Green Review: White Night by Jim Butcher (Orbit)

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Book Info

Title: White Night
Author: Jim Butcher
Pages: 454
Genre: Noir, Urban Fantasy, Crime
Standalone/Series: Series – The Dresden Files Book 9
Release: Out Now in paperback
Publisher: Orbit

Synopsis

Harry Dresden is called in to investigate what first appears to be a suicide but  it isn’t that simple there is a taint of magic in the air – something only a wizard could find. Or more exactly a message for Harry to find.

This draws Harry into investigating a series of murders that have been hidden. The impact ranges beyond his native Chicago as murders in an effort to find the killer but also to save his half-brother, Thomas as the evidence is all pointing in Thomas’s direction.

Harry is always saving someone usually himself from the hornet’s nest he has stirred up and he seems to attract damsels in distress. In White Night it isn’t just one damsel – it becomes a whole group of them. And that expands  what is at stake but also diminishes his chances of save them all.

This includes his new apprentice Molly.

Comments/Thoughts/Analysis (CONTAINS SPOILERS)

I’ve read Small Favour and Turn Coat since reading this one so it’s hard to deal with White Night in isolation. But I’ll try.

This is book 9 now and are there any more surprises that Butcher can come up with or is he just being formulaic and playing it by numbers?

Yes and no. I am getting a little tired of the politics of the White Court vs Red Court (two different varieties of vampires)  vs the Wizards Council.

There is enough interesting things happening that I can overlook it but I’m hoping that we are coming to the end of the this focus and it will move on soon, which I’ll come back to when talking about Turn Coat on Thursday.

I guess I like Harry because he could walk away and doesn’t. He tries to do the right thing even when he’s out classed and outgunned and it never feels that Butcher cheats to have Harry win. As even though he usually comes out alive at the end it’s hard sometimes to describe it as as living.

Teaching is a theme in White Night. The role of teaching Molly gives Harry a different view point and teaches both Harry and the reader some important lessons. But he also has to teach the damsels to protect themselves though they have their own protector who is something of a surprise to Harry.

He has also been carrying a Shadow since touching the coin containing one of the Fallen. His Fallen is Lasciel, who he has named Lash and has been with him since Death Masks, takes an important and surprising role in events. One that actually makes you feel sorry for her.

The other thing we get to see is Harry working with another Wizard from the council and see flashbacks to New Mexico and the events that are the seed of a final confrontation, which sees Harry, Ramirez outclassed and outgunned. And there is more than one  cost of, barely, winning.

Butcher has given has Harry a two headed snake – one that is going to come back and bite him in Small Favour especially when you’re dealing with a career criminal.

Summary

Despite my weariness from another White Court centred story Butcher kept the pages turning quite rapidly as usual. He’s managing to keep Harry his toes and this reader guessing and reading.

In the end White Night is another satisfying and exciting read. More than enough for me to move straight on to Small Favour being reviewed tomorrow.

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