Author: Jim Butcher
Genre: Urban fantasy
Pages: Paperback 424
Published: May 2006
Publisher: Roc Fantasy
Opening Lines: "On the whole, we're a murderous race."
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"Paranormal investigations are Harry Dresden's business, and Chicago is his beat as he tries to bring law and order to a world of wizards and monsters that exist alongside everyday life. And though most inhabitants of the Windy City don't believe in magic, the Special Investigations department of the Chicago PD knows better.
"Karrin Murphy is the head of SI and Harry's good friend. So when a killer vampire threatens to destroy Murphy's reputation unless Harry does her bidding, he has no choice. The vampire wants the Word of Kemmler (whatever that is) and all the power that comes with it. Now Harry is in a race against time—and six merciless necromancers—to find the Word before Chicago experiences a Halloween night to wake the dead . . . "
~ Jacket Copy
Thoughts: I'm used to Butcher starting the Dresden books in the middle of some sort of action sequence. And, honestly, it has gotten very, very old. When this book started with Harry coming home to a beautiful jogger leaving his bedroom, I was pleasantly surprised. It seems that the addition of Thomas to Harry's life has changed things for the better!
Harry is finally settling into his new life with a family and a new dog. Things seem to be going okay when Murphy drops a bombshell that she is going to Hawaii with Kincaid! And if that isn't enough, Mavra now has incriminating photos of Murphy helping on the illegal raid put together by Harry and Kincaid. Unless he helps her find the Word of Kemmler, she will leak the pictures and destroy Murphy's career. However, unknown to Harry, this book is sought after by the biggest and baddest necromancers, the disciples of Kemmler.
This book deals a lot with temptation and identity. Throughout the book, the coin containing the fallen angel comes back to haunt him. The lovely Lasciel is now a mirror image of herself in Dresden's mind, and she wants to "help" him stop these necromancers. She offers knowledge and a way to boost his power base, which would allow him to take out Cowl. However, at what cost? Further, Thomas challenges Harry to finally admit and face his feelings regarding Murphy and the fact that he is alone.
Honestly, I felt this book did a lot toward Harry's character development. He still has a lot of character flaws, and I still find him to be rather stupid. However, it was nice to see him move forward a bit. That being said, I nearly cried when he is confronted by Lasciel and his subconscious mind. I fully understand wanting to save the people you love, but they wouldn't want us to sacrifice the core of who we are. Further, the pop culture references were awesome! I loved that Harry referred to Lasciel and the coin as the Ring and the fact that he quoted Aladdin.
I was happy that Butcher made Thomas more of a central character. Since he first appeared on the scene, I really liked him. Also, it will do Harry a lot of good to have Thomas in his life. Further, it was also nice to see Butters return. He was a pretty endearing character, and he had an awesome part to play in this book. And, not to ruin anything, Harry's ride from the Field Museum to the campus was pretty stellar!
Butcher also brought back a few characters briefly seen in other novels. He was able to flesh them out, and I hope he brings them back later in the series.
This book was really fun! At points, it was heart rending, but I also found myself laughing until my sides hurt. Even though I have a library book out, I am considering taking it back to the library and picking up the next Dresden book!
Current Pages: 12,537