- Hardcover: 448 pages
- Publisher: Roc (April 6, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780451463173
- ISBN-13: 978-0451463173
- ASIN: 045146317X
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 878 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #275,856 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Changes (Dresden Files, Book 12) Hardcover – April 6, 2010
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The plot is actually incredibly simple- Harry's old flame/now vampire(ish) Susan Rodriguez shows up at his door and tells him that not only do they have a daughter, but she has been stolen by the Red Court to be sacrificed in a ritual that will kill Harry's entire bloodline. Woah.
The rest of the book is basically Harry being really angry and trying to recruit anyone and everyone to help him rescue her. The middle of the book did kind of feel like a giant (and somewhat forced) reunion of characters. Some of the cameos worked, some not so much. Harry also makes some decisions that you (and he) knows will come back to bite him, but he has to make because saving his daughter is more important than anything else. It's Harry at his most heroic, and most morally grey.
It all leads up to easily the most explosive and epic ending in Dresden history. I was riveted the entire time. And after all of that is through, and you think Butcher will at least give you a satisfying, if bittersweet, ending, he pulls the rug out from under you with the biggest cliffhanger ending yet.
Ugh. I'm exhausted from this book.
Now where's Book 13?!?!
We learn that Harry and Suzan have a daughter, who has been kidnapped by the Red Court’s Arianna Ortega, a duchess in the Red Court. All the while, Arianna works to neutralize the White Council. Back at home CPD’s sleaze bag is going after Harry in a big way, and by extension Harry’s pal, Murphy. He’s even called in the FBI to investigate Harry. Plus it seems as if there is an assassin or two after Harry. We see what parts of his humanity Harry is willing to sacrifice to get through this and save his girl.
Other good parts of the book include:
- Bob’s wise cracks.
- The misnamed uber-dog Mouse keeps coming into his own as a protector, mainly of Molly, as well as a fighter.
- We learn even more about Harry’s family. If there’s anything else, we’ll have to wait and see.
- Butters plays comic relief for a few pages.
- Murphy will stand by Harry, no matter the cost.
- Thomas, while going fully White Court vampire and work for Lara, is willing to help Harry.
Bad things about the book: it’s a cliff hanger. Sorry, that’s all.
Everything changes as Harry loses nearly everything.
Now all of this is of course very much a personal preference so I feel the need to, again, point out that this is a very good urban fantasy book and if you do not have the same aversion against tragic stories as this simpleton has, and likes urban fantasy, then you are probably going to enjoy this book a lot.
It is quite a bit of a roller coaster ride. It starts of in a similar fashion as the old book by kick starting the plot big time in the first few pages. From there on the pace is kept fairly frantic. Not insanely stupidly frantic though. There is enough of a coherent story, slow (or rather not so fast) moments and investigative work to keep the story balanced and entertaining.
There are a lot of interesting moments. Personally I like Harry’s encounter (no it is not another clobber time encounter) with “Vadderung” who is probably one of the most well made modern depiction of an old mythical character (no I am not going to write who it really is) that I have read in a long time. The book also manages a good mix of seriousness and less serious parts. Taken alone the pizza eating “little people” in the book would be outrageously ludicrous but the way they are woven into the story makes them an entertaining addition and not a burden.
There is a lot of action as well of course. Some of it having a bearing on the story, or rather quest, itself and some if, for instance the encounter with a certain Erlking, being more of a coincidence and diversion.
Then we come to the ending. There are some action in there of course. Then some more action. Then Mr. Butcher adds yet some more action. And so on. I would say that the ending is pretty epic. Everyone plays are role. I quite liked Murphy’s role. Again, it is not just mindless action. The events and the revelations really make for a good story and consequently for a really good read. Needless to say there are some sacrifices (literally) and this is where I became somewhat unhappy. As I said before, that is just me and my personal preferences of course.
The title of the book, Changes, is quite suitable. There are plenty of changes. Especially in the last third of the book. I am indeed quite looking forward to see where the story arc goes with some of them. Some of them are, unfortunately, rather irrevocable and I am less pleased with those but I guess that I repeating myself here. Then, so is the author. I have to say that a few of the explanations of various things were repeated a bit too obviously.
Nevertheless this is indeed a good book and there is no doubt that I am going to eagerly read the next one in the series.