White Night (Book 9)
In the pantheon of the Dresden Files series, this book in particular was not my favorite (not that I have a specific one picked out for that title). However, it’s still pretty damn amazing.
I know I don’t usually give you any hint of plot. (In my defense, sometimes it’s nigh impossible to do without spoilers.) Anyway, to remedy my usual failings, here’s a quick rundown for this book:
It opens with Dresden and Murphy realizing that a supernatural being is running amuck in Chicago, killing minor practitioners of magic, but making them look like suicides. (Ready for the plot cliché? Here it comes…) Hijinks ensue as Dresden and Murphy try to find the killer before anyone else gets hurt.
(I want you all to know how much that cliché hurt to write. I hope you enjoyed it.)
A whole cast of characters from some early books are featured in this one. Helen Beckitt from the very first book is one of those featured characters. It took my brain a couple of cycles to rev up the memory of her role in the first book, Storm Front. (For those who don’t remember, she was ½ of the sexual ritual that was being used to blow people’s hearts out of their chests…literally.) Butcher is pretty exceptional as a writer, in that you can see the levels at which he’s working, and that there really are quite a few. On one level, you can see the creative Sci Fi/ Fantasy nerd in him, who is writing a character that allows him to say, “I wonder what would happen if a wizard had the ability to re-animate a dinosaur.” (For details on that story, which are frakking amazing, see Dead Beat.) On another level, Butcher analyzes the human condition, but not in the boring way that makes most students begin to drool during English class. He takes a person who appears to be dead and cold, a person who consented to be ½ of a sexual ritual that caused chest explosions, and he lets you see what happened to make them be like that. A lot of people avoid thinking about the fact that humans are capable of truly horrible things, Butcher does it in a way that is almost endearing.
In contrast, my favorite thing about Butcher’s writing is the tenacity he imbues his characters with. It’s not that they’re inhumanly stronger and faster than everyone. (Okay, Thomas is, but he’s a vampire, he’s supposed to be.) What makes Butcher’s characters so lovable is that they just don’t give up. And it’s not that they’re doing it just to save their own lives. It’s their friends’ lives that matter most. The people they love the most that drives them to continue fighting in the face of overwhelming odds. This book is steeped in that mentality. The stakes are just too high to give up.
In the end, this book is entertaining through the last page. You will immediately want to start the next book in the series. 4 ink bottles for White Night. Good luck putting it down.