Paranormal investigations are Harry Dresden’s business and Chicago is his beat, as he tries to bring law and order to a world of wizards and monsters that exists alongside everyday life. And though most inhabitants of the Windy City don’t believe in magic, the Special Investigations Department of the Chicago PD knows better.
Karrin Murphy is the head of S. I. and Harry’s good friend. So when a killer vampire threatens to destroy Murphy’s reputation unless Harry does her bidding, he has no choice. The vampire wants the Word of Kemmler (whatever that is) and all the power that comes with it. Now, Harry is in a race against time—and six merciless necromancers—to find the Word before Chicago experiences a Halloween night to wake the dead… -Goodreads
My Rating: 5/5
If it hadn’t been for the positive reviews for this book and the later books in the series, I probably wouldn’t have read another book in The Dresden Files after Blood Rites (#6). I am so glad that I did!
This book feels like The Prisoner of Azkaban of The Dresden Files: things are getting darker; the stakes are higher; and there are several threads that are yet to be rounded off so it feels like it will only get worse before it gets better for Harry Dresden.
I loved the new characters in this book. Butters is fantastic and it was great to see a character other than Harry have a character arc within the plot. His job description was a corny addition to the story which was brilliant. It wouldn’t be The Dresden Files without Jim Butcher making jokes like that.
Polka will never die!
The removal of Murphy from the book was a surprisingly good idea. We saw a new side of Harry as he worked alongside Butters – he became the closest to a hero figure in his own mind than he has ever done, and that’s a great step forward. He is shedding his younger, brasher, hot-headed self and is becoming so much more. I am so excited to see him grow even more in the coming books considering some of the changes that occurred in this entry.
The main villains of the book were really good! There were several of them and they all had their own motivations – however subtly different – and those nuances made Harry’s fight against them less monotonous than it could have been. Harry is also fighting a part of himself which I found to be the most fascinating and page-turning aspect of the book, so I hope to see more of that.
The only thing I think this book didn’t do well was the opening catalyst for this whole plot. We knew that a certain villain was going to rear their heads again, and their threat was unique as it didn’t threaten Harry’s life but someone else’s – but that thread got lost in the rest of the book and it felt a little underwhelming at the end. I am sure we will come back to that villain at some point, and I know that if there had been more it would have made the book a lot longer and would have felt a little much after everything that happened, but it still ended a little awkwardly.
Overall, though, this is my favourite book of the series so far, and I can’t wait to catch up and read the newest entry when it comes out in July!