Skin Game

And then there was a heist.

Book 15, so the Denarians are due. In they came, and not in a way that anyone would have expected. Turns out, Mab owes Nicodemus a favor. She wants Dresden to carry it out.


Cold Days

Dresden is remarkably good at weaseling his way out of deals he should never have gotten himself into in the first place. This time around though? His number is up. He has to work for Mab.

Mab first job for her new Knight? Kill Maeve.


Ghost Story

And then he was dead. Ish. .

Of course the ending of Changes couldn’t be the end of Dresden. And after Ghost Story, I think I can forgive Butcher for that cliff hanger. Mostly. :)


Changes

** spoiler alert ** Damn.

In the first chapter of Changes, Dresden learns he has a daughter. Throughout the book, he loses everything (his car, his office, his home…). He makes deals he promised he would never make.


Turn Coat

Morgan shows up on Dresden’s doorstep and asks for his help. Things degrade pretty much exactly as you might expect from there.

We do get a third part in the trifeta of styles from the previous two books: mystery to action to political thriller. There is still plenty of the first two, but now we’re dealing primarily with the fallout of a politically motivated murder.


Small Favor

Small Favor combines my favorite parts of the Dresden Files: the Denarians and Knights of the Cross, Marcone, and the Fae in varying degrees. On top of that, where White Night tended towards mystery, Small Favor is straight up actions. The story hits the ground running and never really stops, right through several big set piece battles and one of the bigger finales we’ve seen (albeit not quite up to the level of Sue…).

On top of that, we get another of Butcher’s lovely twists which just drop the bottom out of a story. You think you know what’s going on… turns out you’ve missed the same huge clue that Dresden has. I’m always impressed with those.


White Night

I think this is one of the first of the Dresden Files books that really feels like a more traditional mystery. (Or at least my idea thereof; I don’t read much traditional mystery). Mysterious shadowy figures and murders abound and throughout it’s unclear exactly who/what is responsible. There are a few clues for the reader that Dresden otherwise misses, but for the most part, we learn about happenings as they happen.

One really cool scene: Dresden takes advantage of the fact that you can draw energy from the surrounding environment in order to power a spell. He proceed to shoot off a pillar of fire 2-3 feet wide and 20 stories high into the night sky. Can you imagine being a mortal living in Chicago and seeing that? The best part: He didn’t even need the fire. He just needed to freeze a chunk of Lake Michigan. Love it.


Proven Guilty

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.


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…


Blood Rites

I still like Death Masks better, but Blood Rites is still quite good. We’re back to big magical rituals (a five book cycle?) but also a bit of goodly hint of vampiric mayhem (the Black and White Courts this time around).

Of course, since it’s the White Court, the entire plot this time has to revolve around a ritual curse targetting an adult film director. All righty then.