Well, it took longer than I was hoping, but I finished the next Dresden instalment, “White Night.” And before I get into the plot and such, I will say that I found this one to be pretty straight forward compared to some of the more twist-heavy ones I’ve covered. That said, just what is the plot to this one?
A recent string of apparent suicide cases causes Karrin Murphy to bring Harry in on the case. His discoveries soon lead him to dive into the world of the White Court vampires to find out who the true culprit is. But he also has to contend with keeping his new apprentice, Molly, out of trouble, and the reappearance of an old flame. Will Harry find the killer in time before more victims appear, including possibly himself?
As I said above, this book felt pretty straight-forward and there weren’t really any twists until near the end. One thing I really liked was the focus on the White Court and the various factions within it, including bringing back Thomas and his family. I thought the plot did a great job of utilizing them and also fleshing out the White Court in general after all the focus on the Black Court and especially the Red Court lately. I also didn’t mind the reappearance of a certain character (who I of course won’t spoil), as they played a pretty sizable role in the events that take place. There was definitely setup of a minor plotline for later stories, and I’m interested to see if that’ll come into play. The book also uses ghouls to tie into both the main plot and a flashback. I felt this was really well done and highlighted how much Harry’s changed over the past few books.
As usual, I enjoyed Murphy’s role in the story and even Marcone gets in on the action again this time. Despite him being a jerk, I still find his character super interesting and he gets a little more background revealed here as well. But if I had to pick a character that I enjoyed the most, I really liked the developments made with Lasciel (aka “Lash”). I was worried her involvement in Harry’s life would become repetitive, but some interesting conversations take place between them in this that really expanded on her character and motivations. I wasn’t overly satisfied with how she’s handled near the end of the story, but that’s mostly because of the book’s implication and not her as a character.
I did have a couple nitpicks with this one, however. First, I was able to tell who one of possible suspects was right away, though there’s a twist involving said character that I wasn’t fully expecting. The reason I could guess it was this character was because Jim Butcher creates a way too obvious red herring to distract from it. Maybe I’ve just gotten better at spotting red herrings like that, or maybe it was just written way too blatantly, but I soon wanted the main characters to hurry up and figure it out so the story could move along.
My other complaint centers around Molly. As a character, I still don’t like her overly much. She did earn some points from me for a scene before the final confrontation, but I’m typically not a fan of rebellious, kinda whiny teenager characters. However, my main issue with her is that the books, especially this one, continue to sexualize her. Okay, I know she’s like 19 (so thankfully legal), but when you have guys like Butters and even freakin’ Harry (I know he needs to get laid but still) noticing how physically attractive she is, it feels just icky. I sincerely wish this becomes less of a thing in the later books, because it was the biggest thing that bothered me here (though it WAS kept to a minimum, thankfully).
Overall, “White Night” was a pretty good story. Without an abundance of twists, it was much easier to follow even early on than some of the books I’ve read, and the focus of the White Court was very much appreciated since I consider them my favorite of the big three. Considering how far into the series we are and how much has happened, I wouldn’t recommend trying to pick up and read this without context. However, as part of the series, I think it’s a solid entry and that goes especially for some of the book’s character-driven moments.