Turn Coat by Jim Butcher

At some stage it becomes pointless to write further actual reviews of the Dresden Files series. This is the eleventh book of the series, and at this point in my reviews either you’ll be convinced to read them, or you’ll just skip right on by. You don’t need another review of me saying how much I love the characters or mythology, so instead of just doing a straight review explaining what’s good (almost all of it) and what’s bad (very little) in Turn Coat, I figure I’ll instead concentrate on some stuff that I found interesting. Read the rest of this entry

Use of Weapons by Iain M. Banks

Use of Weapons is a rare book, in that it’s one that I didn’t finish. I just couldn’t. I got two thirds of the way through it and just had to give up. It’s not that it’s a bad book per se; in fact it’s pretty well-regarded generally. But I just couldn’t get on with it. I wouldn’t personally recommend that you read Use of Weapons, but if you have read it and liked it, I’m not going to look at your like you’re a lunatic. Read the rest of this entry

Small Favor by Jim Butcher

Small Favor is the tenth book in Dresden Files series. I’ve reviewed the first nine, so I shan’t cover the basics. Things get off to a pretty sharp start here, as Harry is quickly attacked by three Billy Goats Gruff (I’m not even kidding). Following that, Mab, Queen of Air and Darkness, Queen of the Winter Court, and part-owner of Harry’s soul pops up to remind Harry that he still owes her two favours. And she’s calling one in: rescue Chicago’s pre-eminent gangster, Gentleman Johnny Marcone, who has been abducted forces unknown, using magical methods chaotic enough that they almost bring down an entire building to get at Marcone. Read the rest of this entry

Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch

This a difficult book to review. I don’t want to spoil either Broken Homes itself or the previous three books in the series. Which isn’t usually a major problem, as there are always interesting things to talk about even avoiding spoilers. But the only thing I want to talk about with Broken Homes is the absolute stone-cold, copper-bottomed bastard of an ending, which kind of overshadows everything that went before it. Read the rest of this entry

White Night by Jim Butcher

I’d been so good at rationing myself to only reading a Dresden Files book every other book, rather than just ploughing through the whole series in one big binge. But Proven Guilty was so good that I had to read White Night straight after.

Bah. White Night was a step back from Proven Guilty. It’s still good, and has an excellent finale, but the first couple of acts are pretty slow, so that even with a great final act, as a whole White Night is a definite step back from the last few books in the series. To be honest, its probably the weakest in the series to date. Read the rest of this entry

Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher

Proven Guilty is the eighth book in The Dresden Files series, and we’re fast approaching the point where I basically refused to read anything that didn’t feature Harry Dresden because the books became so flipping good and I needed more Harry Dresden dammit. The previous book in the series, Dead Beat, was also fantastic, and Proven Guilty sort of showed that this wasn’t a fluke, but was in fact the expected standard for latter half of the series to date. As usual, there’ll be spoilers up to and including the end of Dead Beat. Read the rest of this entry

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Depending on what day of the week it is, Neil Gaiman wrote either my favourite or second favourite book, American Gods (and I’ve read a lot of books, which should tell you how goddamn good that one is), so obviously I’m going to read his new stuff at the first opportunity. And then wait about three months to review it. I’m a fanboy, and I’m lazy. Read the rest of this entry

Dead Beat by Jim Butcher

A quick word on spoilers. This is book 7 of The Dresden Files. I tend to write reviews as if you’ve read the previous books in the series, but not this one. That means there may well be spoilers for the first six books in the series, but I’ll avoid revealing any major details that take place more than around a quarter or a third of the way into this one. So if you’ve not read the first six books, I recommend you do so, then read Dead Beat, then come back and read this review.

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Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood

I was deliberately looking for a bit of a change of pace after reading too much fantasy and what have you, so I decided to head back to the shores of the island of Margaret Atwood, to check out one of her non-fantasy novels. I think this is the fifth Atwood book I’ve read now, and as far as I can recall all of the previous four have had some sort of fantasy element: the various dystopian aspects of The Handmaid’s Tale, Oryx & Crake and The Year of the Flood, and the story-within-a-story in The Blind Assassin.
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Blood Rites by Jim Butcher

Dresden Files 6, here we go. This feels a bit like a watershed book for the series. Up to this point, the overarching plot, established from book three, is that the wizards are at war with the Red Court of vampires. Thus far, this has been a bit of a cold war, and its only really been mentioned in passing during the books since then; it wasn’t 100% clear whether Butcher was going to fully commit to this as a major plot point, especially as bits and pieces of the previous books were looking at ways that either side might be able to get out of the war with their honour intact. However, from Blood Rites, it definitely feels like the Red Court war will remain a major plot point going forward.
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