Dead Beat

Ooh fun. A big bad necromancer (in this world, the driving force behind World War I) got taken out by the White Council decades ago. Unfortunately, he left behind a small pile of minions, who of course came calling on Dresden’s home turf.

This is right in the running with Death Masks for my favorite thus far. There’s a reason it has the highest Goodreads ranking among the first ten Dresden books…

There are a whole pile of awesome baddies, united in their necromantic powers but each with their own twists. Butters gets a serious boost and a lot more importance. We see a bit more of Thomas and Dresden’s growing relationship as brothers.

Another awesome part is the whole new twist to come about from Lasciel’s coin from the ending of Death Masks. We saw it building a bit in the last book, but things are coming to a head hear. I’ll just say that I missed the twist the first time around and it blew me away. On re-reads, I can see just how carefully the hints are planted. It’s lovely.

But really? The thing that puts this book right up there with the best of them? The final battle scene. A one-man polka band powered Tyrannosaurus rex brought back on a stormy Halloween night for one last hunt through the streets of Chicago. So cool.

One interesting note that I hadn’t noticed before, but there’s a part around the middle of this book where Dresden talks with Morty. He drops a line about how Murphy’s dad was good people… And then corrects that to is good people. Coming from an ectomancer, that’s an interesting line. Each re-read is fascinating to see how Butcher weaves his world together, both planting seeds well in advance or re-using minor plot points in major ways. We’ll just leave it at that.

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