Cold Days by Jim Butcher

Clean sheets, cats, and a good book.
Clean sheets, cats, and a good book.

Why I Read It: The Dresden Files is one of my all-time favorite series.

Where I Got It: Own it.

Who I Recommend This To: The Dresden Files series is urban fantasy at it’s best. If you are not familiar with Butcher’s works, start with Storm Front.

Publisher: Penguin Group (2012)

Length: 528 pages

Series: Book 14 Dresden Files

I will do my best to chat about this book without revealing too many spoilers about the series or this specific book. The few spoilers included will be marked.

Harry Dresden, Chicago wizard detective, seems to have at least one really tough day a year. If you’ve kept up with this series, you know that each book is about one of those days. Book 14 is no exception. Book 12, Changes, ended in a tough way for Harry. Book 13, Ghost Story, found Harry defeating that tough ending, only to jump from the fire into the frying pan. Book 14, Cold Days, we get to find out what Harry does with the frying pan. And he handles it masterfully, grabbing that frying pan with both hands and slamming it into anyone who tries to manipulate him. Once again, Jim Butcher kept me well entertained.

Harry has a new role in the land of the Fae, specifically in the Winter Court, and he is given a most difficult task by Queen Mab. In order to accomplish this task, he reunites with friends from the human world and crashes into opposition from not only the Fae Summer Court, but also trouble makers in the Winter Court. Fans of the series will be glad to see old friends brought into play, even as old enemies start coming out of the wood work. Most touching to me were several scenes between vampire Thomas and Harry.

Even as Harry fights for the good of our world, he is tormented by a newly given power which threatens to turn him into a less honorable man. Coupled with this, a fight on the Large Universe level is revealed to him, adding urgency to his quest to fulfill his Winter Court orders and yet maintain his humanity. Each time I read one of these books, I think, that’s as big as it can get; it just can’t get any worse than this. Ha! I’m always delightedly wrong. Because the characters continue to grow and change throughout this series, it never, ever gets old. Each book isn’t a rerun of the last, nor are there simply 4-6 tropes that Butcher recycles. People change, allegiances change, the scope changes. Book 14 is not an exception.

If I have any complaints about this book, it is that some of the banter fell a little short, didn’t make me chuckle as much as in previous books. In part, this may be due to conscious decision by Butcher, as things are a little strained between Harry and some of his Chicago friends, so the conversations and banter would be a little off, a little strained themselves. However, such a minor complaint did not keep me from experiencing a large sense of fulfillment at the end of the novel. Foolishly, at Page 99, I thought I had glimpsed the ending; I was wrong, because the ending was so much more than I anticipated.

What I Liked: Harry has additional inner demons to fight; Harry doesn’t magically, instantaneously recover from injuries received in past books; his love life is complicated; we got a glimpse of what the final, giganto battle might be for the series; Thomas and Harry have some of the best lines together; satisfying ending; SPOILERS Mac’s mysterious past; reunited with Mouse; Bob shares a key piece of info; Murph on a Harley; Harry teasing The Malk (is he an idiot, or just sleep deprived?); Demonreach and his underground jail of mayhem; pet names like ‘Spangle Crotch’ END SPOILERS.

What I Disliked: In a few instances, the banter didn’t feel as well-rounded as I would have enjoyed.

readandreviewbuttonThis week, I am counting this as part of On Starships and Dragonwings’ Read & Review Hop. I mean, it’s an awesome book and everyone should hear about it. Period. Make sure to stop over at Anya’s for more great reviews.

14 thoughts on “Cold Days by Jim Butcher”

  1. I’m not reading this!!! Otherwise I will just become too giddy and abandon all other books and just read Butcher. (which might not be a bad thing – except I haven’t bought them all yet and so should concentrate on the books that are physically in front of me!!)
    Very excited about the rest of these books though.
    Lynn 😀

  2. All right, I had to skip a couple parts since I’m only on Storm Front *fail I know* but I’m so excited to hear that this series is still kicking butt! I keep hearing that I should try really hard to continue, since Storm Front didn’t completely wow me, but I hear that the series picks up a bunch after the first couple books. Thoughts?

    1. I think I felt a bit like you at the start of the series or at least after the second book but don’t let it put you off – it’s really improved and actually a must read series for me now. Grave Peril was really good and Summer Knight even better!
      Lynn 😀

  3. I always try to do a complete reread of the series between books now. The Dresden Files is my absolute favourite urban fantasy series, and I never get tired of Harry’s trials and tribulations – or his wisecracks. 😀

    1. I so need to do a complete reread. I love these books and they make me laugh so much and hate the bad guys so much and wish life was a little more like the Dresden Files.

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