This time around, we’re dealing with werewolves. And not just stereotypical werewolves, but a small pile of different forms. People that turn into wolves, people turned into wolves against their will, magic item based wolves… It’s a lot. It’s getting close (if not outright blowing past) the ‘kitchen sink’ world building that’s rather common in urban fantasy. On the other hand, it’s neat to see a few different takes on werewolves.
Another neat beat of world building comes in the form of Chauncy, a civilized (seeming) demon with a British accent who apparently knows far more about the larger world and Dresden’s part in it than anyone else we’ve seen. It’ll be interesting to see how/if that comes back in the future.
After that, we get a bit of growth for Dresden. Although he certainly respects some women’s abilities (Murphy for example), he’ll turn right on and go on about wanting to protect them. There’s also the sexual descriptions of just about every single female character we meet (with several of them ending up naked at various times, because werewolf).
As a counterpart, the only male character that we get described is Marcone, who always has eyes like dollar bills. This is mentioned oddly often. He’s still one of my favorite characters in the series. We know that he’s not a ‘good’ man by just about anyone’s definition, but at the same time, he does have his own code that he will stick to. He could be a very powerful enemy–or ally.
Plotwise, there are a few more twists this time, partially coming from the number of different parties involved and partially because we’re tied to Dresden’s (flawed) point of view. It’s a nice change from Storm Front.
Overall, it’s a stronger story than Storm Front and an excellent sequel.