Author: Jim Butcher
Genre: Urban fantasy
Pages: Hardback, 404
Opening Lines: "Many things are not as they seem: The worst things in life never are."
"Someone is targeting the city's magic practitioners, the members of the supernatural underclass who don't possesss enough power to become full-fledged wizards. Many have vanished. Other appear to be victims of suicide. But the murderer has left a calling card at one of the crime scenes—a message for Harry, referencing the book of Exodus and the killing of witches.
"Harry sets out to find the killer before he can strike again, but his investigation turns up evidence pointing to the one suspect he cannot possibly believe guilty: his half brother, Thomas. Determined to bring the real murderer to justice and clear his brother's name, Harry attracts the attention of the White Court of vampires, becoming embroiled in a power struggle that renders him outnumbered, outclassed, and dangerously susceptible to temptation.
"Harry knows that if he screws this one up, people will die—and one of them will be his brother . . ."
~ Jacket copy
Thoughts: Even though this book was engaging, I had a hard time getting traction to finish it. If my review is a little scattered, it is due to this long period spent reading this book and lots of sleepless nights.
If you've read Butcher's books so far, White Night is more of the same. Harry is called in to investigate a series of suicides that are not sitting well with Murphy. However, once he starts to dig into the deaths, he realizes that they are no mere suicides—they are elaborate murders made to look like suicides. At the scene he is able to investigate—and one of the bodies his apprentice is able to look at—Harry discovers that there is a secret message: "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." In typical Harry-style, he sets off to determine who is killing these weak magic practitioners, why it looks like Thomas is involved, and try to keep people safe.
There was little to no character development in Harry; however, I'm not sure how much further Butcher can go. Adding Molly into the series has given it a different element. Further, Harry has something more to focus his attention on. She is also starting to grow up, and she is struggling with whether this is a world she wants to be a part of.
Harry's constant complaining about his four years without getting laid is getting more than a little annoying. After it was made clear that he and Murphy would never be an item, he seems to spend more of his time whining about no physical contact. In addition, Elaine coming into town makes it worse. At some level, I found myself wanting him to just tumble into bed with her or Lara.
Since Thomas' falling out with the Raith family, it was obvious that they would come back into the picture. It was interesting to see the internal vampire politics and how they might be helping with the Black Council. That being said, the beginning and ending of the book felt rather disconnected. At some place between the killings, the Malvora, Vittorio, and all of that, something got lost in translation. In addition, I have to wonder whether Harry will get in trouble for throwing down with the vampires while in his Warden's cloak. Granted, Ramirez helped him, but I doubt it was sanctioned by the Council.
I'm still not sure how I feel about Lasciel/Lash issue. While I understand that she, the being in his head, is only a mirror image/fraction of the whole; however, everything surrounding what happened feels unbelievable. But we shall see in later books.
Butcher presents a couple of interesting concepts in this book and some things that will definitely come into play later. I'm curious to see how he plays with the peace with Lara, Marcone's new status, Mouse's continued abilities, and so on. However, even though the book was entertaining, I have to wonder how long Butcher can continue Harry's story.
Current Pages: 2821