Sunday, February 07, 2010

Book 41: Dead Beat

Dead Beat by Jim Butcher

This is the seventh in The Dresden Files series, and they continue to be entertaining, easy reads with a lot of action. In this one, one of Harry's old enemies blackmails him to assist her in finding the Word of Kemmler, and soon, Harry is involved with the disciples/followers of a now dead evil sorcerer named Kemmler. He apparently wrote a few books, and this specific one would tell its owner how to gain enough power to become like a minor god. All of his followers are more or less fighting each other to get to the book and the power, and they are all necromancers, with the power to raise the dead.

That's the main plot line for this one although there are themes that have continued throughout the series - Harry's power and the temptation of evil; his withdrawal from people (Billy the werewolf shows up a few times), his attraction to Murphy and lack of love life, and life with his new roommate. There are also some developments in the war against the wizards, which connects to a larger story that Butler has hinted at in previous novels. Harry stated before that it seemed odd for so much evil to be occurring at such epic proportions at this time in the second or third novel already since evil sorcerers don't develop on their own (they need some help in training), leading him to suspect that many of these cases might be connected in some way or other; basically that some incredibly powerful force might be behind it all. Now, there is also the idea of a traitor in the mix given one of the necromancers Harry has to battle.

I'm interested to see how the larger picture is going to develop, but also appreciate that Butler can keep each novel as an interesting and isolated story (the reason I mention this has to do with one of the other novels I've recently read). Butler isn't too busy setting up the big story that he forgets to keep the current story going. While hints are dropped here and there, the focus is on the main story line.

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