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Dresden Files Re-read (spoilers, separated per book)

 
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Big Bubba
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 9:51 pm
Post subject: Dresden Files Re-read (spoilers, separated per book)
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So I'm doing a Harry D re-read in between some other books. It's probably going to be an extended thing, so I belive some notes may be appropriate to jog the ol' memory.

Storm Front
Plot:
Harry is looking for missing person (Victor Sells) and helping SI with a murder case (people gets their hearts ripped out). Murderer turns out to be the missing person, who is really a demon-raising sorcerer and thirdeye drug dealer. Victor uses energy from storms to do the wicked deeds, hence the title.

Supporting characters:
Murphy (mad at Harry for hiding things, strained relationship)
Marcone (first encounter: ends in soulgaze, eventually Harry finds a traitor in Mobsters Inc)
Morgan (out to nail Harry for the murders, but ends up saving Harry at the end)
Bianca (first encounter: Harry sees her true form, she does not like this at all)
Susan (drinks Harry's love potion and gets horny)

Thoughts:
Potion-making! Love it. Why doesn't Harry use potions in the later books?


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Alle
The First Evil


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 3:23 pm
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I loved the potion making sessions he would do with Bob snarkily assisting. When I first read this book, I thought it was okay, and figured I would continue with the series, but was not all that wild about it. The second time I read it, I enjoyed it much more. Not sure why the difference, but I guess maybe knowing the future of relationships like Harry and Murphy made it less annoying when Murphy was being so bitchy. I really did not start liking her until several books in.
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Big Bubba
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 2:44 pm
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... and we have more potion making in...

Fool Moon
With such a title there has to be werewolves! (There wolves... there castle.) So this starts out with Murphy coming to get Harry for a full moon murder scene where one of Marcone's lackeys has been ripped apart. Lots of pressure on Murphy who is the target of an "internal affairs" investigation, and we get another book of Murphy not trusting Harry, going as far as having him arrested when things look fishy. We get a whole slew of suspects of various lycanthropical flavors:
- werewolves: Billy, Georgia and their pack, taught by the mysterious Tera West
- lycanthropes: a gang called the streetwolves led by a guy named Parker
- a loup-garou: Tera's boy friend MacFinn, whose ancestor was cursed by none other than Saint Patrick
- and finally the real killers, a bunch of FBI agents who are hexenvolwes and ultimately out to kill Marcone: Denton, Benn, Harris and Wilson.

In the end Harry and Murphy save each other and Marcone. Harry kills the loup-garou (using his mother's silver amulet) and Murphy kills Denton. Before that Harry took a turn as a hexenwolf and made Benn, Harris and Wilson kill each other, and went on to almost kill Denton too.

The book ends with Harry musing about the fact that he has no idea who gave the feds the belts that turned them into wolves, and he also suspects that someone taught Victor Sells magic (see Storm Front).

Supporting characters:
Murphy (Harry's subconscious gets some screen time and reveals that he has the hots for Karrin)
Marcone (tries unsuccessfully to employ Harry)
Susan (now official girlfriend)
Enter the Alphas, who more or less swear fealty to Harry at the end
We also meet a "friendly" demon who hints about the secrets of Harry's mother

Thoughts:
By this book the standard DF routine is clearly set. Over the course of the book Harry gets thoroughly banged up. By the end he has a number of injuries and no magic left, and has to pull a rabbit out his hat to save the day.

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Big Bubba
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:03 pm
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So a couple of months ago I sat on an airplane and opened Carrie's Kindle to read the second Dagger and Coin book, but unfortunately it was archived and well... I was on a plane with no Internet connection. Instead I browsed through her available books and found Grave Peril. Thus an out of sequence Dresden Files re-read was born. However, after finishing that book I didn't want to type up my thoughts until I had read the first two books. Maybe that wasn't the wisest decision I've ever made, because now I'm having some trouble remembering the finer details.

But let's give it a try. This is an interesting book in that several new characters are introduced that will play a big part in Harry's future adventures. Therefore, I'm going to reverse the order compared to previous posts:

Supporting characters:
Murphy (much less screen-time in this book, due to being put under a spell early on)
NEW: Michael Carpenter (helping Harry fighting ghosts, then vampires) and family
NEW: Thomas and Justine show up at Bianca's little partay, and pretty much immediately turn into allies
Bianca (hot for revenge on Harry, down to having bought Harry's tombstone)
NEW: Lea (Harry's fairy godmother, dead set on forcing Harry into her service. She seems pretty evil in this book, especially when she gets custody of Michael's sword, only to hand it off to Bianca)
Susan (gets turned into a vampire-to-be by Bianca)
NEW: Mavra (black vampire extraordinaire and general evil mastermind, teaching Bianca magic and helping the other baddies)

And the other baddies are interesting in that the back-story to this book is missing from the beginning, and only revealed little by little. A couple of months ago Harry, Murphy and Michael shut down a demon-raining sorcerer named Leonid Kravos. When ghosts start to go crazy and the border to the Nevernenver is weakened by something that gets named the Nightmare Harry realizes there is a connection to that case. At first he thinks the Nightmare is the ghost of the demon, but it turns out the Nightmare is Kravos, who has committed suicide in prison. Kravos at one point holds most of Harry's power after having taken a big bite out of our hero in a dream, but in the end Harry bites back (ha!) and then goes on to kill Bianca by using the ghosts of people Bianca has killed and in the process pretty much demolishes Bianca's residence.

However, Susan remains a vampinfant and breaks up with Harry and leaves town. Also, Mavra's fate is unknown (but we all know that such a nice bad girl is bound to come back).

Thoughts:
In this book we start to see exactly how far Harry is willing to go get his way. He deliberately eats poisonous mushroom in order to get out of a bargain with Lea, and is even closer to dead than usual by the end of the book. Reading that part a second time, it definitely is a clue to certain events later on...

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Alle
The First Evil


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:17 pm
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FYI, the first several chapters of Skin Game are available in the back of the mass ppb release of Cold Days. No, I haven't read it yet but may have to visit B&N. lol
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Big Bubba
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 9:55 am
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The blurb sounds promising. Now if we only had a release date!
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Alle
The First Evil


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:08 pm
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Bubba, Amazon has a tentative release date of 12/3/13 (yeah, I know its Amazon, heh) and Locus Mag also has it slated for a December release.
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Alle
The First Evil


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 2:42 am
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I saw this on JB's website (from his Twitter):


@justinejoli I finished chapter 33 (of 45ish) last night. Gimme two more weeks to finish up.
2:21 a.m. Mon, Sep 23

So at least he is in the home stretch. Long shot at us getting the book in December, but it's still a possibility I guess. lol
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Big Bubba
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 5:28 am
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Nice to hear he is making progress, but it does sound more like April 2014 than December this year. That will give me some time to work on my re-read.
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Big Bubba
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 8:41 pm
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And we're back!

Yes, I've been sidetracked by other books and life in general, but I finally made it back to DF and finished Summer Knight tonight. Think I can finish another 10 books before May 27th and Skin Game? Me neither...

In any case, in this book we meet Harry at what is possibly the lowest point in his career, so far at least. He's been spending months down in his basement lab trying to come with a way to reverse Susan's vampire curse. The result is hair and beard like a prophet, BO like a troll who has been feeding on ghoul carcasses, and a sulky temper to rival any member of the US Congress involved in financial negotiations with the enemy.

So what better way to cheer you up than learning that the Red Vampire court is demanding that the White Council hand over Harry to them to stop the war (which is going poorly for the wizards), and that Lea has sold Harry's debt to the Faerie Winter Queen, Mab. To pay off that debt Mab is offering Harry a deal to do her three favors, the first of which is becoming an emissary of Winter in the matter of finding the killer of the Summer Knight. Good start of the day, eh?

So, let's take a look at the olde character list:
Murphy (also in bad shape after her experiences in the previous book, using booze and valium to sleep), helping Harry to kill a plant monster
Lea, who now seems to be on Harry's side rather than being his worst nightmare
NEW: Mab, Queen of Air and Darkness
NEW: Ebenezar McCoy, the wizard who took Harry on as an apprentice after he killed Justin DuMorne, and in this book is supporting Harry and getting elected into the Senior Council
NEW: Elayne, former girlfriend who is most definitely not as dead as Harry assumed, and acting as the emissary of Summer
NEW: Maeve, freaky Winter Lady
NEW: Lloyd Slate, acting Winter Knight, heroin-addict, and secret ally of the Summer Lady
NEW: Aurora, Summer Lady, and insane
NEW: Fix and Lily, Changelings who were under the protection of the now deceased Summer Knight
And various other wizards (such as the Merlin, Ancient Mai, and the Gatekeeper) and faeries (mainly thinking of Toot and his band)

So, what was all this about? Well, the Red Court business was put on the back-burner when the wizard council agree to let Harry off the hook if he manages to buy them passage through the Nevernever from one of the Faerie Queens, which Mab is willing to grant if Harry takes her up on her proposed deal. So Harry goes off to find the killer of the Summer Knight.

After various adventures, including a visit to Mother Winter's cottage, Harry learns that the killer was Lloyd Slate, acting on the orders of Aurora. The power of the Summer Knight was transferred to the Changeling Lily, who Aurora turned into a statue to hide the deed from the queens. The queens were then forced into a war with each other at an ancient battleground containing a stone table of immense power, which is currently in the hands of Summer, but on Midsummer will go to Winter. By killing Lily on the table at the moment of power transfer, adding the power of the Summer Knight, Aurora hopes to break the age-old stalemate between Summer and Winter and create a new world order. That this would also have devastating consequences in the mortal world... well, who cares about that if you have traveled really far into crazy-land.

But all this comes to naught. Harry charges in with the Alphas and two Changelings (Fix and Meryl), rescues Lily in the nick of time, and kills Aurora by having Toot and his Merry Men attack her with tiny little steel knives. In the aftermath Elayne once again walks out of Harry's life, Fix and Lily becomes the new Summer Knight and Lady, and Harry gets his apartment cleaned by faeries and takes up role-playing with the Alphas.

Thoughts:
I was kind of surprised at how Harry was not completely beat up before the end of the book. I mean, not a single broken bone! Only a minor concussion and some Beetle abuse.

Edited to add: Also, this book was less of a surprise than the others during the re-read. I sort of remembered the plot!. At the moment I'm halfway through Death Masks and I have no freaking clue what is going on.

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Big Bubba
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:40 pm
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I finished no. 5, Death Masks, two weeks ago or more, but for some reason I can't work up the energy to write about it. Maybe because I immediately embarked on the next book and now have finished it and started FD #7? Who knows, but this needs to be done tonight, or I will have forgotten what happened. Not because it was a forgettable book, but rather because work is kicking all the fun stuff out of my brain. Good thing I took some notes...

So, what was all the hullabaloo about this time? Let's see, the Shroud of Turin has been stolen and Harry is hired by a Father Vincent of the Vatican to retrieve it, because somehow it appears to have made it's way to Chicago (one of the more unbelievable things about this series is that Chicago appears to be the center of the universe). The Red Court is moving against Harry through one of their dukes, who challenges Harry to a duel. And, of course, SI needs some consulting when they come across a headless and handless and generally badly mutilated corpse.

And this is where we break to look at the characters, because I believe we are getting introduced to the final bunch of people who will be important in upcoming books:
Murphy is in it , of course, though not really in the thick of the action
Susan, back in town to tie up some loose ends (including final goodbye to Harry) with a half-vampire sidekick named Martin
NEW: Duke Ortega, showing up at the Larry Fowler TV show with the duel "offer"
Thomas is back, this time acting as Ortega's second
Marcone is also back, this time as the prospective buyer of the Shroud, and now with defenses against magic in the form of "Ms Gard"
NEW: Waldo Butters (yay!) is the guy who gets the dubious pleasure of doing the autopsy of Murphy's corpse
NEW: The Archive, named Ivy by Harry, acting as the "referee" of the duel
NEW: Kincaid, Ivy's bodyguard
NEW: The Denarians, mainly mega-baddie Nicodemus and his "daugther" Deidre, the Meduza Minion
NEW: Shiro and Sanya, the other two Knights of the Cross
And young Molly Carpenter gets to give sex advice, the Lords of Kobol save us all

Let's see if I can summarize some of the major points in bullet form (likely in a messed up order):
- Butters finds out that what killed the mutilated body was a super-plague.
- First attempt to retrieve the Shroud is unsuccessful after a run-in with Deidre. The final surviving thief runs off with the Shroud.
- Harry is captured by the Denarians at his second attempt to retrieve the Shroud at the event where Marcone is supposed to buy it. Nicodemus gets both Harry and the Shroud.
- Shiro shows up to rescue Harry, but ends up having to take Harry's place as prisoner in order to retrieve him.
- Father Vincent turns out to be a Denarian in disguise. They are using Harry to track down the Shroud for them.
- Harry goes off to the duel with Susan as his second. When it looks like he's winning a contest of wills Ortega decides to cheat and brings out a gun. Luckily Martin is hidden with a rifle nearby and shoots Ortega. All hell breaks loose and both Harry and Ortega gets away.

Then it's off with Micheal to a showdown at the airport with the Denarians. Harry has figured out that they are going to set off a plague-curse where it can be spread all over the world. Shiro is going to be the victim necessary to invoce the curse. They show up too late to save Shiro, but manage to make the Denarians go to plan B - taking a train to the next major airport hub. At this time Harry calls in Marcone and Gard with a helicopter to hunt down the train and Nic, Deidre and the Shroud. The final battle takes place on top off the train. After Harry has been shot, Marcone manages to get the Shroud off the shoulders of Nic and all the good guys get away by diving into a lake.


A couple of interesting things happens in the aftermath:
- The Denarians come back and manage to get Harry to pick up the coin of Lasciel. He buries it in cement under his apartment, well knowing that some measure of damage is already done.
- Harry follows Marcone and finds out that he wanted the Shroud to heal a loved one who is in coma. Harry persuades him to return the Shroud after three days.
- In a letter Shiro explains that he had termianl cancer, so surrendering himself to Nic was just another way of meeting his end.

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Big Bubba
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:09 pm
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OK, seeing as Wikipedia has much more detailed plot summaries than the ones I've been writing, and the fact that I'm now two books behind with little desire to stop and take notes, I'm giving up on this project. I'll continue to write some quick bullets now and then, but that's it. Speaking of which:

Blood Rites
    Mouse, yay! I had forgotten how anti-dog Harry was. And given events in later books, clearly he was fated to end up with a Tibetan temple dog as his protector.
    On the topic of forgotten things, I had no memory of Harry's chat with his mother, or how she had cursed Lord Raith. All I remembered before starting the book was that somehow Lara ended up ruler in disguise of the White Court.
    So happy and sad at the same time about Thomas. He is such a nice guy deep down that it breaks your heart to know that he will never be rid of the monster within him. Or will he?
    The reveal of Kincaid's nature and his animosity against Ebenezar was another thing that came as a surprise.


Dead Beat
    Starting this book, I remembered the T-Rex rampage. That's about it. The best part of this re-read is that it's almost like reading these books for the first time again. There is some benefit from growing old and forgetful!
    I also knew something was fishy with Shiela, buit I couldn't recall exactly what.
    How very Harry Potter that the ghost of Harry's father showed up to give some advice.
    And is it just me, or is Harry's subconscious way smarter than him?
    Finally, I believe this book is a turning point in the series in several ways.
    - First hardcover, a little longer than the previous ones
    - Harry is now becoming pretty different from the beginning of the series. He has a reputation, his power is growing, and he is no longer constantly broke.


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Big Bubba
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 6:16 pm
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And now for something completely different... but no, just one step closer to a full re-read before May 27th:

Proven Guilty
Unusual book, in that there is no clear antagonist. Well, I guess the band of fetches may count, but this is really a book that is centered around character development, and setting things up for later books. The Maeve-Lily thing and Outsider business that came to a head in Cold Days is set up here. The theory of a Black Council is aired for the first time. Unless I'm mistaken, wizard Peabody is mentioned for the second time, setting things up for whatever book flushed out the traitor.

So much good stuff to look forward to, and I'm still at a point in the series where it almost feels like reading the books for the first time. I think I may have another 2-3 books where the material feels fresh, and then I will start to remember things!

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Jade
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:58 pm
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I'm also doing a reread - mostly because I discovered the collection of kindle ebooks I could access with a library card included Dresden Files: #1-6, and #7-12 omnibuses! It's sort of silly, because that's way more than I can read in 2 weeks. Luckily the kindle allows one to really cheat the time limit a bit.

Things I was surprised by - how many books went by before Molly became Harry's apprentice. Somehow she seemed like such a fixture to me, I had just assumed it happened much earlier in the series! Not in, what, the 8th book, I think?

I liked the stuff with Lasciel better this time around, maybe because I knew how it would end. I really wouldn't have wanted this whole temptation thing, and always relying on her thing, to go on forever, but it worked for a few books.

Anyway, I'm really enjoying my reread - because like you, I've really forgotten most of it!

Jade

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Alle
The First Evil


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:07 pm
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I did a re-read prior to Cold Days release and enjoyed it quite a bit, having forgotten a lot of the nuances. Well, more than that actually: there were plotlines and characters I had forgotten, lol. I plane to reread Cold Days right before the new book comes out. :-) Happy rereading you guys!
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Big Bubba
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:12 pm
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Still going strong here. I'm halfway through Small Favor, so I'll likely be done well in advance of the release of the new book.
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Jade
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 2:25 pm
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I went on ski-vacation last week, which included a 9 hour train trip at each end, and a "recovery Sunday" before I went back to work.... so I whizzed through about #10-12, I think. That's where the pace of the series really switches gears, I guess - particularly with Turncoat. Finished Changes last night - now I have to somehow get my hands on Ghost Story and Cold Days

hrm. c'mon, library, you can do it...

Jade

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Big Bubba
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 9:22 pm
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I am done! Now where is that Skin Game book when I need it? Can't believe I'll have to wait almost two months for it.

So, it was really fun to read all these books pretty much back to back. There were so many little details I had forgotten, and there was definitely more foreshadowing than I remembered. I wonder to what detail Butcher has the whole series mapped out, and how much he makes up as he goes.

Anyway, let's see what other books I missed while I was doing this re-read.

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