As with almost every book in this series, I liked it better this time. I’ve said this before, but there are advantages to reading the hard copies of the books, as much as I love the audio versions with James Marsters. And one of those advantages is it just takes so much less time to read a physical book, and stuff that you’re not enjoying either goes faster or you can skip it outright. I remember when I read this book the first time it just felt a little too long, a little to dragged out. But this time it didn’t feel like that at all. I think I must have re-read it in about two days.
I also felt differently about Morgan this time around. The first time, I just couldn’t get over how much of a shithead that guy was. How he was accepting help from Harry, which risked everyone in Harry’s life, and he was STILL treating him (and Molly) with disdain. But the second time through, I could see that a lot of it was stubbornness, and he did see that. At the end, it’s pretty clear that he believes in Harry enough to sacrifice his life to save him, and enough not to tell the Council about Molly relapsing a teensy bit into warlockian behavior.
Plus, Butcher shoehorns in so much other cool stuff. Harry claiming Demonreach as sanctuary. The team-up with the Wraiths (who are terrifying). Finally some acknowledgement from Harry that the werewolves are adults now. And the monster. Oh, man, I’m not usually a fan of monster plots, but this one was genuinely terrifying. And even if I don’t *like* it, I think Butcher deploys what the monster does to Thomas in an effective way.
All in all, one of the best books of the series, and probably in the top two of the first half (pre-Changes, when everything, well, changes).