HARRY DRESDEN — WIZARD
Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment.
For Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard, there have been worse assignments than going undercover on the set of an adult film. Dodging flaming monkey-poo for instance. Or going toe-to-leaf with a walking plant monster. Still, there’s something more troubling than usual about his newest case. The film’s producer believes he’s the target of a sinister entropy curse-but it’s the women around him who are dying, in increasingly spectacular ways.
Harry’s even more frustrated because he only got involved with this bizarre mystery as a favor to Thomas, his flirtatious, self-absorbed vampire acquaintance of dubious integrity. Thomas has a personal stake in the case Harry can’t quite figure out, until his investigation leads him straight to Thomas’s oversexed vampire family. Harry is about to discover that Thomas’s family tree has been hiding a shocking secret: a revelation that will change Harry’s life forever.
To me this was the best book in the series so far. Harry Dresden have matured quite a bit from the first books where he frequently came across as a wimp. In this book he has almost become “Dirty Harry” Dresden. He can still be a bit thick at times but it is no longer a question of whether or not to kick the bad elements’ behinds but rather when and how much. In this book he even goes as far as to plan to whack said bad elements in a somewhat preemptive strike. Okay Harry still gets sucker punched every so often but at least he has the initiative from time to time in this book.
Harry’s newly grown balls colors his character in more ways than his desire to eliminate threats by shooting first and I found the dialogue and Harry’s sometimes rather sharp tongue to be quite enjoyable to read. Some people complain about Harry overdoing his protectiveness towards women. Some even call it irritating and chauvinistic. I disagree completely. Actually such comments saddens me. As Harry said “feel free to call me a Neanderthal” but personally I am quite happy that the lead character exhibits some good old-fashioned moral values.
The book more or less runs two story arcs in parallel. One is mentioned in the book blurb and the other one is an old aquaintance. Normally I am not too keen on trying to squeeze in parallel story arcs but it works fairly well in this book. Both are reasonably well done and I actually quite liked the second one. Both for being a straightforward go-in-and-kick-some-behinds story and for the big-mouthed not quite human mercenary that it introduced.
One thing that I did not like was Harry’s silly behavior towards his friend and mentor after a number of truths about Harry had been revealed. The way Harry acted was not just thick, it was stupid and quite frustrating.
The book concludes both story arcs without too many loose ends although the revelations about Harry will of course stay with us for a while. On the whole I quite liked this book. As I wrote, the best book in the series so far as far as I am concerned.