I feel like I’ve probably mentioned this in all of my previous reviews of this series but I’m going to mention it again right out of the gate: this book is read by James Marsters, i.e., Spike from Buffy, and he IS Harry Dresden, a delicious and perfect choice for the browbeaten, sarcastic, hapless, chauvinistic wizard. And that is what Harry is.
I’ve scanned some reviews that are like, “ugh, when will Harry learn” and “he’s such a chauvinist” and well yes. But that’s the character. It’s like getting a dog that the shelter tells you barks a lot and then you’re like, “UGH, WHAT A BARKING A**HOLE” and it’s like well yeah, that was in the paperwork. I understand who Harry is, and I’ve grown to love the cantankerous scamp as his adventures have gotten even more farfetched. I mean. Y’all. Vampire Duel. Atheistic Knight on a mission from God. SHROUD OF TURIN. It’s like a Stefan SNL sketch. This book has EVERYTHING. It could easily be pegged into the “brain candy” subset but I’m going to give it a few points of extra credit and award it “brain popcorn” status. It isn’t going to fill you up, but it’s also not going to rot your teeth. I’ve already moved on to book six in the series, so see you on the other side!
The only thing about this book that I can’t really rectify is Marsters having to affect an Asian accent to play Shiro, the Knight of the Cross. It definitely made me grimace a little, and then have to ponder where we are at societally with a white actor doing such a thing. Like, if the protagonist was Asian and Marsters was doing an accent the whole time, that’s like Scarlett Johanseen Ghosts in the Shell baaad. But if Marsters has done 4 of these books, and this is the 5th in the series and there is an Asian character that he is having to voice, then I think that’s a different story. It did give me an interesting sort of existential point to ponder as to what is “okay” and how members of the asian community might feel about it.