Saturday, May 14, 2011

Turn Coat by Jim Butcher

I absolutely adore the Harry Dresden books, but for some reason it takes me awhile to finish one. But I finally finished Turn Coat. What a ride.

My Rating: ★★★★

Jim Butcher is amazing. The depth of his world, characters, plot, all of that, blows me away each time I read a Dresden book. Turn Coat is number eleven in the series, yet I'm still loving it. It shows no signs of slowing down or growing stagnant. Few authors can pull off long series well. Jim Butcher is one.

Pros -

It's a Harry Dresden book. I'm so invested in these characters and the world, I really want to know what they're doing, how they're going to handle the ongoing problems that cover several books. The whole world evolves and changes and you never know how it'll play out. Every time I pick up a Dresden book, I know it's going to be a wild, but fun, ride.

The writing itself is flawless. Okay, I'm not an English professor, but in my humble opinion, Butcher writes amazingly well. He throws in descriptions I'd never have thought of, but are just perfect for that situation. And, coming from Harry's point of view, the descriptions can be very humorous. I just eat it up.

Yet another beautifully complex plot. Butcher loves to take two radically different plots, force them both on Harry then let us watch him juggle them. In the end, the plots are directly tied together in a way that we never would have guessed. I love it.

I've mentioned the characters before, but they deserve their own section. Everyone in the Dresden-verse is amazing. These aren't names on a piece of paper. They're people. You feel for everyone of them. They all have their own struggles, thoughts and plans for the future. They're not some random figures moving in the background. This book is no exception. We see more of many of the side characters, and learn more. Everyone, like Harry, continues to grow.

Cons -

I have a personal pet peeve with books in a long series: when the author has to bring in a new bad guy every book that's more powerful than anything the protagonist has ever faced. Oh, no, nothing's ever been so evil and strong as this bad guy! After several books of this, I'm left yawning. Really, again? Granted, the Dresden books don't do this every book. But it happened in this one, and has happened before.

I figured out the traitor. And I don't mean, near the end I realized who it was. But shortly after seeing this person fairly early on, I had that “Aha!” moment. Sigh. I didn't get all of the details. There were many other things happening that had me utterly clueless. But I figured them out. It's the first time I've done that (and got it right) in a Dresden book.

A major character had something happen at the end of the last book. I really wanted to know how he was. But he only got mentioned in one sentence.

This is another, great Dresden read. Anyone who likes his stories should read this one too, in chronological order of course. This is not a series that can be enjoyed as much if read out of order.

Follow my reviews at Urban Fantasies Read and Reviewed.


BookLuvr Mindy said...

It sounds like this is a series worth reading but is not one you would jump up and down to get someone to take on! Am I right? Well I agree about a series that just won't end. That drives me insane! It drives me more insane when it is completely obvious that the author is trying to draw out the series. It doesn't sound like this one is a problem in that area.

Nice review!

Kindlemom said...

I read the first book in the series and thought it was okay. I really think I need to try the second book now and see if I like this series more. I know the first book in series isn't always the best.

Lisa said...

@Mindy - I love this series. I recommend it to just about everyone. Jim Butcher does an amazing job keeping things entertaining, especially for such a long series. It doesn't feel drawn out. I actually heard that book 15 will be the final one.

@Kindlemom - I've heard several people say that the first book was their least favorite. I love them all, but they seem to get better and better as they go.