First off, I’d like to apologize for not having a blog up last week. I spent the majority of that time trying to read today’s book and also grab old episodes of “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” following Jon’s departure. Having finished “Changes” finally, I still plan to try to keep reading more in the series, though I’ll be taking a slight detour by going into “Side Jobs” next. With that said, just what is this book about?
Harry’s life is thrown into disarray once again when his former girlfriend, Susan, returns to Chicago with some life-changing news. In light of this, he also discovers that the Red Court is hoping to negotiate peace with the White Council. But Harry suspects they have something up their sleeve when Duchess Arianna, who has it out for him, is the one trying to negotiate. Will Harry be able to put the Red Court down for good, or will he lose everything he cares about in the process?
As you all know, I’ve striven to make these reviews as spoiler-free as possible. The bad side to that is I can’t talk about a lot of major revelations/twists. Well, “Changes” is an apt title for this book, because many, many, MANY major things happen. I know from here on out it might be impossible NOT to spoil and I’ll warn you if that’s the case. I WILL say that I both liked and disliked this book for various reasons, some that I can talk about.
Susan’s role in the book and the news she brings Harry didn’t sit well with me throughout the story but especially in the beginning. I always liked Susan, but her re-introduction here felt…soap opera-y to me. She is involved with the Red Court plot and that was well done, but it was that initial dramatic entrance that left a bad taste in my mouth. I kinda wish Butcher hadn’t gone for the cliches and just had her strictly involved in the Red Court stuff. As for her exit from the book… There was strong reasoning behind it, but I ultimately felt unsatisfied overall with how her character was treated in this.
One thing I mentioned to my fiance was how despite being a “middle of Harry’s story” book, this one felt more like the end to his story. It was distracting at first, as his life is impacted severely and there were a few “cameos” of people who have helped him in the past. However, it was easy to get past, and I was glad the story kept up the tension and action. I’d complained about the last book that it was too slow to start, but this one ramps up from the very start and doesn’t let up hardly at all. That’s not to say the story felt rushed, though. It just had a ton of events going on throughout.
Since I can read these weeks at a time versus waiting for a new book to come out, I’ll mention that the ending to this book, while tying up a lot of things, does contain basically a cliffhanger (and a tease on top of that that irritated me personally). This cliffhanger is a major event for Dresden that I’ve been assured plays a big part in the next book, “Ghost Story.” This was one where I liked the context of it, but at the same time disliked that a cliffhanger was used. I can’t begin to imagine how readers felt having to wait a year or so before the next book to see what happens.
Overall, “Changes” is a good book despite my gripes with some of the plot developments in it. This book is/was a game-changer and I’m interested to see where the second half of the series goes. If you’ve been even remotely reading the series before this book, it’s definitely one that you can’t afford to miss.