than the last couple of novels. Every story brought something new and interesting to the table, and I kind of wish I had read them alongside the novels chronologically. Overall, I’d say don’t skip this one – it’s every bit as worth your time as the main series itself.
If you haven’t picked up a Dresden book yet, just know you’re in for a well-conceived and sustainable series, jam-packed with scary monsters and a lot of snark. I consider them a must-try for any fan of the genre.
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