October 07, 2011

Dead Beat by Jim Butcher

Yay! Another exciting Dresden Files that I actually enjoyed reading. Butcher is getting a lot better at creating an engaging plot and making Harry not quite as much of a wimp. I'm not going to bother recapping, there are far too many books for that and Butcher does a good job of providing details on back-stories.

Harry Dresden is a wizard. A real wizard even though he's been sidelined by injury and fear as of late. However, when a vampire of the black court decides to blackmail him, he has to throw himself back into the thick of things. And this time that means into some real trouble. End of the world kind of trouble. An old necromancers apprentices have descended on Chicago looking for a book; the same book that the vampire wants Harry to find. With this book they can become all powerful and it could mean the end of the world, again. Good thing Harry's around.

With the help of a medical examiner, his White Court brother, and his faithful dog, Harry's on his own this time. He tries to bring in the White Council (a group of wizards who control magical law) but find this tough as they are currently at war with the Red Court vampire clan. Since he is powerful in his own right they give him limited help. So on his own he must stop these necromancers and confront his own demons inside him. Life is never easy for Harry Dresden.

Harry in this book was much better. Not so much whining, a little darker (which is more believable), not too much playing the knight in shining armor for pretty girls, and he barely says "hell's bells." Definitely a vast improvement over other books. Butters, the medical examiner, is also a pretty cool character. Butcher doesn't try to make him another hero, in fact, he's a coward. But he's lovable all the same and really tries to help Harry despite being petrified all the time. There are of course the bad guys, which honestly, weren't all that ominous this time around. Yes, they were super evil and extremely powerful, but they didn't get that much time devoted to them in the books and therefore didn't exude the presence they could have.

Butcher is getting better and better with his writing as the series goes on. He used to spend way to much time detailing Harry's clothes and other unbelievable descriptions that Harry as a narrator would never notice himself. He's cut down on that and instead had Harry focus on the important things, like the plot. The writing is exciting and there weren't too many slow parts in this book, which was nice.

Since the series keeps getting better I'll keep reading. There are quite a few more books to go and I hope I enjoy them as much as I did this one.

Dead Beat
Copyright 2005
424 pages

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