Friday, August 2, 2013

Review: Cold Days by Jim Butcher

After recovering from his near death experience and undergoing some rather intense training at the hands of his new liege lady Mab, Queen and Air and Darkness, Harry receives his first assignment as Winter Knight; the assassination of an immortal.  Besides this seemingly impossible task, Harry has to deal with some members of the Winter court jockeying for position at his expense, deal with confronting his friend's who believed him dead and trying to defuse an island that is about to go nuclear.

This novel definitely sets the direction for the remainder of the series, revealing some far reaching plot points and moving firmly away from 'case by case' novels we knew earlier in the series. The landscape has defintely changed and there were more than a few 'wow' moments.

Pacing is, as always, tightly controlled, Harry remains an engaging protagonist and I still love his snarkiness. While remaining true to his genuinly decent guy nature it was interesting to see him struggle with some darker impulses that the mantle of winter knight brought on.

My only criticism was that Butcher didn't really explore the effect Harry's return from the dead had on the supporting characters especially Molly, Murphy and Thomas. We saw the former two deeply affected by his death in the previous novel but no real lingering effects were obvious in this one. Granted they were all going through a major life and death crisis throughout the novel and exploring their emotional state wasn't a priority but some down time would have been interesting.

Overall Butcher continues to deliver in a big way 8.25/10.

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