Changes (Dresden Files Series #12)by Jim Butcher
View our feature on Jim Butcher’s Changes. The new novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling Dresden Files series.
Long ago, Susan Rodriguez was Harry Dresden's lover-until she was attacked by his enemies, leaving her torn between her own humanity and the bloodlust of the vampiric Red Court. Susan then disappeared to South America,/b>/i>/i>
View our feature on Jim Butcher’s Changes. The new novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling Dresden Files series.
Long ago, Susan Rodriguez was Harry Dresden's lover-until she was attacked by his enemies, leaving her torn between her own humanity and the bloodlust of the vampiric Red Court. Susan then disappeared to South America, where she could fight both her savage gift and those who cursed her with it.
Now Arianna Ortega, Duchess of the Red Court, has discovered a secret Susan has long kept, and she plans to use it-against Harry. To prevail this time, he may have no choice but to embrace the raging fury of his own untapped dark power. Because Harry's not fighting to save the world...
He's fighting to save his child.
Read an Excerpt
The Story so Far
So if the title weren't a big enough clue, the fact that the cover of Jim Butcher's Changes depicts Harry somewhere other than his beloved Chicago makes it clear that the latest entry in the Dresden Files series is, yes, a game-changer for Chicago's only professional wizard, Harry Dresden.
Over the past eleven books, we've come to know Harry. He lives in a basement apartment, with his dog, Mouse, and his cat, Mister. He's got good friends: Karrin Murphy of the Chicago PD, Waldo Butters, the polka-loving medical examiner, Michael Carpenter, retired Knight of the Cross. He's got frenemies, like mobster "Gentleman" Johnny Marcone, and his faerie godmother, the Leanansidhe. And full-on enemies, like Nicodemus, the leader of the Order of the Blackened Denarius, and the vampire duchess Arianna Ortega.
But Changes takes everything you thought you knew about Harry and his world and turns it upside down. Truths will be revealed. Life changing decisions will be made. And a lot of stuff gets blown up. Take it from us, you will not want to miss this one.
I answered the phone, and Susan Rodriguez said, "They've taken our daughter."
I sat there for a long five count, swallowed, and said, "Um. What?"
"You heard me, Harry," Susan said gently.
"Oh," I said. "Um."
"The line isn't secure," she said. "I'll be in town tonight. We can talk then."
"Yeah," I said. "Okay."
"Harry…" she said. "I'm not…I never wanted to…" She cut the words off with an impatient sigh. I heard a voice over the loudspeaker in the background, saying something in Spanish. "We'll have time for that later. The plane is boarding. I've got to go. About twelve hours."
"Okay," I said. "I'll…I'll be here."
She hesitated, as if about to say something else, but then she hung up.
I sat there with the phone against my ear. After a while, it started making that double-speed busy-signal noise.
She said our daughter.
I hung the phone up. Or tried. I missed the base. The receiver clattered to the floor.
Mouse, my big, shaggy grey dog, rose up from his usual napping spot in the tiny kitchenette my basement apartment boasted, and came trotting over to sit down at my feet, staring up at me with dark, worried doggy eyes. After a moment, he made a little huffing sound, then carefully picked the receiver up in his jaws and settled it onto the base. Then he went back to staring worriedly at me.
"I…" I paused, trying to get my head around the concept. "I…I might have a child."
Mouse made an uncertain, high-pitched noise.
"Yeah. How do you think I feel?" I stared at the far wall. Then I stood up and reached for my coat. "I…think I need a drink," I said. I nodded, focusing on nothing. "Yeah. Something like this…yeah."
Mouse made a distressed noise and rose.
"Sure," I told him. "You can come. Hell, maybe you can drive me home or something."
I got honked at a lot on the way to McAnally's. I didn't care. I made it without crashing into anyone. That's the important thing, right? I pulled my battered, trusty old Volkswagen Bug over into the little parking lot next to Mac's place. I started inside.
Mouse made a whuffing sound.
I looked over my shoulder. I'd left the car door open. The big dog nosed it closed.
"Thanks," I said.
We went into the pub.
Mac's place looks like Cheers after a mild apocalypse. There are thirteen wooden pillars irregularly spaced around the room, holding up the roof. They're all carved with scenes of Old World fairy tales, some of them amusing, more of them sinister. There are thirteen ceiling fans spinning lazily throughout the place, and the irregularly shaped, polished wooden bar has thirteen stools. There are thirteen tables in the room, placed in no specific pattern.
"There're a lot of thirteens in here," I said to myself.
It was about two thirty in the afternoon. No one was in the pub except for me and the dog—oh, and Mac. Mac is a man of medium height and medium build, with thick, bony wrists and a shining smooth pate that never showed signs of growing in. He could be anywhere between thirty and fifty and, as always, he was wearing a spotless white apron.
Mouse stared intently at Mac for a moment. Then he abruptly sat down in the entryway at the top of the little stairs, turned around once, and settled down by the door, his chin on his paws.
Mac glanced toward us. "Harry."
I shambled over to the bar.
Mac produced a bottle of one of his microbrews, but I shook my head. "Um. I'd say, 'Whiskey, Mac,' but I don't know if you have any whiskey. I need something strong, I think."
Mac raised his eyebrows and blinked at me.
You've got to know the guy. He was practically screaming.
But he poured me a drink of something light gold in a little glass, and I drank it. It burned. I wheezed a little, and then tapped a finger next to the glass.
Mac refilled it, frowning at me.
I drank the second glass more slowly. It still hurt going down. The pain gave me something to focus on. Thoughts started to coagulate around it, and then to crystallize into definite shape.
Susan had called me. She was on the way.
And we had a child.
And she had never told me.
Susan had been a reporter for a yellow rag that covered supernatural news. Most of the people who worked there thought they were publishing fiction, but Susan had clued in to the supernatural world on her own, and we'd crossed trails and verbal swords several times before we'd gotten together. We hadn't been together a terribly long time—a little less than two years. We were both young and we made each other happy.
Maybe I should have known better. If you don't stand on the sidelines and ignore the world around you, sooner or later you make enemies. One of mine, a vampire named Bianca, had abducted Susan and infected her with the blood thirst of the Red Court. Susan hadn't gone all the way over—but if she ever lost control of herself, ever took another's lifeblood, she would.
She left me, afraid that if she didn't, I'd be the kill that turned her into a monster, and set out into the world to find some way to cope.
I told myself that she had good reason to do so, but reason and heartbreak don't speak the same language. I'd never really forgiven myself for what had happened to her. I guess reason and guilt don't speak the same language, either.
It was probably a damned good thing I had gone into shock, because I could feel emotions that were stirring somewhere deep inside me, gathering power like a storm far out to sea. I couldn't see them. I could only feel their effects, but it was enough to know that whatever was rising inside me was potent. Violent. Dangerous. Mindless rage got people killed every day. But for me, it might be worse.
I'm a professional wizard.
I can make a lot more things happen than most people.
Magic and emotions are tied up inextricably. I've been in battle before, and felt the terror and rage of that kind of place, where it's a fight just to think clearly through the simplest problems. I'd used my magic in those kinds of volatile circumstances—and a few times, I'd seen it run wild as a result. When most people lose control of their anger, someone gets hurt. Maybe someone even gets killed. When it happens to a wizard, insurance companies go broke and there's reconstruction afterward.
What was stirring in me now made those previous feelings of battle rage seem like anemic kittens.
"I've got to talk to someone," I heard myself say quietly. "Someone with some objectivity, perspective. I've got to get my head straight before things go to hell."
Mac leaned on the bar and looked at me.
I cradled the glass in my hand and said quietly, "You remember Susan Rodriguez?"
"She says that someone took our daughter. She says she'll be here late tonight."
Mac inhaled and exhaled slowly. Then he picked up the bottle and poured himself a shot. He sipped at it.
"I loved her," I said. "Maybe love her still. And she didn't tell me."
"She could be lying."
"I've been used before. And I'm a sucker for a girl."
"Yes," he said.
I gave him an even look. He smiled slightly.
"She'd be…six? Seven?" I shook my head. "I can't even do the math right now."
Mac pursed his lips. "Hard thing."
I finished the second glass. Some of the sharper edges had gotten softer. Mac touched a finger to the bottle, watching me. I shook my head.
"She could be lying to me," I said quietly. "If she's not…then…"
Mac closed his eyes briefly and nodded.
"Then there's this little girl in trouble," I said. I felt my jaw clench, and the storm inside me threatened to come boiling up. I pushed it down. "My little girl."
He nodded again.
"Don't know if I ever told you," I said. "I was an orphan."
Mac watched me silently.
"There were times when…when it was bad. When I wanted someone to come save me. I wished for it so hard. Dreaming of…of not being alone. And when someone finally did come, he turned out to be the biggest monster of all." I shook my head. "I won't let that happen to my child."
Mac folded his arms on the bar and looked at me intently and said, in a resonant baritone. "You've got to be very careful, Harry."
I looked at him, shocked. He'd…used grammar.
"Something like this will test you like nothing else," Mac said. "You're going to find out who you are, Harry. You're going to find out which principles you'll stand by to your death—and which lines you'll cross." He took my empty glass away and said, "You're heading into the badlands. It'll be easy to get lost."
I watched him in stunned silence as he finished his drink. He grimaced, as though it hurt his throat on the way down. Maybe he'd strained his voice, using it so much.
I stared down at my hands for a moment. Then I said, "Steak sandwich. And something for the pooch."
He grunted in the affirmative and started cooking. He took his time about it, divining my intentions with a bartender's instincts. I didn't feel like eating, but I had a little time to kill while the buzz faded.
He put my sandwich down in front of me. Then he took a bowl with some bones and some meat out to Mouse, along with a bowl of water. I ate my sandwich and idly noted that Mac never carried food out to anyone. Guess he was a dog person.
I ate my sandwich slowly and paid Mac.
"Thanks," I said.
He nodded. "Luck."
I got up and headed back for the car. Mouse followed beside me, his eyes lifted, watching me to see what I would do.
I marshaled my thoughts. I had to be careful. I had to be wary. I had to keep my eyes open. I had to keep the storm inside me from exploding, because the only thing I knew for certain was that someone—maybe Susan, maybe my enemies—was trying to manipulate me.
Either way, Mac was right.
I was heading into the badlands.
Meet the Author
A martial arts enthusiast whose resume includes a long list of skills rendered obsolete at least two hundred years ago, Jim Butcher turned to writing as a career because anything else probably would have driven him insane. He lives with his wife, his son and a ferocious guard dog.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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There has not been a bad Dresden Files book. Which says something because the author has to continually write better to top himself. With "Changes" Jim Butcher points to left field, calls his shot and swings away. Just a monster of a story. Incorporating fever paced emotion and solid suspense Butcher tells the story of Harry Dresden's most spectacular adventure yet. Personally I love the increased role that Mouse plays in this installment. A nice touch. Butcher brings back the core characters from this series and gives them front stage in a story that spans multiple countries and realms. I enjoyed watching as Dresden sees his life turned upside down and still keeps focused on the goal. The author may prefer writing pure sword and sorcery fantasy but this book again shows that he has a serious talent for writing this character. This series is in a league by itself. I hope we see more of Harry Dresden's adventures in the very near future.
To Chicago's only listed wizard Harry Dresden his affair with Susan Rodriguez feels like yesterday and eons ago. They were madly in love until she was assaulted by one of his adversaries Bianca coming after his Achilles' Heel. Susan fled Harry and the States for South America to keep as much of her humanity as possible while struggling with her new needs for blood and a thirst to destroy the Vampiric Red Court whose blood rage Bianca infected in her. However, Susan hid from Harry and the Red Court a tiny secret. Red Court Duchess Arianna Ortega learns that Susan gave birth to Harry's daughter Maggie. The evil vampiress realizes Maggie is an even better tool to destroy her group's greatest foe Dreden whom she holds responsible for her husband's death. She abducts Maggie planning on a ritual sacrifice with a death for a death. A distraught Susan turns to her former lover Harry informing him he has a preadolescent daughter and she has been kidnapped by the Red Court. Raging almost out of control, Harry ignores the White Council of Wizards who would prefer a half-breed to die for the so called better good mentality of maintaining the peace with the vampires who have wrecked South America. He is willing to go dark side to save his offspring's life. Jim Butcher is credible as this time Dresden is saving his child that he never knew existed. Fast-paced, but character driven throughout as the obsessed wizard seems almost over the edge, but long time fans will know his dark jocular asides prove he still is Harry; just with a personal mission. Changes is a great entry as Harry faces fatherhood if he can save his daughter's life from an equally raging vampiress. Harriet Klausner
The Kindle version of Changes was just canceled yesterday. It's the same thing that happened to Kim Harrison's latest book. I think the publishers believe they will make more money by forcing people who want the e-book to either buy the hardcover or wait. This is somewhat puzzling since the e-book has no printing, shipping, or stocking costs. I've decided the only way to combat this practice is to wait for the e-book release. I love the Dresden books and I'm disappointed by this decision. I doubt that Jim Butcher had any say-so, it's all on the publisher. Bad Penguin Group, bad. The rating is me just trying to be fair to the author.
This book makes me think of the movie The Empire Strikes Back. I was happy, sad, disappointed, and in awe of the things Dresden found out, choices he made, and what happened to him and the people he cared for. My favorite author for a hard-paced fast read, because they are that good.
Big, big fan of the Dresden novels in general. This book left me a little disappointed. Or, it might be that it just left me with a bad taste after the last page of the book. Had I not read that and just waited for the next book to come out I think my review would be better. Interesting happenings with Mouse that could have been further explored. Interesting happenings with Molly that need to be dealt with. Revelation about Harry's family. Thomas got really one dimensional. A lot of interesting reoccuring characters got left out. Relationship with Murphy got stagnant, sort of. A lot happened. I'm not one of those people who has to have a happy story book ending, but an author doesn't always have to deprive the main character of everything, it just gets depressing. Hopefully there will be some bounce back here now that Harry has at one point or another lost everything, including himself, except his friendships. Or perhaps those will be stripped away too... Do I bother reading another one?
Jim Butcher, long the master of magical suspense, turns up the heat on his hero Harry Dresden with the very first line: -I answered the phone, and Susan Rodriguez said, "They've taken our daughter."- The rest of the book asks: How much will Harry sacrifice to rescue this daughter he has never met? The answer is everything. The title CHANGES is a clue to the reader of what to expect. All the props and touchstones of Harry's life from the dingy basement apartment, the long leather coat, the battered VW Beetle--everything he has goes on the line and the sacrifices don't stop there. Butcher keeps upping the ante. The vampires holding the little girl are plotting an act of ritual magic so black that the threat embraces both Harry and his half-brother Thomas. The White Council is riven by treachery and dissent. Harry is a man with legendary cards up his sleeve but events force him now to put the whole deck on the table. He's always been at peace with laying down his life for a good cause but giving up his integrity? This is read-until-three-in-the-morning plotting. And it is not until the very last page that Butcher reveals just what a devil's bargain Harry has struck. This is a no spoiler review so I can't say much. I hate how this book ends, but hope this isn't the last word on the subject. The main fault with this book is that it is not self contained. It can't be. Fans of the series will rejoice in the appearance of many of the regulars and one needs to be a fan to catch all the references. But die-hard fans are unlikely to to be content with where Butcher leaves us. This isn't so much a cliff-hanger as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle pushing Sherlock Holmes over the cliff...enough said.
I've only read the first four chapters so far, which were released as a preview, but those four chapters promise a book every bit as good as the very best Dresden Files novels. Harry is poised to make a big step forward as a character, and the emotions behind it seem realistic and unforced. The action is already rolling and unlikely to slow down. All in all, it looks a like a must-read for fans of any kind of hard-boiled detective story or urban fantasy series. A stand out in it's genre, Changes looks to drive the series forward and keep it going for many more novels.
The twelfth book in a series, many authors begin to paint themselves into a corner. They play out the character and abuse their allies to the point that each new book has a hard time being fresh. Butcher had done a remarkable job of introducing entirely new storylines, characters and plots that he could have just been dialing in the last few books (and the next couple), but with Changes we finally have some absolute, irreversible (as irreversible as anything in a world where magic exists) CHANGES that may upset a number of long-time fans, but the story is still everything you could want from Harry. In fact, I would argue that this story is the culmination of lot of the texts before it. When we began this journey with Harry, he was still a bit of a young pup. He had few allies in the world and few real friends to call on. Over the course of the past 11 books, he's built a group of friends up, culling favors and trophies and an assortment of marks to call. Well, he calls them all in. And when he does, Butcher delivers a final battle that rivals most in this type of literature. The remarkable thing with "Changes" also is that Butcher has wiped the slate clean a bit. He given himself a decent reason to bring Harry down to the absolute minimum and start an entirely different story arc -- and where he will go with these stories next, I cannot wait to see. "Ghost Stories" (Book 13) is too far away!
Jim Butcher has, book after book, enthralled his readers. This is another great installment of Harry Dresden. I must say this is the first time in the series that Butcher has left you hanging at the end of the book. I am longingly looking forward to reading the next book.
A great read. More of what you love of the series with hints of even more delicious story to come. If you have ever been to the actual site which serves as the locale for the last few chapters, it makes it all the better.
I started reading the Dresden Files after reading "It's My Birthday, Too" last year. I love Harry's character! The plots are well-concieved, organized, and cohesive throughout the series. Butcher does an excellent job of maintaining the reality he established in the first book and remaining consistent to previous established characters and mythology. Harry is well-written, snarky, witty, and the consumate tragic hero. He understands and challenges his own flaws throughout the whole series. Harry constantly fights his inner demons to be the champion he feels he should be. To quote Peter Parker, "With great power comes great responsibility," and Harry knows this and lives this. "Changes" picks up the series with the remarkable opening of "I answered the phone, and Susan Rodriguez said, 'They've taken our daughter'." From that moment forth, the drama is intense. Plot points are continued and expounded upon from "Death Masks". Harry's struggle protecting his small family, "his blood" and the darkness it brings out in him is the centerpoint of the plot. If you are familiar to the series, you know that Harry struggles with his abandonment issues of growing up an orphan. This is compounded by his love for Susan. Answers to previous presented plot twists and questions are revealed, as well as a big bang of a question caps off the book. I highly recommend this book to any and all of the Dresden Files fan base. To anyone who has not yet indulged in the world of Harry Dresden, the only professional wizard in the Chicago phonebook, I recommend starting today with Storm Front. You won't regret reading Harry's witty repartee and seeing the world through his eyes.
I began reading the Dresden series right after JK Rowling published her seventh and last book in the Harry Potter series. I was looking for something to replace it. Jim Butcher's Dresden series fit the bill. His latest book was fast-paced, riveting to the point I finished it in one sitting. And then read it again a second time. I love Butcher's treatment of the subject of magic, of where it comes from, what it does. It's part of what makes his books seem so real and yet fantastical. The ending of "Changes" worries me a bit. I hope he isn't tiring of writing this series because I and my grandson are not tired of reading it. If you like "Changes," I suggest reading the entire series, starting with Book One -- AND renting or buying the one-season television series by the ScyFY (sp?) channel that was based on the book. I'm a journalist, so I realize this is more of a recommendation than a book review, but it's all I have time for. If you liked Harry Potter, you will like the Dresden series. Isn't it worth a try? After all, "Changes" in number 12 in the series. Think of all that great reading you have ahead of you!
I have not reviewed any of the other books in this series but I have loved every one of them. I started reading them at the suggestion of a co-worker who had the first four books in the series. I was instantly hooked by the characters and the amazing world that Jim Butcher has created. I enjoy revisiting characters from previous books and love the way they move in and out of Dresden's life. This book is no different, but Mr. Butcher has moved beyond regular series authorship into a whole new level. This installment is bold and gritty. The title seemed, at first, to be a bit of a snoozer, but it didn't take long for me to get the irony of it. When Jim Butcher decides to clean house he does it with a vengence. As always the dialogue is witty and interesting. As always the characters are fully developed and real feeling. And again - as always - I found myself upset that the book was over. One more thing: as a veteran reader of The Dresden Files series of books I have to say that I am impressed that the author has grown with his writing experience. Storm Front was a great read, but if you compare the writing of that book to this one you can see the maturity of the writer. Ok - one final thing, I promise: I hate fight scenes! With a passion!! Except for anything Jim Butcher writes. I can't explain it, but he does it so well and I find myself picturing exactly what's going on in my head as something more than fighting - it's a magical dance and is so interesting that I love the fight scenes every bit as much as I love the quick humor of the book. Very well done Mr. Butcher! I can't wait for the next one!!
The books brings several long time elements together to be a turing point in Dresden's life. His personal past, Winter Queen, Red Vamps, Molly and more are all there complicating his life as usual. Most of the twists are predictable given the characters. Final part of the end is disappointing because it feels like a cop out. No this this not a happy ending story - nor could it be. But a 1940 matinee cliffhanger is just not appropriate. The ironic twist would have just stopped a page earlier with him waiting for Murphy. One of the best endings of an erieir books was meeting with the Were's and playing DnD and stating he just wanted to play a dumb barbarian fighter...that I could emphaise with. This resolves some majr issues and refines the relationship with Mcoy, but I am unsatified. More or less just would have been better.
Fans of The Dresden Files have a new adventure in their hands. April 6th was the release for book 12 of the series chronicling the supernatural exploits of wizard and private detective, Harry Dresden. Dresden is the worlds only publicly practicing Wizard. Don't believe it? It says it right there on his business card. But while earlier books were more centered on cases brought to him as a private investigator, Changes is entirely focused on Harry's personal life. The Dresden Files has been one wild adventure after another. Vampires, trolls, werewolves, wizards, fairies, and all manner of mystical beings congregate around modern day Chicago. And where supernatural forces frolic, supernatural bedlam often ensues. And over the years Dresden has made powerful friends and even more powerful enemies. This time around Harry's personal life catches up with him. And in the course of the tale, author Jim Butcher does an amazing job of pulling in characters from novels past and linking them all into a potent and action packed crusade that will change the future of the Dresden character forever. Every previous book literally brought Dresden to the events detailed in this book and the consequences of this edition threaten to have far-reaching ramifications. It's hard to review the story without giving away twists or turns critical along the way. It's impossible to mention the peripheral characters that come into play without giving away information that is key to the resolution of the story. I consider this a mark of the true craftsmanship that Jim Butcher employs when telling his tales. The characters are compelling and long lasting as they are developed further from one book to the next. Later books directly reference the outcome of events that were important in earlier books and surprisingly consequential in continuing storylines. Without giving anything away, its safe to say that book 12 is an amazing work of fiction that was nearly impossible to put down. The mythology of Dresden's world is compelling. The writing throughout the series is consistent and has all led up to what happens in this book. Changes proved to be a great addition to the series and, much more than past release, really leaves the reader anxious for book 13. And there is good news on that front as Side Job, book 13, is scheduled for release in November of 2010. Its unusual for Butcher to release two Dresden books in the same year. But with the recent conclusion of his Codex Alera series it seems he has dedicated his creativity fully on Harry Dresden. As an aside, those not familiar with the Codex Alera works, the 6 novels comprise a mind-blowing work of fiction in their own right. The Dresden Files is a series of stories told from the first person perspective of Harry Dresden himself. Due to the craftsmanship of Butcher's work, it's crucial to read the books chronologically in order to truly appreciate the development of the character and his history. Each book builds on the characters and events that came before it. And the history of the series makes for an interesting and exciting journey. I have never regretted starting Storm Front, book one, less than two years ago and I anxiously anticipate the release of Side Jobs, book 13 in November.
This book is as good as his last 11 were. I care about harry Dresden, and what happens to him. The character of mouse is funny, and so true of dogs. His cop friend is lovable in her own right. Jim can diffently write funny. I laughed out loud, when reading Changes, which I dont normaly do. I could not put the book down, it was so good. It is like the X files meets the fantacy novels. It is amazing to me how much dresden gets hurt, in this book, and still comes back for more. He is deffintly a super hero. The end is a suprise ending, that makes you wonder what is going to happen in his next book. The only crequ I would give Jim Butcher is his rudentness in the book, that he says in all the other books. Im looking forward to reading the next Dresden files book. I am sure it will be just as great as his twelve other ones have been.
Absolutely the best in the series. If you like fantasy at all the series is wonderful, but this one in particular is the best of all of them. It made me laugh out loud as well as cry. I pumped my fists in the air in triumph and it left me wanting more.
While watching the sadly short lived series on SciFi, I checked out the books and got totally hooked! Every time a new book is coming out i read the books over again, that's how much I love this series. This series is wonderful. They are so well written, the characters and plots original and give me everything I want in a book - I laugh, cry, am excited, can't wait to read the next page and think about the books before during and after reading them. This book was no exception. All I can say is please Jim Butcher hurry with the next Dresden book!
I have to admit, this is the first book I've ever had listed on my calendar of things to remember. I wanted to make sure that I got it as soon as possible and shelled out the $20 bucks GLADLY! As a professional penny-pincher, this is telling. I COULD NOT wait for the paperback, library, etc. I caught myself reading the book in the parking lot when I just wanted to see the first page, really! I LOVED THIS BOOK. I ended up reading it until I finished at 4am. I wanted NOT to read it through. I wanted to SAVOR it over 2 days at least, but my fingers just kept turning the pages with a will of their own. And just as it was wrapping up and I was thinking that Harry was going to be OK afterall, I turn the last page and just LOST MY BREATH! Shock! JIM!!! What the? I remember in a blog, you said you had to deliver the goods at the end and make the reader happy if you wanted to be a successful author. JIM!! You FREAKED me out! I was up until at least 5am with my thoughts swirling, wondering what the heck you were thinking of now? Where was this going and WHEN IS THE NEXT BOOK???!?!?!?! I already DYING here! How long are you going to make us wait? This book really is about changes and Jim pulled together a LOT of strings together for a better glimpse of the big picture that I KNOW is out there. It was wonderful! I laughed out loud, I cried and had a great time rooting on Harry and his friends (and enemies!). THANKS JIM! (If you need to read more Jim Butcher, I recommend his Alera series. As I absolutely love the Dresden series, I admit, I was afraid to try the Alera series, but after about 20 pages, I was able to adjust to this whole new world and enjoyed it immensely! What a ride!)
Few authors take such delight in what they put their charactor and their fans thru like Jim Butcher. If your new to the series you need to pickup the other books...... Not because you have to to follow along (JB gives enough detail to catch you up), but because you will want to learn in full detail the events leading up to the cliffhanger ending of this book. If knowing something and giving vague answers is like heroin for a wizard, then The Dresden Files is the literary equivalent.
One of the best reads of the series. Can't wait for the next book.