“Cold Days” Review

Cold_Days_Hardcover

Well, I’m now two weeks into my trip and have finally finished the second last Dresden book in the series thus far. I’m hoping to start the final book at some point this week or next and may blog next week about this weekend’s Wizard World Comic Con in Fort Lauderdale that I’m going to. I get to meet and have a photo op with James Marsters aka my FAVE person on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” so you’ll no doubt be hearing all about that and more. Until then, let’s get into the plot of “Cold Days.”

Continuing off of the events from both “Changes” and “Ghost Story,” Harry finds himself quickly caught up in another diabolical plot involving the faeries from both the Summer and Winter Courts. As he meets back up with his friends, Harry uncovers more secrets about “his” island, Demonreach, that could spell doom for not only Chicago but the rest of the world. Will Harry and co. be able to prevent incoming disaster, or will it be too much for even them to handle?

Like the last two books, this one is ripe with spoilers thanks to the aftermath/consequences of them. One major consequence is set up in “Changes” and plays a big part here, not only to tie Harry to the faerie plot but also to further his character development and interactions with others. I thought it was well done and no doubt sets up an interesting angle for Harry to cope with in upcoming books. The plot itself comes together pretty nicely, though I felt it was a bit slow to kick off partially thanks to Harry meeting up with old friends and such early on. I’ve made it clear in the past that while I like elements of the faerie-verse in the series, they’re not my favorites in terms of baddies or threats. That said, this was one of the most interesting stories I’ve read involving them and I felt more invested overall.

As with most Dresden stories, several reoccurring characters get more development as well. Even though I’m still not overly fond of her, I both like and dislike the direction Molly’s being taken in, mainly thanks to a major twist near the end of the book. Also, it STILL drives me nuts that the dangling thread of her crush on Harry is still a thing because I just find it incredibly icky. Thankfully, I got more long overdue relationship development (if you can call it that) between Harry and Karrin. While I don’t feel like they’ll be going off into the sunset together (I swear, Jim Butcher reminds me of Joss Whedon sometimes), I did like that they continue to address how topsy-turvy their friendship is. There was even further development, or at least mystery, with Mac. He was always a character who we didn’t know much about to begin with, but I have to wonder if we’ll ever find out more about him or if it’ll be left up in the air, as this book seems to suggest the latter. It’s interesting to think about, but also drives me nuts at the same time.

One thing I’ve mentioned feeling extremely grateful about doing was reading “Side Jobs” after “Changes” as sort of filler/character pieces. I can safely say I’m even more glad for reading it before this book, because it’s referenced here in spades. Granted, you don’t HAVE to read it before this, but it was nice to go “Ah ha!” whenever those stories were mentioned. Otherwise, they come off as cute incidents from Harry’s past (at least until you read “Side Jobs” after the fact). And since I mentioned that big twist at the end of the book, I will say that I didn’t see it coming until the book prompted me to catch on. I thought it was really well done following the heels of yet another island battle, and one of the big points made in the book hearkens back to as far as the very beginning with “Storm Front.” I feel as though we haven’t seen the last of that particular point since it has major implications for the Dresden-verse.

Overall, “Cold Days” was a good book. While I’m a little biased against it as I prefer other creatures/baddies in this series over faeries, I liked that the majority of that world was represented here in a pretty coherent, tonally serious story. The character interactions continue to entertain me and I’m curious to see what’s in store for Harry next. The series has been shifting to increasingly darker stuff and I for one can’t wait for more. As I said above, stay tuned for a possible convention blog, and after that should be my final (for now) Dresden blog for “Skin Game.”

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