Harry Dresden is the only wizard in the Chicago phone book. He consults from the police department on those so-called “unusual” cases. He’s even been on talk shows. So there’s no love lost between Harry and the White Council of Wizards, who find him a little brash and undisciplined. But now war with the vampires has thinned the ranks of wizards, and the White Council needs Harry, like it or not. He’s drafted as a Warden, and assigned to look into rumors of black magic in the Windy City.
And if that wasn’t enough, another problem arrives in the form of the tattooed and pierced daughter of an old friend, all grown-up and already in trouble. Her boyfriend was the only one in a room where an old man was attacked, but in spite of this, he insists he didn’t do it. What looks like a supernatural assault straight out of a horror film turns out to be…well, something quite close to that, as Harry discovers that malevolent entities that feed on fear are loose in Chicago. All in a day’s work for a wizard, his faithful dog, and a talking skull named Bob…
The Dresden story continues in this, the 8th book in the series. It is pretty much another fix for the Dresden addicts. Harry continues as usual which means that he puts his foot in a whole heap of trouble. Well he did have quite a bit of help in aiming that foot of his that has to be said. There seems to be a number of constant factors when Harry embarks on pretty much anything and they can fairly well be summed up by “shit happens”.
Of course Harry finds himself in a lot deeper water than he expected and as usual some unexpected help arrives when his day is about to go from bad to worse. Actually, his day had already passed to the worse stage and was going downhill from there. What begun as a simple (hey everything is relative you know) investigation into a supernatural phenomenon at a geek convention, you know the usual stuff with some violent supernatural everyday mayhem, quickly turned into a rescue operation deep into bad guy land involving the wife and daughter of Harry’s best friend, who also happens to be a holy knight with a big bad guy chopping sword. Complicated? Well actually, as Harry is about to find out eventually, it is actually more complicated than that. Harry is being played and not just him.
The red thread of the White Council and their war with the vampires continues through this book as well and as usual they, or at least one member of the council, are the same assholes as always which in this case will have severe consequences for Harry’s friends. I am happy to note that Harry is not a pushover this time though.
Of course the book is laced with the usual cheeky dialogue and personal observations that we have come to be used to from this book series. At one point in time I have to say that it did feel a bit “more of the same” and I wondered if I was actually getting a bit tired of these books but that feeling quickly passed. After the first couple of books where Harry grew himself some balls these books are really good reading. The writing is good, I like the characters and there is not too much nonsense getting in the way and distracting from the actual investigations and the action.
I will not go as far as a full set of stars but it is definitely a read worthy and above average book.