Books Urban Fantasy

Changes – Great book but really too tragic for my taste.

Changes (The Dresden Files #12) by Jim Butcher
My rating: 8 out of 10 stars

ChangesLong 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.

This book was another full set of stars book up until the end. I really do not like tragic endings and since I am not really a professional reviewer I am afraid that these things influences my ratings. Unfortunately the ending of this book is quite tragic as far as I am concerned. I have to admit that I have cheated and already read the book blurb of the next book in the series. Had I not, well then I would probably have been even more distressed by the (cliff-hanger) ending of this book.

Now all of this is of course very much a personal preference so I feel the need to, again, point out that this is a very good urban fantasy book and if you do not have the same aversion against tragic stories as this simpleton has, and likes urban fantasy, then you are probably going to enjoy this book a lot.

It is quite a bit of a roller coaster ride. It starts off in a similar fashion as the old book by kick starting the plot big time in the first few pages. From there on the pace is kept fairly frantic. Not insanely stupidly frantic though. There is enough of a coherent story, slow (or rather not so fast) moments and investigative work to keep the story balanced and entertaining.

There are a lot of interesting moments. Personally I like Harry’s encounter (no it is not another clobber time encounter) with “Vadderung” who is probably one of the most well made modern depiction of an old mythical character (no I am not going to write who it really is) that I have read in a long time. The book also manages a good mix of seriousness and less serious parts. Taken alone the pizza eating “little people” in the book would be outrageously ludicrous but the way they are woven into the story makes them an entertaining addition and not a burden.

There is a lot of action as well of course. Some of it having a bearing on the story, or rather quest, itself and some if, for instance the encounter with a certain Erlking, being more of a coincidence and diversion.

Then we come to the ending. There are some action in there of course. Then some more action. Then Mr. Butcher adds yet some more action. And so on. I would say that the ending is pretty epic. Everyone plays are role. I quite liked Murphy’s role. Again, it is not just mindless action. The events and the revelations really make for a good story and consequently for a really good read. Needless to say there are some sacrifices (literally) and this is where I became somewhat unhappy. As I said before, that is just me and my personal preferences of course.

The title of the book, Changes, is quite suitable. There are plenty of changes. Especially in the last third of the book. I am indeed quite looking forward to see where the story arc goes with some of them. Some of them are, unfortunately, rather irrevocable and I am less pleased with those but I guess that I repeating myself here. Then, so is the author. I have to say that a few of the explanations of various things were repeated a bit too obviously.

Nevertheless this is indeed a good book and there is no doubt that I am going to eagerly read the next one in the series.

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