Sunday, January 23, 2011
Changes is the 12th book in Jim Butcher's highly successful Dresden Files urban fantasy series. In the previous book Turncoat Harry was working to save the Wizard's White Council from itself. It's not clear exactly when Changes begins, but it seems to be business as usual for the Wizard for Hire until he gets an urgent phone call from his former girlfriend; Susan Rodriguez. The call contains news that shocks Harry and will also have the jaws of readers dropping.
Jim Butcher announced not long ago that there is a finite end to the Dresden Files, he's put it at book 20, there is evidence in Changes that he's building towards a slam bang finale. As with a couple of previous installments Butcher adds in various characters from the previous 11 adventures. Harry will be forced to team up with Susan, her offsider Martin (both are Red Court vampires, but on the outer with the court because of their apparent refusal to give into their natures), his regular police contact the feisty little Karrin Murphy, his apprentice Molly Carpenter, who Harry frequently refers to with the endearments 'grasshopper' or 'padawan' in some of the book's many pop culture references, his magical dog Mouse (there are revelations about Mouse's true nature in Changes, too), his half brother Thomas a vampire of the White Court, warrior of the Lord the Russian Sanya, his mentor Ebenezar McCoy and his fairy godmother the Leanan Sidhe. It's an eclectic bunch and they're going to war for a little girl that none of them know, but is important to them all. Well maybe not Lea, I think she's just in it for the potential of mayhem.
There are a lot of high octane action and magical sequences that lead to the blazing finale with the Red Court at Chichen Itza as the wizard/vampire war ratchets up a notch or twelve.
The pop culture references that Butcher litters the Dresden Files with are always a feature and the one where the group debated and about which members equated to various members of the Fellowship of the Ring was a particular highlight for me.
This time Harry has to make some deals that could have far reaching consequences for himself and his ever widening circle of allies and enemies.
Butcher has produced another winner, although be warned this one has a cliffhanger ending, however the conclusion should be contained in Ghost Story due out in in July of this year. There is also a collection of short stories featuring Harry Dresden called Side Jobs that is currently out in hardcover. Be warned that Side Jobs does contain some spoilers for Changes so should not be read until after completing Changes. July can't come quick enough for me.
I have one complaint, and this is the same as last time. That bloody authors note! I don't mind it being there and I do understand why, but either update it or remove it altogether.