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Changes (Dresden Files, Book 12) Hardcover – April 6, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 659 customer reviews
Book 12 of 15 in the Dresden Files Series

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Bitter Bite by Jennifer Estep
"The Elemental Assassins Series"
Book fourteen in the New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series RT Book Reviews calls unbeatable entertainment!. Learn more | See series page
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The fast-paced and compelling 12th book in Butcher's bestselling series (after 2009's Turn Coat) is aptly titled. Beginning with the revelation that wizard detective Harry Dresden has a daughter, Butcher throws one high-stakes curveball after another at his hero. Harry's ex-girlfriend, Susan Rodriguez, discloses young Maggie's existence after vampire Red Court duchess Arianna Ortega kidnaps the child. Ortega holds Harry responsible for the death of her husband and is planning to offer Maggie as a human sacrifice. With a fragile peace in place between the Red Court and the White Council of wizards, Harry is unable to count on them for support in his rescue mission, and he must compromise almost everything he believes in to save his daughter. Butcher is deft at relieving some of the tension and grimness with bursts of gallows humor that keep readers coming back for more. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* The twelfth Dresden Files novel (following Turncoat, 2009) finds the licensed PI and professional wizard Harry Dresden confronted with some shocking news: he has an eight-year-old daughter, and she’s been kidnapped by Red Court vampires. Harry is willing to risk everything to rescue her, even if it means turning his own life upside down. At more than 500 pages, this is one the longest books in the series, but it doesn’t move slowly; in fact, the entire novel takes place over only a few days as Harry races to rescue his daughter before she is sacrificed in a powerful black-magic rite. The taut and sometimes twisty plot is full of surprises and changes for Harry and his friends and family. Changes is a compelling installment in what continues to be an outstanding series. All the regulars (including cop Murphy; Harry’s half brother, vampire Thomas; Sanya the Knight; and Harry’s apprentice, Molly) are featured, as they, too, risk everything to save Harry’s daughter. After the cliff-hanger ending, readers will be clamoring for the next book. A can’t-miss entry in one of the best urban-fantasy series currently being published. --Jessica Moyer

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Roc; First Edition edition (April 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 045146317X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451463173
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (659 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #453,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jim Butcher read his first fantasy novel when he was seven years old--
the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. By the time he turned eight,
he'd added the rest of the Narnia books, the Prydain Chronicles, every
book about Star Wars he could find, a great many Star Trek novels and
the Lord of the Rings to his count.

So he was pretty much doomed from the start.

Love of fantasy, his personal gateway drug, drew him toward a fairly
eclectic spread of interests: horseback riding (including trick riding,
stunt riding, drill riding, and competitive stunt racing), archery,
martial arts, costuming, music and theater. He played a lot of role-
playing games, a lot of fantasy-based tactical computer games, and
eventually got into live-action roleplay where players beat each other
up with boffer weapons.

So, really, he can fly his nerd flag with pretty much anyone, and
frequently does.

He took up writing to be able to produce fantasy novels with swords and
horses in them, and determinedly wrote terrible fantasy books until,
just to prove a point to his writing teacher, he decided to take every
piece of her advice; fill out outlines and worksheets, and design
stories and characters just the way she'd been telling him to do for
about three years. He was certain that once she saw what hideous art it
produced, she would be proven wrong and repent the error of her ways.
The result was the Dresden Files, which sure showed *her*.

She has not yet admitted her mistake and recanted her philosophy on

Jim has performed in dramas, musicals, and vocal groups in front of
live audiences of thousands and on TV. He has performed exhibition
riding in multiple arenas, and fallen from running horses a truly
ridiculous number of times. He was once cursed by an Amazon witch
doctor in rural Brazil, has apparently begun writing about himself in
the third person, and is hardly ever sick at sea.

He also writes books occasionally.

Jim stands accused of writing the Dresden Files and the Codex Alera.
He's plead insanity, but the jury is still out on that one. He lives in
Missouri with his wife, romantic suspense and paranormal romance writer
Shannon K. Butcher (who is really pretty and way out of his league),
his son, and a ferocious guard dog.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Book lives up to title. Read it expecting that almost anything, no matter how much of a constant it's been over the past eleven books, might be altered, revised, or destroyed. Any given plotline you've been waiting for Butcher to move forward or develop, there's good odds you'll find out more here, and more than one multiple-book plot thread finds its end.

Butcher is at the top of his game here, and it may be the best overall book in the series to date; from the very first line -- "I answered the phone, and Susan Rodriguez said, 'They've taken our daughter[,]'" -- the book moves at a page-tearing clip, and I read it pacing back and forth in my living room, so wholly and obviously absorbed that my girlfriend gave me the night off from household chores ("Sorry I haven't done the dishes, dear. I can't. Book." "I know. It's okay.")

Butcher's spent the past eleven books developing Harry's character, establishing his hunger for family, his devotion to saving innocents, especially children, and his willingness to burn the world in order to do the right thing, regardless of cost; he's also balanced Harry on the knife's edge of several different horrible temptations, and shown that Harry's passion has the potential to lead him very badly astray. This book drops Harry onto that knife edge and then hits him with a truck, and much of the tension in the book comes from watching Harry discover just how many moral and emotional lines he is, after all, willing to cross, and how many irrevocable steps he's willing to take, in order to save his daughter.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Just when you thought Harry Dresden had every problem a wizard could have, a new one appears.

And his problems pile up like so many skulls in the twelfth book of the Dresden Files series, which is appropriately titled "Changes." Jim Butcher's quirky sense of humor is still in place ("Ick! My lips touched dog lips!"), but this is definitely a darker twist in the series -- and Butcher seems intent on diving down into a place that's far darker, bloodier and scarier than most urban fantasy authors can even dream of.

Harry is understandably shocked when his ex-girlfriend Susan tells him that their daughter has been abducted by Duchess Arianna Ortega, a vampire of the Red Court who has a personal grudge against him. After all, he didn't even know he HAD a daughter. To make matters even worse, the supernatural world is on the verge of imploding because of the Red Court's war with the White Council, which means that Harry can't depend on his own kind for any actual help.

And what's more, Harry's being bombarded by assassins, giant Mayan demons, and hordes of Red Court vampires out to destroy/vampirize him. He has to gather as many allies as possible before Arianna puts her lethal plan into effect, and he might have to sacrifice his morals to do so. But even then, an all-out assault on the Red Court in their own territory will tax Harry and his little fellowship to the limits -- and will tear away even more of what he loves.

"Changes" is a painfully appropriate name for this book. Just about everything you know in the Dresden Files series changes here -- the enemies, the allies, the politics, the devastating losses and even the war against the Red Court.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
No spoilers in this review, but Wow! Just wow!

On the first page of this book we learn exactly what Harry Dresden's mission and prime focus is going be. Throughout Changes the characters we know and love appear, but the conversations they could/should and probably will have with Harry one day often don't eventuate, because there simply isn't time. Harry has his mission and one sole focus and his friends are either with him or not. There is no time for deep discussions or reflections.

The changes, questions and possibilities accumulate in this book, not just for Harry but for all the characters. I can't wait to see which avenues Jim Butcher will explore now that so many more have opened up. But fans may also be surprised at some of the Dresden familiarities that come to an end.

The final 20 - 25% of this book especially impressed me. It was building up to a huge climax and it certainly didn't disappoint, but we are provided with many surprise twists rather than just one big fight at the end.

There is one particularly enormous WHOA! moment that I guarantee nobody will be expecting.

A wonderful book, a crucial pivot point in the Dresdenverse and after I've taken stock and recharged the kindle I'm off to read it again to see what I missed.

Is it April 2011 yet?
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
CHANGES, the twelfth installment in the Dresden Files wizard-for-hire series, is an over-the-top, busy, noisy, violent affair. It begins with a bombshell revelation -- that Harry has an 8-year-old daughter he never knew about, and that she's been kidnapped by vampires, then builds up to a Faustian bargain it's hard to believe that Harry would ever make, and culminates in an extended battle that makes "Avatar" seem like "My Dinner with Andre".

Of course, there's more to CHANGES than whiz-bang action. Harry learns more about moving between one place and another in our world via the Nevernever (where the faeries live), which is interesting, and he outsmarts a powerful magical beast in a battle of wits, which is amusing. He has a frustrating encounter with the White Council, which looks increasingly like Harry Potter's head-in-the-sand Ministry of Magic. He also gets pummeled by unexpected revelations, like the fact that a close associate is actually a relative, and major setbacks, including the loss of a great deal that is dear to him.

What happens to Harry in CHANGES is the culmination of something that has been brewing for a while in the Dresden Files world. In the beginning, Harry Dresden was a wise-cracking hard-boiled wizard-detective, a loose adaptation of noir gumshoes Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade. His adventures were mostly confined to his home city of Chicago and to its dark underbelly of gangsters and ghouls. He was just a regular guy with a sharp tongue, a bruised ego, and an empty bank account. Butcher might originally have set out to write a long series of wizard-detective novels where little changed from book to book aside from the specific mystery and the bad guy, but it's kind of hard to keep that sort of thing fresh after 5 or 10 books.
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