What do I think of the plot and treatment?
Let’s start with what got me uber excited about this installment: it was billed as a heist book that forces our beloved hero to work with some of the scariest baddies he’s met over the course of the series. Heist stories are awesome enough on their own, but throw in some magic, demonic (fallen angelic?) ambition, and some spy versus spy levels of double-crossing, and you have yourself a book that has the power to ruin your attempts at productivity.
So clearly, I loved the concept of this installment. As for the plot…well, I admit that you really need to have read all the previous books in order for some of the details of this particular story to make sense. It’s the only way you can feel the full emotional impact of certain scenes. Like the “Where the Wild Things Are” sequence with Maggie, Mister the cat going nuts over Harry, Mouse the dog being the best dog EVER, the reappearance of characters from the past, the sacrifice Uriel made for Michael, and Murph’s grave mistake.
I do have to admit that this book felt like a breather after the fairly intense events of the last three books (this a good thing), and I kind of feel happy that Harry was not tortured as much this time around. There was even a birthday, “the hero we deserve” in the form of Waldo Butters *snicker*, AND MY SHIP FINALLY SAILING – it will probably not last, but it’s alive right now and that’s what matters to me.
That is not to say that Harry has nothing to angst about these days. His new abilities take a physical and psychological toll on him (and that’s one of the many things I adore about this series – Dresden levels up, but not without cost), he now has TWO young ones to take care of, and his former apprentice is slowly changing into something else. Oh, and that is not to mention the fact that he’s still the only thing that stands between the world and a bunch of terrifying supernatural convicts imprisoned by MERLIN.
Thankfully, Dresden acquires as many allies as he does enemies. And lately, those allies either turn out to be close to God, or as close to being a god as a creature could be. In this book, I think he found at least two more.
Apart from the great narrative payoffs that Butcher constantly gives his loyal fans are the great character moments he gives to recurring characters in the series. My brother – who is in the process of binge-reading the series – pointed out that this author has a talent for making you FEEL for a character who you did not, up until that moment, particularly like (and in fact actually hated). In this book, I found myself having feels over FALLEN ANGELS. How mind-blowing is that?
I know that this book series is not for everyone. But I do want to argue that it at least need to be studied because the storycraft is just AMAZING.