I’ve read the first half of this story (see my review of Peace Talks) back in July, and of course I jumped straight into this novel as soon as it came out.
What to Expect
Expect the culmination of the two-part story starting with Peace Talks. As usual, Butcher delivers an intense thriller-paced, larger-than-life adventure for Harry Dresden. If you haven’t read the previous novels (really, the rest of the series), this is not the place for you. If you did enjoy it so far, go ahead and skip the reviews to get to the book already.
What I liked
Love the plot that Butchers constructs, with their intricate multiple threads the weave around into a grand finale. The side characters often steal the show, being more interesting or relatable.
Butcher does write a highly emotional yet easy to read prose, as the action is moved by Dresden’s reactions to events and interspersed with short interludes.
What to be aware of
Butcher has been consistently building up larger and larger battles for Dresden, so at this point this can come as over the top. Butchers throws everything in the book — several mythology books, actually — at Dresden, and sometimes it appears as random encounters (to borrow a D&D term) that serve no plot or story purpose. In a world where magic is powered by emotion, Butchers delivers an emotional blow after blow to Dresden — which, as a reader, can get a bit much at times. One yearns for the simple days of yore, with simpler cases one could relate to.
The idea of fighting creatures that the gods had trouble to defeat was… perplexing to Felix. While he understands that different worlds run on different magic systems, he too found that the affairs of men and gods were mixed in wrong proportions here. At least, this reads more of a segment of mythology than how the series the started with detective cases.
As said above, this far into the series you either love it or have given up. If you haven’t read all the novels (or tried to skip some), then you’ll find it more confusing. If you have enjoyed it to date, why are you reading this instead of jumping right in?
Like my reviews, but wondering who that Felix fellow is? He’s my protagonist, an occult detective from a world based on ancient Rome. He likes to read as much as I do – especially the juxtaposition of history, mystery, and fantasy – and is certainly not afraid to voice his opinion. You can meet him on the free short stories page!