Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Blood Rites Review

Title: Blood Rites
Author: Jim Butcher
Series: Dresden Files #6
Genre: Detective, Private Investigator, Urban Fantasy, Wizards, Vampires


Blood Rites is the sixth installment of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series. As the title suggests, this book focuses around vampires.

In Harry Dresden's world there are three types of vampires: The Red Court vampire who look like humans to conceal their inhuman nature and are highly organised. White Court vampires are those who drain the lifeforce of their victims through sex rather than the traditional way of draining the blood. And finally the Black Court vampires who are the classic type of vampires written about by Bram Stroker. They are walking corpses with all the strengths and weaknesses of traditional vampires.

Although the plot of this story does not really affect the overall arc of the series but there several key points that do:

-When Harry rescued the Tibetan puppies from the demon monkeys as one of his jobs, One puppy hid inside his VW Beatle and was later adapted by Harry.

-The revelation that Thomas Raith is actually Harry's half-brother from his mother side.

Overall the story is action packed and as always, Harry Dresden overcomes any adversity with his signature snide remarks and sarcasm that we always love.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Death Mask Review

Title: Death Mask
Author: Jim Butcher
Series: Dresden Files #5
Genre: Detective, Private Investigator, Urban Fantasy, Wizards, Demons, Angels, Vampires


Death Mask is the 5th novel by Jim Buctcher and I consider this as one of the favorites as the book has a lot of revelations to the protagonist and it would really affect the progress of the series

The book begins with an ultra-powerful Red Court vampire challenging Harry Dresden to a duel. Harry knows that fighting this guy is a bad idea, but not agreeing to the duel may be even more dangerous.

Now that Harry has agreed to a duel he most likely won't win, he finds himself embroiled in a case involving the missing Shroud of Turin, the Vatican, horrific murders, a plague that makes the Bubonic Plague look like chicken pox, and powerful fallen angels.

Only smart-ass Harry Dresden can waltz through situations like these and he doesn't come out unscathed. he doesn't make it look easy. In typical Butcher style, he never loses his sense of humor, not even in the final shootout; but he also never loses sight of the gravity of his situation.

While most of The Dresden Files books work well as stand-alones, Death Mask is one of those who would like to hold off until you have finished reading Grave Peril. because of  the ongoing war between the vampires and the White council of wizards, Harry's bittersweet relationship with Susan, and the beginning of the temptation of Harry by Lasciel one of the Blackened Denarians.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Summer Knight Review

Title: Summer Knight
Author: Jim Butcher
Series: Dresden Files #4
Genre: Detective, Private Investigator, Urban Fantasy, Wizards, Faeries, Werewolves

In the previous book "Grave Peril", Harry Dresden's heroics had ruined a relationship, made enemies of just about every Red court vampire in the world, and put the White Council as a whole at considerable risk. It is no surprise to find "Summer Knight" begin with Harry succumbing to deep and severe depression, hiding in his basement laboratory desperately seeking a cure for Susan's vampiric curse, while his life gradually crumbles around him. Nothing is worse than a guilt-ridden wizard who has given up on housecleaning.

Harry's life being what it is, in no time at all things get very much worse. First, a old lady turns into a ghoul and nearly eats him, then Queen Mab of the Winter Court informs him the now owes her the dept since the Leanansidhe sold to her rights to that debt, and then the senoir members of the White Council of the wizards comes to Chicago to have a meeting with their most wayward member. The only way Harry can avoid getting himself in trouble again was to agree with Queen Mab to help find out who killed the Summer Knight before Faerie Armageddon breaks out all over.

Other than some assistance from a troop of pizza-loving pixies lead by Toot, and a den of teenage werewolves, Harry is on his own in this one. Whatever the reason for the murder was, no one wants Harry to find it. Out of the six queens who rule Faerie, one has hired him and the other five just might eliminate him on sight. Yet he must talk to all of them, as well as their supporters. Sometimes it seems that the Red Court vampires would have been a better choice.

Harry has this compulsion to be a hero and this at most gets him in much trouble. Unlike in "Grave Peril", however, the crises of this one seem to make Harry begin to pull himself back together. He develops enough acumen to keep him from always playing the role of victim, and this makes "Summer Knight" a very likeable effort.

Hard-boiled, tongue-in-cheek, wizard/private investigators are a rare commodity, and need to be nurtured. The dash of grittiness that Butcher used is just what is needed to keep the fantasy from becoming overblown. As always, the balance of action, drama and humor couple with James Marster's vocal talents in the narration of audiobook version has always been a my favorite element of this series.
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