I read the first in Jim Butcher’s new series and kinda liked it, so I figured I’d check out his other stuff. I read the first Dresden novel, and though it was only ok. Then I saw that multiple people were saying that the Dresden series only gets good after about book 4. My local library does not have the entire series thus far, and the branch near me does not have all of the book in the order I might want them (chronologically). So I’ve been reading them a bit out of order. This seems to work out ok, although there’s the occasional “what/when/how did that happen” moment.
One thing I am noticing is that the series really does start to get some continuity and character development after about book 4. The other thing I am starting to notice is that there is with the Dresden a general pattern, which is not unusual for a series, but I’m really starting to wonder how long it can be sustained, since that 50-100 pages are almost always a final confrontation in which Dresden has to do something really risky for himself and/or someone important to him, that saves the day, but will probably result in serious problems down the road. My big question is, how much longer will it be until Dresden either somehow overcomes all his problems (even just for the space between novels) or totally destroys himself?
So this brings me to White Night (book 9 in the series). The out of order ‘huh?’ factor kicked in when I noticed Dresden is now a Warden. I’m also not sure when or how he picks up Molly as Apprentice. One thing that gets to me a little in terms of the narrative is the time skips between novels; apparently it’s been 2 years since the Warden thing happened, and 2 books I haven’t gotten to. 1 year per novel is fine, but the events of one novel don’t seem to take more than a few days, so where’d the rest of the time go? Anyways, watching Harry as a mentor, as a nominal good guy policeman (as opposed to grey-area investigator), and friend (to Ramirez) shows some angles of his character that seem newer to me, and that make him a little more interesting than your standard noir detective or brooding magician type.
I also find it interesting how Harry interacts with Lash. I knew he’d taken (and buried) the coin with the evil spirit, but I hadn’t seen them communicate before. The way the two of them draw each other out is also interesting on the character angle, but also seems a little deus ex machina in terms of plot. The plot overall brings back the White Court vampires, and it seemed a little redundant as Harry had previously tangled with them, with fairly similar results. I have to admit though, the bit with Thomas at the very end of the novel was probably my favorite part of the book. It was almost light-hearted, which I suspect will be immediately ruined upon commencement of the following story. But for now, there’ a little bit of the Whovian “Everybody lives!” (except some bad guys).
Even though I’m positive everything will be going to Hell (maybe even literally) in the not too distant future, I’m still enjoying things, so may the pattern continue for at least a while longer.