October 07, 2011
Blood Rites by Jim Butcher
Harry Dresden is a wizard with his own ad in the yellow pages. Frequently he is hired to help people with their magical problems, and this case is no different. Ok, so maybe its a little different considering his employer is an acquaintance of his from the White Court of vampires. And just what is Dresden supposed to do for him? Go undercover on a porno shoot because someone has enacted a curse that is slowly killing off all the ladies on the shoot. He thinks someone has it in for the head guy on the film and is getting to him this way. To make matters difficult there are a couple vampires from the White Court on the shoot as well, and they aren't as friendly to Harry as his employer, Thomas is.
If that isn't enough, Harry knows that some members of the Black Court are in town, and they are trying to kill him. So he decides to take up the offense and attack the vampires in their lair. He enrolls the help of Lt. Murphy, a friend of his, and hires a mercenary as well. Throw in an old teacher of his and things start to look interesting and even up for Harry for once. He's got a pretty good team to go against these dangerous creatures. Things never go according to plan though and between this and the curse at the porno shoot, Harry's got a lot to deal with.
Harry as a character was a bit better in this book and definitely more believable. He loses a bit of the guilt and a bit of the weakness and really starts to stand on his own. He also doesn't say hell's bells as much which is a definite positive. Murphy comes into her own in this book and does a good job of kicking monster butt. I also enjoyed the puppy added to the series as a new pet. Not only is he adorable, but he gives Harry's cat Mister someone to pal around with and have the regular cat-dog relationship with. There are other characters of course, but they play a lower role than Murphy and Dresden in this book. Kincaid the mercenary should be mentioned just because he is a strong character, but at the same time very very mysterious. Despite this, Harry gets along with him ok.
Butcher does a bit better on not being overly descriptive in this novel. There aren't any three page narratives on what Harry is wearing which is good since he is the narrator. The plot was well done as well and ended up pretty exciting. My only complaints on his writing are that it took him awhile to get into this story to make it interesting. He could have easily cut out about fifty pages from the book without the reader missing anything.
I'm actually looking forward to the next in the series which is a vast improvement over my feelings after the previous books I've read of Butchers. So its on to the next and hopefully its just as good or better than this one.