Review: Turn Coat by Jim Butcher

turn-coatTurn Coat
by Jim Butcher
Series: The Dresden Files #11
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by Roc, 2009
E-book, Library
540 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: When it comes to the magical ruling body known as the White Council, Harry keeps his nose clean and his head down. For years, the Council has held a death mark over Harry’s head. He’s still thought of as a black sheep by some and as a sacrificial lamb by others. But none regard him with more suspicion and disdain than Morgan, a veteran Warden with a grudge against anyone who bends the rules.

Like Harry.

So when Morgan turns up asking for help, Harry isn’t exactly eager to leap into action. Morgan has been accused of treason against the White Council, and there’s only one final punishment for that crime. He’s on the run, he wants his name cleared, and he needs someone with a knack for backing the underdog.

Like Harry.

Now Harry must uncover a traitor within the Council, keep a less than agreeable Morgan under wraps, and avoid coming under scrutiny himself. And a single mistake may cost someone his head.

Like Harry…

Cell phones were like those security guys in red shirts on old Star Trek: as soon as something started happening, they were always the first to go.

and

Colonel Mustard, in the den, with the lead pipe.

Now all I needed was a clue.

No pressure, Harry.

Cheers

  • Lots happens in this book.
  • This is one of my favorites of the series so far.
  • I like the Edinburgh setting of parts of this book.
  • Even though I figured out the traitor I didn’t realize all the ramifications of it.
  • Harry has lots of great allies. The werewolves, the pixies, Karrin Murphy–he knows how to be a good friend and is willing to put his life on the line for his friends and allies.
  • He has a code of honor which the rest of the White Council doesn’t have.
  • Many twists and turns in this book and by many characters.
  • I’m glad this book moves the overall arc of the series forward.
  • There are sad portions in this book–I admit I shed some tears.
  • We find out more about Morgan’s background and history.
  • I love the humor in these books…the banter between characters, in Harry’s thoughts and his taunting the bad guys at inconvenient places! Other characters get good lines sometimes and even the bad guys have their moments.
  • Mouse and Mister continue their awesomeness–mostly Mouse who is amazing!

Jeers

  • I figured out who the traitor was early in the book. However, it didn’t take away my enjoyment of  the book.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • I hope to read the next book in the series soon!

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Review: Small Favor by Jim Butcher

small-favor

Small Favor

by Jim Butcher
Series: The Dresden Files, Book 10
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by Roc, 2008
E-book, from Library
420 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: No one’s tried to kill Harry Dresden for almost an entire year, and his life finally seems to be calming down. For once, the future looks fairly bright. But the past casts one hell of a long shadow. An old bargain has placed Harry in debt to Mab, monarch of the Winter Court of the Sidhe, the Queen of Air and Darkness-and she’s calling in her marker. It’s a small favor he can’t refuse…one that will trap Harry Dresden between a nightmarish foe and an equally deadly ally, and one that will strain his skills-and loyalties-to their very limits. It figures. Everything was going too well to last…

Think of every fairy-tale villainess you’ve ever heard of. Think of the wicked witches, the evil queens, the mad enchantresses. Think of the alluring sirens, the hungry ogresses, the savage she-beasts. Think of them and remember that somewhere, sometime, they’ve all been real.

Mab gave them lessons.

and

Anybody with an ounce of sense knows that fighting someone with a significant advantage in size, weight and reach is difficult. If your opponent has you by fifty pounds, winning a fight against him is a dubious proposition, at best.

If your opponent has you by eight thousand and fifty pounds, you’ve left the realm of combat and enrolled yourself in Road-kill 101. Or possibly in a Tom and Jerry cartoon.

Cheers

  • Harry is a character who grows and changes with each book. I like when an author does that with their main character.
  • Harry has a couple different groups of enemies in this book. He’s in a bad place almost constantly.
  • I like the allies Harry has gathered around him. They are a diverse group and not all of them show up in every book, but they’re strong allies. (Danya @ Fine Print blog commented on my review of Chimes at Midnight by Seanan McGuire: “My favourite thing about long-running UF series is the inevitable transition from loner to part of a supernatural crew of buddies.” I hadn’t consciously thought of that, but she’s right.)
  • The various mythologies Jim Butcher introduces in The Dresden Files are different and interesting…the different types of vampires, the Denarians, the Knights of the Cross. The Fae are more familiar, but Mr. Butcher gives them interesting twists, too.
  • The Fae feature prominently in this book. Unseelie Queen Mab wants a favor from Harry and since he owes her two more favors he doesn’t have much choice. Mab is scary!
  • This book doesn’t deal with the White Council’s war with the Red Vampires.
  • I really like the ending of this book and look forward to what happens in the next book.

Jeers

  • None

And a few thoughts . . .

  • With each book I’m hooked more and more. I love the fact there are so many books in the series. At first that was intimidating, but I’m enjoying reading the books so much that I’m really glad I haven’t caught up yet.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

No reading challenges for this book! 😦

Review: White Night by Jim Butcher

White Night
White Night

 

White Night
by Jim Butcher
Series: The Dresden Files, Book 9
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by Roc, 2007
E-book, Purchased
416 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: In Chicago, someone has been killing practitioners of magic, those incapable of becoming full-fledged wizards. Shockingly, all the evidence points to Harry Dresden’s half-brother, Thomas, as the murderer. Determined to clear his sibling’s name, Harry uncovers a conspiracy within the White Council of Wizards that threatens not only him, but his nearest and dearest, too…

 

…and at some point you realize that there are more flavors of pain than coffee. There’s the little empty pain of leaving something behind ‒ graduating, taking the next step forward, walking out of something familiar and safe into the unknown. There’s the big, whirling pain of life upending all of your plans and expectations. There’s the sharp little pains of failure, and the more obscure aches of successes that didn’t give you what you thought they would. There are the vicious, stabbing pains of hopes being torn up. The sweet little pains of finding others, giving them your love, and taking joy in their life as they grow and learn. There’s the steady pain of empathy that you shrug off so you can stand beside a wounded friend and help them bear their burdens.

And if you are very, very lucky, there are a few blazing hot little pains you feel when you realize that you are standing in a moment of utter perfection, an instant of triumph, or happiness, or mirth which at the same time cannot possibly last ‒ and yet will remain with you for life.

Everyone is down on pain, because they forget something important about it: Pain is for the living. Only the dead don’t feel it.

Cheers

  • I enjoy this series a lot. Harry is a great character and I enjoy all the different characters which populate this world.
  • I like how Harry thinks about things–his ironic wit, his cynical look at the world he lives in, his open-eyed courage as he walks into danger.
  • This isn’t the book to read first if you’ve never read this series before. In the earlier books it isn’t necessary to start with book 1, but I think you should start with one of the first five and then maybe go back and read some of those first books (that’s what I did, BTW.)
  • I’ve read and reviewed this series more than any series since I started my blog a little over a year ago. (I’ve read more by other authors, but not since I started my blog).

Concerns

  • The last book brings up the possibility of a white council conspiracy. It’s mentioned in this book, but not much happens on that front.

Conclusions

  • In less than a year I’ve read eight books in this series. I enjoy each book which is a complete story, but I also like the overall story arc which begins practically with the first book–the war between the red vampires and the white council and maybe a conspiracy within the white council.
  • I’m always ready to begin the next books, but I try to space them out a little so I don’t run out of books too quickly!

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

This book is eligible for the following reading challenge:

  • The Book Bingo Challenge.

Review: Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher

proven-guiltyProven Guilty
by Jim Butcher
Series: The Dresden Files, Book 8
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by Roc, 2006
E-book, Purchased
403 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: There’s no love lost between Harry Dresden, the only wizard in the Chicago phone book, and the White Council of Wizards, who find him brash and undisciplined. But war with the vampires has thinned their ranks, so the Council has drafted Harry as a Warden and assigned him to look into rumors of black magic in the Windy City.

As Harry adjusts to his new role, another problem arrives in the form of the tattooed and pierced daughter of an old friend, all grown-up and already in trouble. Her boyfriend is the only suspect in what looks like a supernatural assault straight out of a horror film. Malevolent entities that feed on fear are loose in Chicago, but it’s all in a day’s work for a wizard, his faithful dog, and a talking skull named Bob….

I was fairly sure that my day couldn’t get much worse.

No sooner had I thought it than there was a horrible crunching sound, and my head snapped back hard against the headrest on the back of the driver’s seat. The Beetle shuddered and jounced wildly, and I fought to keep it under control.

You’d think I would know better by now.

and

I don’t care about whose DNA has recombined with whose. When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching–they are your family.

 Likes

  • Mouse continues to be a wonderful character. Very heroic.
  • I like the horror movie convention.
  • Thomas finally leaves after about two years living with Harry, but is mysterious about where and what he is doing.
  • We get to see more of Karrin Murphy in this book. She’s a favorite character of mine.
  • Michael and his family show up again in this book and we find out more about them.
  • Lots of White Council and various members of the Council plus their war with the Red Vampires.
  • A hint for future books–is there a traitor in the White Council?
  • Some of the book takes place in the Nevernever and with the Faeries there and in Dresden’s Chicago. I like that.

 Dislikes

  • A reader knows what they’re getting in this series. I like that, but some readers might get tired of the predictability. I like Harry, his friends and his world too much to worry very much about it.

Thoughts

  • The series is urban fantasy with a mystery (or mysteries) to solve–in this case the mystery at the horror movie convention.
  • The war with the vampires (the ongoing story arc through most of this series) continues in this book.
  • This is one of my favorite books of the series so far. Harry is more proactive and positive in this book and works with quite a few different people on different problems. Some of the people like him and some don’t—business as usual!
  • I’m looking forward to seeing where these books are going since we get some intriguing hints for future books.

Have you read books in this series? How do you like them?

Reading challenges

I’m participating in the Book Bingo Challenge. I’m placing this book in one of my series squares.