Tuesday, November 4, 2014
The Dresden Readthrough: Cold Days
We continue our readthrough of Jim Butcher's uber-popular urban fantasy series The Dresden Files today with book fourteen, Cold Days. The continuing plan has been to do a book a month on the first Tuesday of each month, and with the final released book scheduled for us for next month, we're at least set through the end of 2014.
As for Cold Days, it may have already supplanted the previous book as my new favorite in the series, even with its questionable ending.
Cold Days takes place not long after the resurrection of Dresden by Mab, who has been a thorn in Harry's side since the beginning. Harry's the Winter Knight now, and along with that responsibility comes a bit of a reputation to go with it, combined with questionable alliances and difficult magic. Harry's been tasked for one specific job, and if we've learned much from the last few books, it doesn't really go smoothly.
I continued to love the direction this opted to take, a slightly darker affair where things are muddled yet not totally unclear, either. I like that Harry is a complicated hero even moreso now - there's still the desire to do the right thing even as he knows/believes/feels he's done the wrong, and yet it still stands with his interactions with Bob and Toot and Molly and Karrin. A specific scene with Molly really stuck out at me as a strong one of the right/wrong dichotomy, and, if it weren't for the very end, the scene where Harry meets up with Thomas for the first time since returning may have been one of the most powerful in the series so far.
I get the choices with the Summer/Winter Lady shifts, and I don't love it, to be completely honest. I want to withhold judgement a bit if only because I don't know where it's going to go, but it felt like a bit of a hail mary of sorts in terms of how to advance things further. Plus, that the shift was effectively the end of the story up to this point created a bit of a situation where the end was a whimper more than a bang. This is probably my choice over what was a good or bad idea.
That I'm just about caught up means we're getting to the point of long delays between books, but I'm looking forward to being able to read fan theories and such at this stage as well. This series just keeps getting better and better, though, so that's definitely worth something.