Most recent Dresden Files book. Some spoilers, read at your own risk.
I’m a big fan of the Dresden Files. Just not as big of a fan as I was a few years ago. This was pretty much another good action-adventure romp, but it was missing some of the spark I remember from reading the previous books. Won’t go into too much detail, plenty of twists to discover if you read it yourself. Not that you can actually spot the twists coming. Which is one of my points. I think Butcher has gotten a bit too into the overarching story, the individual books aren’t holding up alone as well as they used to. If you stripped out the bigger picture plot stuff and edited it tightly you could have turned this into a short story, or maybe a novella. Even the big picture stuff was more or less just more of the same. No huge revelations about things like we had in the previous book Cold Days.
My other complaint is that we pretty much had a story that was just the gods and big powers manipulating things behind the scenes. Dresden is basically a chess piece with everything worked out ahead of time. Once I got to the end of the book I really didn’t feel like there was any tension to it all. During the book I didn’t think anything really dangerous would happen, and when I got to the end we find out that there was basically nothing at stake. Was just a little disappointing. Oh, and we get a greek god who stops time and sits Dresden down for some wine and conversation basically to tell him how awesome he thinks Dresden is.
Really wishing that the ‘Dresden drools over beautiful women’ thing would get dialed down a bit. I’m not sure if I was noticing it more, of if there has been a lot of it in the last few books, but it was really annoying me. He’s part of a crew of villains, one of which is a lady warlock. Who is, because this is a Dresden Files book, incredibly attractive. So they meet and he focuses on how her chest is very large, hips are nice, how she’s dressed. Not a single line of prose anywhere is devoted to what magical tools she might have. Does she have a staff? Does she have a wand? Dresden doesn’t spend half a second thinking about if she has magic rings like he once had, or if she might use some kind of magic chain like another woman wizard he knows has. Nope. We get she’s gorgeous, top-heavy, and he wants to have sex with her.
Jim Butcher still writes a good action scene and the worldbuilding still has fun bits, so I enjoyed the book. It’s just that this Dresden Files story was closer to a popcorn read than a hugely anticipated release. Plus there was a twist at the end that was pretty cool. As I mentioned a while back, I still like the books, just the flaws in his writing are things I’m noticing more and more. If you enjoy the Dresden Files so far, you’ll enjoy this. It is more of the same with nothing really new or exciting. Well, exciting in a new and interesting sense. There are plenty of exciting action sequences that would look great in a big budget special effect movie.