The latest book in the Dresden series is a real treat. Dresden receives a warning that black magic is heading for his hometown, and he heads out to stop it. On his way, though, he gets sidetracked into helping a friend's daughter who has a ton of problems of her own. In typical Dresden fashion, he spreads himself too thin, tries to help too many people, gets beat up almost as much as Bruce Willis in a Die Hard movie -- and he does it all with a grin on his face and a snappy one-liner that usually relates to a horror or SF movie.
The plot's a tad obvious (I called several twists by halfway through the book), and some of the dialog with Murphy is annoyingly awkward, but Harry has the heart and soul of a hero, and he's a fantastic character to join on a good romp through dark magic and the weird Nevernever. Some have compared this series to the Anita Blake series, but Harry is far more likable, heroic, and mythic. He's just a lot more enjoyable to be around than Anita ever has been.
One cool -- and totally unexpected -- surprise.... This book contains one of the best expressions of Christian faith I've read in a fiction novel ever. Don't be fooled and don't let that turn you off if you're not a Christian. This is not a "Christian" novel -- those are notoriously poorly written -- and Dresden, with a fallen angel swimming around in his head, never claims to be a Christian himself. But some of the characters in this book are Christians, and I appreciated seeing them portrayed realistically and with respect to their faith.
If you've never read a Dresden book, you could pick this one up with little problem. The cast of characters may feel a little overwhelming since they've been building from the previous seven books, but they're distinct in their own rights, and Butcher does a good job recapping each when they first show up. Overall, another fantastic entry in a wonderful series of books.