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White Night (The Dresden Files, Book 9) Hardcover – April 3, 2007
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This is another in the Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher. Butcher's hero, Harry Dresden, is a wizard/private investigator who has his own battery of unusual resources and methods of getting things done. Because Harry's 'involvement' usually leads to confrontations, there is always something happening to keep your interest; it makes it easy to read on and on, often well into the night.
In this episode, some of Harry's lesser magical female brethren have being committing suicide, or have they; enter Harry and Murph to get to the bottom of this enigma.
Butcher's tales are fast paced and fun to read. The main plot, not unexpectedly, deals with fighting the evil hordes, but there were other things about this book that I really liked. There are, for instance, sprinklings of humor (often sarcastic or cynical), some eroticism and even some profound musings regarding love (and love lost), loneliness, pain and death. I found it hard not to like and feel some empathy towards Harry; he's probably one of my favorite fantasy figures.
In addition, there are also a number of 'side' characters in this book that I really enjoyed. Especially the lecherous Bob the Skull (my type of nonentity), Elaine, Lash and Lara, each with their own unique personalities and agendas.
A typical Harry Dresden fantasy adventure; action packed, fast and fun, and with the occasional, ever so subtle, deeper philosophical moments.
If you like Jim Butcher's writing style, you'll love this addition to the Dresden files.
Harry still hasn't given anyone the white sword, and it is not mentioned even in passing in this book. I am dying to find out if he eventually gives it to Murphy, his previous vision of her as a warrior of light seems pretty clear to me, either Harry is slow, or I'm fantasizing a completely different scenario. I'm probably all wet, this series takes so many surprise turns I'm in constant awe at Butcher's creativity. I also like the possibility of Molly and Ramirez hooking up as a side plot. Just because Harry's love life sucks, shouldn't mean they all have to suffer (grin).
Bottom line, if you're a Dresden fan, this novel will keep you going, happily anticipating the next installment. As always, this chapter is complete enough that you don't grind your teeth with a dangling cliffhanger, just a few unanswered questions. If you are not a Dresden fan, or are only familiar with the television series, I would suggest starting these books at the beginning, this is not a stand-alone novel, you need the background of the other books. The TV show is great, but very separate in characterizations of the main players.
Like previous books in this series, opening the cover is like stepping on a rocket sled. Harry wisecracks and fights his way in and out of tight corners. Some of the most richly comic scenes in fantasy are here. But there is an element of self-consciousness, especially in some of the scenes with Warden Rodriguez. What works best is the murder mystery plot line--in investigating a series of apparent suicides among low-level magic practitioners, Harry is the quintessential wizardly gumshoe we know and love. The other two plots are necessary holdovers from previous books that need resolution. I would have been disappointed not to have them here, but the plot with Molly is a bit predictable. Also Harry's confrontation with Lasciel, while necessary, rang a bit flat. That's the only reason I knock off a star--in comparison to the other books in this series it's not quite a five. In all other respects, it's like a White Court vampire's kiss: seductive, addictive...and leaves you dying for more.