Sunday, April 25, 2010

Review: Changes (Dresden Files, Book 12) by Jim Butcher

Changes (Dresden Files, Book 12)
Author: Jim Butcher
Publication: Roc Hardcover; First Ediition/First Printing edition (April 6, 2010)
Description: Long ago, Susan Rodriguez was Harry Dresden's lover-until she was attacked by his enemies, leaving her torn between her own humanity and the bloodlust of the vampiric Red Court. Susan then disappeared to South America, where she could fight both her savage gift and those who cursed her with it.

Now Arianna Ortega, Duchess of the Red Court, has discovered a secret Susan has long kept, and she plans to use it-against Harry. To prevail this time, he may have no choice but to embrace the raging fury of his own untapped dark power. Because Harry's not fighting to save the world...

He's fighting to save his child.
My Thoughts: This was another compelling episode in this long-running series. Harry Dresden has had a hard time before. He has solved many problems and faced many enemies. This time the problem comes very close to home when he learns that the daughter he did not know he had has been kidnapped by an old enemy and is scheduled to be sacrificed. Harry must gather all his resources to battle the Red Court vampires and save his daughter.
This book does let us connect again with some or our favorite characters from earlier books in the series. Karrin Murphy has a large role, as does Harry's brother Thomas, and his apprentice Molly. Mouse also plays a big role and we learn more about him. We even get to see more of Harry's godmother the Leanansidhe who is described by Molly as "a spooky crazy death Sidhe lady."
The title - Changes - is very apt. Harry experiences many in this book. He loses almost everyting. His beloved car is trashed which also causes the loss of his wizard's staff. His home is burned to the ground which causes the loss of his workshop and the tools there. He is stripped bare of the trappings of his life and is left with only the essentials - his will and his character. The smart mouthed character that we have known throughout the series still remains. Butcher's use of descriptive language is excellent. Many of the analogies were unexpected. "Mac's place looks like Cheers after a mild apocolypse" is just one example.
I think the big question here for me is "what choice do you make when all of your choices are bad?" or "what are you willing to give up to reach your goal?" One of my favorite quotations from all of the many books I have read comes from Lois McMaster Bujold. It says "Some prices are just too high, no matter how much you may want the prize. The one thing you can't trade for your heart's desire is your heart." Harry comes terrifyingly near trading his heart for what he most desires. Perhaps he has traded his heart. His next adventures might make that clearer.
I highly recommend the Harry Dresden series to lovers of urban fantasy. They are thought provoking and filled with fascinating characters and great adventures.
Challenges: RYOB Reading Challenge

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