I wanted to love this…yeah, wanted to. Don’t get me wrong. I liked it. A lot. But this is the time for half stars (which gah you can’t give on goodreads). Why the half star? Well let me just say right now there is going to be a big spoiler in this review…but you can’t do the review without it. However, it’s also the first few lines of the book so… So why would I give this three and half stars over four, let me put that at the end.
Spoiler – Susan calls Harry to tell her they have an 8 y.o. daughter and she never told him. That already knocked one star off, the return of Susan. I hate Susan. I never once believed Harry was in love with her. It just never came across in the writing IMO and even if it did, I still strongly disliked her character and now I’m looking at a book nearly 450 pages long, all about Susan. Spiffy.
The red court vampires have Maggie and they are going to kill her naturally Harry has to react to this. He could hardly stand by and let his daughter die. You know this isn’t going to be easy and it’s anything but. Susan comes to meet Harry with Martin in tow, a half-red vampire like Susan, a bitten human who hasn’t fully turned. A pair of vampire assassins are also out to make sure Harry doesn’t get his child back.
I couldn’t possibly sum up everything that happened but let’s just say once again the Council is of no help, Thomas isn’t much better and ugh the whole Let’s Get Murphy off the Police Force thing rears its ugly head. I’m sick to death of that plot. Seriously. I was sick to death of it the first time it appeared. It has not improved with age and in a story with so much going on already it felt like too much in this plot.
So…why is this getting less stars than I might have given out normally? Parts of the plot felt a little forced (mainly the one revolving around Mab). It felt…a little too crowded (points up at Murphy), almost TOO busy, too rushed. Butcher is very good at making that plot move without dragging but occasionally we go too fast. I felt out of breath and not in a good way. I found myself going back to see what I missed a couple of times. It takes half the novel almost before Thomas is even seen and while Harry surely has other things on his mind, the fact that his brother and his changed state never even come up. Worse, and I’m not sure if it was meant to illustrate how Thomas has changed but he was a whiney jackass until he vindicates himself at the end. I love Thomas but not this time.
But the real reason I’d rather give this three and a half stars instead of four in the end. I thought I’d love the ending (especially pertaining to Susan and Karrin) then the last page made me slam the book into the floor. Hard. Yes, this is a series. That said, they’re usually self contained. I hate having opening endings that force you to buy the next book. My usual reaction? I don’t buy the next book. I just drop the series. I personally find that annoying. What book are we on now in the Dresden Files? Is there a chance most of us wouldn’t have bought the next book? Well there is now. I’m that ticked off by this ending. I know many won’t agree but that’s my two cents for what it’s worth. Hey at least I finally liked Molly and that’s saying something.