Six months after his death, Harry Dresden returns to Chicago to solve his own murder. Can he keep his friends safe in the process?
I've got a lot to say about this. I'll cover the good points first.The Good:
Having a ghost come back to solve his own murder isn't a new idea but Butcher did a fairly good job with it here. The supporting cast, Molly in particular, developed quite a bit in Harry's absence. The new character of Fitz has potential, as does Mortimer, who I don't particularly remember. The intrigue with the faerie court is always a plus.The Bad:
I just can't stand Harry Dresden any more. He's like that friend you thought was hilarious in the sixth grade but wanted to strangle by the time you got out of high school. He's an unfunny smart ass with a "funny" quip for every situation. Worse yet, 70% of the characters in the series talk just like him. His Star Wars references are really tired and he's had no significant character development since the series began.
Another of the things that bothered be, and they are legion, is that Butcher can't seem to commit to anything that might move the series along. Remember that war between the White Council and their unseen enemy? Yeah, whatever happened with that? That subplot hasn't advanced AT ALL in the last two books. Robert Jordan's corpse called. He said you should pick up the pace and start wrapping this shit up while people still care about it.
Remember how the entire Red Court was killed in the last book at Chichen Itza? Not 50 pages into this book, there was speculation that not all of them were killed. WTF, Butcher? How about growing a pair and sticking with your guns for once?
Here's another thing that bugs me. Harry comes back from the dead at the end. He was already the biggest Gary Stu character around before he came back. Now that death apparently can't stop him, why should I give a shit about him anymore?
Did anyone else notice how the women can't seem to get along without Harry Dresden for six months without falling apart but the men do just fine? Just pointing it out.
The resolution to Harry's death? Whatever. It was just there for me and seemed a bit illogical considering he had a daughter to look after.
I think my issues with the series stem from the fact that while it's an episodic detective series, Butcher's trying to instill it with an epic feel. The problem is that he can tell a detective story or one that advances the overall plot but can't seem to ever do both at the same time.The Ugly:
There comes a time in many relationships to call it quits. Harry Dresden, for us, that day is today. There was a time when the release of a new Harry Dresden book excited me like a pedophile at a pre-teen beauty pageant. I'd snap up the newest book and go after it like Amy Winehouse and a vial of crack. But those days are long gone. I've been going through the motions for the last couple of books and it just isn't working for me anymore. I keep hoping things will get better but they don't. The tediousness continues and I'm ready to move on.