Another very solid entry.
Basically, there’s black magic afoot. Fear monsters from the Nevernever are attacking a horror movie convention and it’s up to Dresden to find out why. Add to that complications with Michael’s now almost adult daughter Molly. The interactions between Molly and Dresden are weird and uncomfortable at times, but on the other hand they seem for the most part disturbingly realistic.
I like a lot of the characterization here. We get more on the Carpenters, in particular Molly and Charity. I really love that entire family. Charity shines in this book in particular. We learn a bit more about why she dislikes Dresden so much and how much of a badass she is when the need is right. Molly is in and out of the spotlight quite a bit, but it’s obvious she’ll be central to future books.
We also get a bit of a hint about how other wizards bend the rules. It’s heavily implied that the Gatekeeper has a warning from the future that he passed on to Dresden. It’s not time travel strictly speaking… but still.
Then, there’s the ending. While there is still a monster-of-the-book thing going on, we’re really seeing more of the larger implication of the Dresdenverse. There are a few questions raised here (who is the person behind the person behind the curtain) which we don’t even get an answer to… Yet. It’s annoying in the first book or two of a series, but this many along, it’s something that can really make a series.
Amusing aside: Thus far there are baddies with the same name as my wife and my daughter in this series. It’s a bit jarring each time I come across them.
Fun quote of the day: “It is far easier to avoid inappropriate amorous desires if one runs screaming from the room every time a pretty girl comes in.”