Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Dresden Readthrough: Blood Rites

We continue our readthrough of Jim Butcher's uber-popular urban fantasy series The Dresden Files today with book six, Blood Rites. The continuing plan is to do a book a month on the first Tuesday of each month, and with 15 books on the publication schedule between now and when our readthrough is over, and perhaps our timing being good enough for the 16th, our reading list should be pretty full for the foreseeable future.

Of the six books I've read so far in this series, Blood Rites was probably the first step backward for me in terms of quality and enjoyment since I've started.

The situation in this book involves death curses and vampire pornographers. It's a weird setting that doesn't really make a ton of sense in the overall canon to me, and means that we have a bit of a hiccupping start to the book, where Dresden is integrating himself undercover at the porn studio. We eventually get into the meat of the story, which has a lot more in the way of actiony bits to go along with the rest of the story.

I am damning this with praise because it was still very good, but there were simply too many deliberate choices in order to keep it from being great. I don't get why the setting was important here, I don't really love the choices made in regards to Murphy, I think there's 100 pages here that could have been boiled down entirely. It's not to say that the continuing issues between the different vampire courts is not a solid story to continue or that interesting things didn't happen to the always-in-danger Harry, but that Butcher, up to this point, has really set the bar high.

When you've written 15-16 books in a specific universe, we can't expect all of them to be wonderful, five star affairs. This isn't dampening my interest in the series at all (in fact, I probably read this one faster than the others). Overall, the story just felt like a bit of a stumble.

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