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Dead Beat (The Dresden Files, Book 7) Mass Market Paperback – May 2, 2006
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“Think Buffy the Vampire Slayer starring Philip Marlowe.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Fans of Laurell K. Hamilton and Tanya Huff will love this series.”—Midwest Book Review
“Superlative.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“One of the most enjoyable marriages of the fantasy and mystery genres on the shelves.”—Cinescape
“Butcher...spins an excellent noirish detective yarn in a well-crafted, supernaturally-charged setting. The supporting cast is again fantastic, and Harry’s wit continues to fly in the face of a peril-fraught plot.”—Booklist (starred review)
“What’s not to like about this series?...It takes the best elements of urban fantasy, mixes it with some good old-fashioned noir mystery, tosses in a dash of romance and a lot of high-octane action, shakes, stirs, and serves.”—SF Site
“A tricky plot complete with against-the-clock pacing, firefights, explosions, and plenty of magic. Longtime series fans as well as newcomers drawn by the SciFi Channel’s TV series based on the novels should find this supernatural mystery a real winner.”—Library Journal
“What would you get if you crossed Spenser with Merlin? Probably you would come up with someone very like Harry Dresden, wizard, tough guy and star of [the Dresden Files].”—The Washington Times
About the Author
- Publisher : Roc; Reprint edition (May 2, 2006)
- Language: : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 528 pages
- ISBN-10 : 045146091X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0451460912
- Item Weight : 10.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 7.4 x 4.3 x 1.2 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #37,002 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
"A timely novel highlighting the worth and delicate nature of Nature itself." -Delia Owens Learn more
Top reviews from the United States
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Rating: 4.5/5 stars
In this seventh installment of the Dresden Files series, the White Council is still at war with the Red Court vampires. Thomas, Harry's brother, is living with Harry in his dinky apartment after his sister disowned him. Mavra comes to Harry with a demand: Bring her the Word of Kemmler or she will hurt Murphy. As Harry begins to look for the Word of Kemmler and the book about the famous Erlking of the Fae, Die Lied de Erlking, he uncovers something that's going to go down on Samhain and meets several people who are Kemmler's followers... the same Kemmler who happened to own his very own friend Bob the skull. Harry is still dealing with the aftermath of burning the living daylights out of his hand, and he is having dreams of Lasciel, the demon whose coin he picked up and then buried. The shade of her is enough to impart a significant influence over him, and she is quite convincing as she tells him of her desire to help him survive all he has to deal with. He has a difficult time standing firm and resisting her.
Can Harry somehow find the Word of Kemmler, stop Kemmler's disciples, and get it to Mavra in time without the White Court finding out and summarily executing him?
A common theme in these books is Harry constantly taking a beating and being near death's door. This book was no different, but I'm really enjoying the Lasciel aspect. She is manipulative, of course, but also SO incredibly believable, and we are watching as Harry is slipping more and more into her grasp despite that he knows objectively that NO good can come from letting her have more power over him. This book almost makes the reader fall in love with her at the same time! She seems so sincere and gentle! I don't blame Harry one bit for his feelings toward her. He is becoming more and more conflicted. It will be interesting to see where that storyline goes.
One thing I really enjoy about these books is the thorough explanation/exploration of the supernatural aspects. The Erlking in particular is a well-known figure in Faerie lore, and it was interesting to see how he was dealt with in this book. Necromancy in general is explained in a fascinating way - such that it sort of makes sense. Really, Jim Butcher always does a good job of presenting supernatural things in a really logical way -- as in, they are just believable enough. I appreciate that, and it makes the books enjoyable to read. Harry's sarcasm is, as always, fun and entertaining, but is it just me or is he getting darker? Less fun? It's inevitable, but I kind of miss his casual playfulness and positivity. He is losing a little more of that in every book.
I am definitely looking forward to continuing on with the series.
To fully enjoy this installment, it's important the reader has read Death Masks , book five in the series. For openers, this book introduces us to Butters, the eccentric Medical Examiner; in DEAD BEAT, Butters becomes Harry's involuntary sidekick, as he faces--usually screaming--hordes of mindless zombies. And in 'Death Masks', Harry is exposed unwittingly to a Denarian--one of the thirty pieces of silver given long ago to Judas. This exposure has caused the demon Lasciel to inhabit Harry's sub-conscious, and by the seventh installment the beautiful Lasciel is proving to be one heck of a temptress. In grand Dresden Files fashion, Harry always has a quip at the ready; he may be facing a powerful necromancer commanding an army of zombies, but he's never going to take matters seriously. Author Jim Butcher has a knack for penning an exciting action tale while never taking his foot off the gas; DEAD BEAT moves like running barefoot on a sidewalk in August. We even have a contribution by the fierce spirit of a tyrannosaur to crowd in on the action! DEAD BEAT is a grand supernatural tale, daring the reader not to reach for the next installment in this highly acclaimed series.
--D. Mikels, Esq.
Top reviews from other countries
Anyone jumping in at this point should stop and go back.
Having said that, the books still do the basic introductions for every recurring character and concept whenever the crop up, which is now getting a little tiring and I say that despite a two-year gap between reading Blood Rites and this.
This one starts with Harry -- same as ever Harry: sleep-deprived, gallant, chivalrous and ever on the verge of trouble -- living with his brother Thomas (see end of book 6) in his cramped apartment.
The main plot revolves around the arrival of a bunch of necromancers to Chicago, looking for a number of magical mcGuffins in order to become god-like and kick off world-ending-like problems.
A number of the usual supporting characters don't appear at all, or very little indeed -- notably Karrin Murphy (or any cop really) and Michael.
However Butters, the rarely-mentioned medical examiner, gets a much enlarged role here and he's great. A funny and talented, yet permanently terrified individual with a passion for polka.
Overall I think this is tied, with Summer Knight (#4), for my favourite so far in the series.
This is a very easy read; thrilling, well paced between the many action sequences and the "figure it out" sequences involving Bob and Butters. Harry's dog, whom I don't remember from earlier books, plays an ever-increasing "role" in the books which I like.
Plenty of pop-culture humour as usual, pretty sure this scored at least five out-loud laughs.
The sole over-arching storyline for the series is now Harry's "internal" battle with Lasciel, the fallen angel. This treads water a bit here, but does its job of maintaining that ever-present sense of doom for Harry's future.
4 stars. These books are fun thrill rides, though not terribly memorable or substantial; doesn't matter, I'll keep reading.
After a slightly lacklustre installment, Butcher is back firing on all cylinders, and it's a joy to read. The quest for the book allows Harry to do some good old-fashioned detecting, and pretty soon he realises that other interested parties are also after the same thing.
The adversaries in this case are pleasingly varied in their abilities, from the magical powerhouse Cowl to the body-hopping Corpsetaker and the zombie-commanding Grevane. Jim even manages to squeeze in an old enemy of Harry's, out for revenge.
As ever, the action setpieces are spectacular, including an early chase sequence at the morgue and a thrilling zombie siege where Harry should feel most safe. Butcher saves the best till last, though, with a climactic scene that has to be among the best I've read anywhere. I won't spol much, save to say it involves an army of the undead, several White Council wardens and Harry atop a most unconventionall steed...
The personal relationships between the characters aren't neglected by any means. Harry's newfound family member proves a staunch ally and equal annoyance, Billy and his friends make a guest appearance, and joy of joys, the hilarious Butters gets promoted to head sidekick for this book. Murphy's elsewhere during the story, but Harry has a chance at a connection with a comely and plucky bookstore assistant; I pretty much guarantee you won't see where THAT one is going.
The standard of quality of the Dresden Files tends to be so universally high that it's hard to choose between them, but Dead Beat stands as a crowning moment of awesome for the series thus far. Definitely a Halloween treat.
In this installment we see Dresden racing across Chicago to save Murphy's life and career from being destroyed by evil Mavra whilst he battles crazed necromancers and bigoted white council wardens.
I loved how both Butters and Thomas came into their own much more in this book than they had previously. Butters goes from being the rational yet terrified little Polka obsessed medical examiner to a hero (ish). Thomas' relationship with his brother is also developed far more and makes for interesting reading.
But let's be honest - we're all reading it for the ghosts, zombies, magic, fist fights and Dresden himself. And this edition doesn't skimp on any of it! The main action scenes toward the end are simply astonishing. This is one of Butcher's strongest tore de force's yet! Really is well worth a couple of days to race through.
And who doesn't love Sue?!
Wonderfully enjoyable urban fantasy - well worth a read!
(This could be read as a stand alone novel but I would suggest reading the other 6 novels first to really understand the Dresden universe) :)