Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Review: Blood Rites by Jim Butcher

Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard, is in trouble. Again. Thomas, a white court vampire, has called in a favour and sent Harry to investigate some strange goings on the set of an adult film. The film’s producer believes he is the target of a sinister entropy curse and the women about him are dying in ever more unlikely ways. Thomas seems to have a stake in the case that Harry can’t quite figure out what and that makes him nervous. Meanwhile Marva, a particular vicious blackcourt vampire, is in town and intent on finishing Harry off and Harry’s hired help might prove just as deadly. To top it all off Harry finds himself dog sitting a boisterous puppy dog.

I think the most evident thing about the six installment of the Dresden files is that Butcher really puts Harry through his paces. No really. I know Harry usually finds himself in the deep end but this time Butcher has thrown everything at him including the kitchen sink to see how he reacts. Not even counting the obvious threats to Harry’s physical wellbeing, the beliefs he holds about his mentor Ebenezer and the white council, beliefs he has based his life on are turned on their head and Harry has to face some shocking revelations about his own family. The Dresden files are often seen as episodic but there some definite underlying plots throughout the series as evidenced by the aforementioned. Harry doubted, got very angry and of course soldiered on.

There was also a good focus on the development of a couple of support characters, namely Murphy and Thomas. It was certainly interesting to see a more vulnerable side to the cocky and calm playboy, while Murphy’s issues from previous books are dredged up and it is interesting to see how she copes and has ultimately grown as an individual.

Overall another solid offering from Butcher 8/10.

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