I am going to be an ass and assume that you are diehard fan of the series and just want an amuse- bouche about what is going to happen. Well, if you are, in fact, diehard fans then you already know how Jim Butcher loves using his titles as a kind of foreshadowing. So lets change the title into: OUCH!!!
Yeah, this one was full of shock and pain, beginning with the first sentence of the story: I answered the phone, and Susan Rodriguez said, Theyve taken our daughter. The Red Vampire Court kidnapped the daughter Harry never ever knew about!!! Talk about killing two birds with one stone: the Red Court gets to emotionally hurt Harry and Susan with one blow. So, naturally, Harry brings out the big guns and calls in anyone and everyone that might help and/or owe Harry a favor.
As usual with the bad guys in the supernatural community, they didnt limit their assault by the boundaries of the supernatural world civilians, the police, and even the FBI gets involved. (On the other hand, it isnt as if Harry wasnt going to tell Murphy what was going on or not ask for her help either but she sure as hell wasnt going to call in for backup or risk innocent civilians.)
Nevertheless, to gather information on the Red Court, Harry and Susan race around Chicago. To avoid the mortal authorities there are several trips to the Nevernever. There is also another trip to Edinburgh. Harry also calls in favors, summons things into his summoning circle, creates a summoning circle in his mind and finally settles with the Winter Court.
Not to give away too much of what happens, but the last 20 or 30 pages were really shocking, so this installment will be the first to get five stars for that alone! Additionally, I absolutely loved how Jim Butchers pop of pop culture helped lighten the mood. One such example is his reference to the movie Princess Bride. The image of Wesley, Inigo and the Giant atop a castle walkway with Wesley saying, why didnt you list that among our assets (paraphrased) really did pop into my head! It was nice how it actually fit the conversation Harry was having too.
Another one is the debate on who got to be Legolas from J.R.R. Tolkeins Lord of the Rings during this particular quest. (My two cents: Thomas wins! Sorry Sanya.) However, the conversation didnt end there. Harry asked who he was cast as and Sanya answered: Sam Why: It was no contest. They gave Gandalf to [Lea]. You got Sam Sam was the true hero of the tale, he faced far greater and more terrible foes than he ever should have had to face, and did so with courage. That he went alone into black and terrible land, stormed a dark fortress, and resisted the most terrible temptation of his world for the sake of the friend he loved. That in the end, it was his actions and his actions alone that made it possible for light to overcome darkness. (335)
In reference to Sam, what Sanya said is true, but what made you really think is what followed. Harrys mind went to Smeagol and/or Gollum. Peter Jacksons presentation in the movie took a humorous turn, but those that read the book know how Smeagol and/or Gollum fought with himself to the point that it was sad!
Therefore, five stars for the emotional roller-coaster, a.k.a: Ouch. Five stars for all the surprises, which shocked me. Five stars for the laughs and the opportunity to think upon hidden thoughts in another book. Five stars for all the action. Five stars for the ending where you say, OMG! I need the next book now!
As always, Jim Butcher writes a stellar novel!
This one is missing its dust jacket but is otherwise in good shape.
Wow! What a book! In this book, whatever can go wrong does. Definitely make sure you read the other books leading up to this one, as there is a lot of background info that will put the events of this book into context. There were times that I had to take breaks from this book (as much as I didn't want to) because things go non-stop in this book. There will be a lot of things thrown at you at this book, but it is still reasonable to follow.
I've really been enjoying the Dresden Files series and highly recommending it for anyone that wants a modern fantasy that increases in intesity with each book.