Dresden Files Catch-All (possible spoilers)

The first chapter's on Audible for free. I'll try before I buy.

Having a blast so far. Just taking a break to have some food. I feel a late night and little sleep coming with this one.

Chapter 16 spoilers:

Spoiler:

BAMF!

I read the whole thing today and it was pretty good.

I devoured it in about 4 hours.

Spoiler:

Really beautifully done, showing all the fallout from Harry's choices in Changes. Re: the ending, I damn well knew that he couldn't wriggle out of that deal so easily. I didn't see Demonreach taking a hand, but it's about time that starts to pay off a little. So, so much groundwork laid down in previous books is starting to become important. I am really really stoked for where Butcher is taking the story.

I cried a teeny lil bit when Uriel revealed that Maggie is with the Carpenters.

Poor goddamned Molly. When Harry shows up in Winter's colours after all this, it's going to be like a ballpeen hammer to her forehead.

Finished it now too:

Spoiler:

I feel the same way about the Winter Knight stuff. I'm kicking myself that I didn't anticipate that Harry might set it up himself for Kincaid to kill him to get out of being the Winter Knight, but the notion of getting Molly to make him forget it eluded me.

A Fallen Angel influencing him to become the Winter Knight is going to take more mulling, I think. The implication is that doing so was the "wrong" move for Harry in some sense - so does this mean that the right move was to do something else? I don't recall that he had any other options. He made the choice from a position of despair, sure, but it seems to me that he would have made the same choice anyway. The bloodline curse would have killed him, Maggie and McCoy anyway, though it might have imparted less spiritual pain on his friends.

I'm not convinced about Harry's get-out of being a mindless slave to Mab. Fix and Lily seem to have very limited ability to contradict Titania's orders, and find themselves having to use loopholes in their orders to help their allies. I think Harry will have significant constraints on his choices in Cold Days.

Oh. My. God.

4 hours later, and I have to agree. It was awesome.

DudleySmith wrote:

Finished it now too:

Spoiler:

I feel the same way about the Winter Knight stuff. I'm kicking myself that I didn't anticipate that Harry might set it up himself for Kincaid to kill him to get out of being the Winter Knight, but the notion of getting Molly to make him forget it eluded me.

A Fallen Angel influencing him to become the Winter Knight is going to take more mulling, I think. The implication is that doing so was the "wrong" move for Harry in some sense - so does this mean that the right move was to do something else? I don't recall that he had any other options. He made the choice from a position of despair, sure, but it seems to me that he would have made the same choice anyway. The bloodline curse would have killed him, Maggie and McCoy anyway, though it might have imparted less spiritual pain on his friends.

I'm not convinced about Harry's get-out of being a mindless slave to Mab. Fix and Lily seem to have very limited ability to contradict Titania's orders, and find themselves having to use loopholes in their orders to help their allies. I think Harry will have significant constraints on his choices in Cold Days.

[spoiler]That's true, but Mab is under some serious pressure from somewhere, it's been apparent since Proven Guilty. She needs Harry, and needs him bad, so he's in a stronger position to defy her (to a degree) than any Knight probably in the history of the world. We'll see how it plays out, certainly.

As for the Fallen whispering to Harry ... I got the impression that it was less his choosing to bargain with Mab, and more his piss-poor choices when it came to his friends that were Uriel's concern. It wasn't taking up the Knight's mantle that really f*cked with everyone, it was him dying. How much could he have affected if he'd been around, even as the Knight? I'm willing to bet a lot that Molly wouldn't have been running around murdering people, and Murphy would not have gotten into bed with Marcone. Harry was reckless and blind and most of all, not willing to think about consequences. Those were the lessons he had to learn. [/spoilers]

Just got the email from scifi book club, my book was just shipped today, they are predicting I will get it Aug 1. Gorrem it!

Awesome stuff. Finished late last night.

2 things I wasn't surprised about:

Spoiler:

Kincaid the shooter.

Harry being revived at the end as the Winter Knight

Most everything else was a welcome surprise.

Spoiler:

Especially the flashback memories. He Who Walks Behind, Dumore, Elaine... very important stuff.

I was a little surprised that McCoy didn't reach out to Molly with Harry gone. But I suppose with the council suspecting her of murder he can't be the one to hide her. It's just that maybe she wouldn't have went down that path if she was safe with McCoy. Then again, he's the blackstaff. If she wasn't trying to protect Chicago, he might have ended up doing the same thing.

Brennil wrote:
Spoiler:

I cried a teeny lil bit when Uriel revealed that Maggie is with the Carpenters.

Spoiler:

That scene got me a little choked up, mostly because of Mouse. Best dog ever. A little bit of the same with Mister, when he could touch Harry at Murphy's house.

I appreciate the spoilers! I need to get this!

I loved the

Spoiler:

out and out geekery. Endless comics references (BAMF!), Angels commenting on Wars v. Trek, Molly's design choice for her C&C...bridge full of Mollys....

So... when's the next book?

Stele wrote:

So... when's the next book? :D

Way, way too far away. Unfortunately, Jim Butcher isn't our bitch.

Apparently the next book is title Cold Days, but has no ETA yet.

Is he going to start a new series now that Alera is done, or just focus on Dresden?

Think he is just focusing on Dresden right now, but we'll see how long before he gets bored...

Spoiler:

Does anyone think that Dresden's short talk with Uriel about names had huge implications for what happened with Lash?
I cannot wait for him to move out to Demonreach full time and turn it into some sort of badass fortress of Solitude. I imagine him populating it with the wilde fae he has drawn in and building an awesome wizard tower there.

NathanialG wrote:
Spoiler:

Does anyone think that Dresden's short talk with Uriel about names had huge implications for what happened with Lash?

Spoiler:

Uriel, Raziel, Gabriel, Lasciel, Anduriel, Namshiel... it's an angel thing. It is unusual that the Fallen in the coins have chosen to keep the -iel suffix, even when the true leader of the Fallen, Sataniel, is no longer known by his. I think Harry's "renaming" of Lash was more due to the general lack of respect he shows for other beings - see also "the nickelheads". Uriel didn't particularly care for it, since he's particularly proud of what that -iel represents.

Keldar wrote:
Spoiler:

Uriel, Raziel, Gabriel, Lasciel, Anduriel, Namshiel... it's an angel thing. It is unusual that the Fallen in the coins have chosen to keep the -iel suffix, even when the true leader of the Fallen, Sataniel, is no longer known by his. I think Harry's "renaming" of Lash was more due to the general lack of respect he shows for other beings - see also "the nickelheads". Uriel didn't particularly care for it, since he's particularly proud of what that -iel represents.

Spoiler:

I think that Harry's "renaming" of Lash was due to the fact that, according to the "rules" of the coins as per the books, because he no longer had the coin with him, and put it behind a circle of protection, there was no way that the Lash in his head was the Lasciel in the coin. He thus deduced that it was not Lasciel, but just a memory of her, and by calling her a different name and dealing with her in that way, he was not dealing with Lasciel, but with Lash.

NathanialG wrote:
Spoiler:

Does anyone think that Dresden's short talk with Uriel about names had huge implications for what happened with Lash?
I cannot wait for him to move out to Demonreach full time and turn it into some sort of badass fortress of Solitude. I imagine him populating it with the wilde fae he has drawn in and building an awesome wizard tower there.

Spoiler:

Rashid did say that what Harry had done with Demonreach would have both a definite cost and a responsibility to go along with it.

If you mean that him calling her Lash was a big factor in her humanisation, then I agree. I'm unsure what I feel about the Lash subplot. She seemed to heel face turn a bit too easily for me. You would have thought that the shade of a fallen angel would have been a bit tougher to turn.

I've been trying to work out what the overall "purpose" of the book is from an arc point of view. Just to handle the question, "Why didn't Harry kill himself to get out of being the Winter Knight?" If it is meant to be a slower character study after the big bang of Changes, then it largely succeeded. In terms of setup, I'm not sure what was really set up here. Molly has a lot more baggage, Daniel has been introduced as a character, and Butters has levelled up a bit, but these could have been done as part of something else. Maybe he just really wanted that cliffhanger at the end of Changes, and incurred the cost of this book as a result.

I guess I just didn't feel the whole "Harry's a Ghost" plot was as interesting as I was expecting.

I wonder if Butcher is following his book template on a series level too. He always plans out his book around an interesting opening, a mini climax half way through, and a big climax at the end. On this pattern Changes would be the mini climax, and the three apocalyptic trilogy books would be the proper climax. Most of the books involve Harry levelling up, but this one didn't really feel that way.

Keldar wrote:
NathanialG wrote:
Spoiler:

Does anyone think that Dresden's short talk with Uriel about names had huge implications for what happened with Lash?

Spoiler:

Uriel, Raziel, Gabriel, Lasciel, Anduriel, Namshiel... it's an angel thing. It is unusual that the Fallen in the coins have chosen to keep the -iel suffix, even when the true leader of the Fallen, Sataniel, is no longer known by his. I think Harry's "renaming" of Lash was more due to the general lack of respect he shows for other beings - see also "the nickelheads". Uriel didn't particularly care for it, since he's particularly proud of what that -iel represents.

Spoiler:

I think you are wrong here Keldar. I think that changing Uriels name like he did with Lashiel could have fundamental affect on what Uriel is as a function of the universe/God. That was what Uriel was telling him. It was not just a point of pride, it was a change to his being.

NathanialG wrote:
Keldar wrote:
NathanialG wrote:
Spoiler:

Does anyone think that Dresden's short talk with Uriel about names had huge implications for what happened with Lash?

Spoiler:

Uriel, Raziel, Gabriel, Lasciel, Anduriel, Namshiel... it's an angel thing. It is unusual that the Fallen in the coins have chosen to keep the -iel suffix, even when the true leader of the Fallen, Sataniel, is no longer known by his. I think Harry's "renaming" of Lash was more due to the general lack of respect he shows for other beings - see also "the nickelheads". Uriel didn't particularly care for it, since he's particularly proud of what that -iel represents.

Spoiler:

I think you are wrong here Keldar. I think that changing Uriels name like he did with Lashiel could have fundamental affect on what Uriel is as a function of the universe/God. That was what Uriel was telling him. It was not just a point of pride, it was a change to his being.

Spoiler:

Or perhaps not that Harry had that amount of power but that Uriel quite literally could not answer to anything other than his actual name. Or perhaps it's more like copyright - Uriel had to stamp on any small deviation lest it grow into something that could actually alter him.

Brennil wrote:
NathanialG wrote:
Keldar wrote:
NathanialG wrote:
Spoiler:

Does anyone think that Dresden's short talk with Uriel about names had huge implications for what happened with Lash?

Spoiler:

Uriel, Raziel, Gabriel, Lasciel, Anduriel, Namshiel... it's an angel thing. It is unusual that the Fallen in the coins have chosen to keep the -iel suffix, even when the true leader of the Fallen, Sataniel, is no longer known by his. I think Harry's "renaming" of Lash was more due to the general lack of respect he shows for other beings - see also "the nickelheads". Uriel didn't particularly care for it, since he's particularly proud of what that -iel represents.

Spoiler:

I think you are wrong here Keldar. I think that changing Uriels name like he did with Lashiel could have fundamental affect on what Uriel is as a function of the universe/God. That was what Uriel was telling him. It was not just a point of pride, it was a change to his being.

Spoiler:

Or perhaps not that Harry had that amount of power but that Uriel quite literally could not answer to anything other than his actual name. Or perhaps it's more like copyright - Uriel had to stamp on any small deviation lest it grow into something that could actually alter him.

[spoiler]To clarify, I wasn't suggesting that Harry could change Uriel (except maybe in that copywright sort of way) but that IS how he changed Lashiel's shadow. Either way I think it is a hint as to what happened with Lash. I am also surprised that Harry never asks Uriel about Lash/Lashiel. He seemed fairly attached to her after a while.

Brennil wrote:
DudleySmith wrote:
Spoiler:

I'm not convinced about Harry's get-out of being a mindless slave to Mab. Fix and Lily seem to have very limited ability to contradict Titania's orders, and find themselves having to use loopholes in their orders to help their allies. I think Harry will have significant constraints on his choices in Cold Days.

Spoiler:

That's true, but Mab is under some serious pressure from somewhere, it's been apparent since Proven Guilty. She needs Harry, and needs him bad, so he's in a stronger position to defy her (to a degree) than any Knight probably in the history of the world. We'll see how it plays out, certainly.

Spoiler:

The way I understood this was different, closer to Brennil's interpretation. Harry was threatening Mab with being a mindless slave - someone who had to be ordered to do every little thing. A mindless slave is the last thing she needs as her Knight, because such a person has no initiative, no creativity, no independence - and ultimately, no power. In the games she is playing, such a Knight would be a horrible liability. Harry knows that Mab really needs him - but he also knows that she needs him as the wise-cracking, authority-defying, lightning-bolt-throwing Harry Dresden, not a randomly violent mindless thug like Slade. We'll see if he's right. :)

The spoilers. They taunt me!

Aetius wrote:
Brennil wrote:
DudleySmith wrote:
Spoiler:

I'm not convinced about Harry's get-out of being a mindless slave to Mab. Fix and Lily seem to have very limited ability to contradict Titania's orders, and find themselves having to use loopholes in their orders to help their allies. I think Harry will have significant constraints on his choices in Cold Days.

Spoiler:

That's true, but Mab is under some serious pressure from somewhere, it's been apparent since Proven Guilty. She needs Harry, and needs him bad, so he's in a stronger position to defy her (to a degree) than any Knight probably in the history of the world. We'll see how it plays out, certainly.

Spoiler:

The way I understood this was different, closer to Brennil's interpretation. Harry was threatening Mab with being a mindless slave - someone who had to be ordered to do every little thing. A mindless slave is the last thing she needs as her Knight, because such a person has no initiative, no creativity, no independence - and ultimately, no power. In the games she is playing, such a Knight would be a horrible liability. Harry knows that Mab really needs him - but he also knows that she needs him as the wise-cracking, authority-defying, lightning-bolt-throwing Harry Dresden, not a randomly violent mindless thug like Slade. We'll see if he's right. :)

Spoiler:

I honestly can't see Harry sticking around as the Winter Knight for more than a book or two, at least not as long as the Winter Knight is beholden to Mab. Just in terms of storyline, but maybe Butcher could make it work.

The fact that this book was such a bridge, showing us what's going down in Chicago, makes me think the next one (Cold Days, apparently) will focus almost completely on Dresden dealing with the Summer/Winter Courts and some of the more heavy-hitting groups (White Council, Black Council, Nickleheads, etc) and just ignore events in Chicago.

Also, anyone else convinced the "Parasite" at the end keeping his blood flowing was some form of Lash still alive in Dresden's head? I suppose it could be his subconcious self, but I assume that stuck with Dresden's soul, and it can't be part of Demonreach because it wasn't "HERE" in that line.

I've heard talk that the whisper in his head (the seven words that sent him over the edge) was Lash's shadow, but I just don't buy that. First because Lashiel's whole point was to get Dresden to pick up the coin, not kill him, and second because the only other time we've seen Uriel get to exert equal power was when Dresden got soulfire in response to Satan's actions. My guess is the shadow whispering to him was Lucifer himself.

Spoiler:

I assumed at the time that it was He Who Walks Behind, but given Uriel's basic opposition to it, a player for the Fallen Angel team would make more sense.

Yay, finally done!

Spoiler:

Loved it. Loved it. Loved it. John Glover's no James Marsters, but he's only a step or two behind. I was totally surprised at Demonreach's identification. My guess is that there's still a big bad, possibly the Outsiders that's not been revealed yet, and is responsible for pressuring Mab & Faerie. The Fomori are almost certainly going to be big players in the next book. The scene that really got to me was Harry ordering the hit on himself. Absolutely loved the Bob/Butters interplay; I think I called Andi and Butters getting it on at the end of Turn Coat.

Of course, there's a Dresden Files thread on GWJ. How could I miss it?

I think Ghost Story helped fill in some serious backstory that we've never had complete before from Dresden, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that He Who Walks Behind is thoroughly creepy. I just thought it was a stupid name before.

Oh, and:

Spoiler:

Harry's monologue about being the most terrifying Knight the Sidhe Courts have ever seen made me shiver just a little bit. I'm actually eager to see who he works over as Mab's hitman.

Yeah very good backstory. And put a twist on what we previously believed about Dumore and He Who Walks Behind. Will be interesting to see where this leads in the future.

Hell the fact that

Spoiler:

Elaine was alive

a few books back was already a big enough shock to the established beginning of Harry's story as a wizard. And of course (book 12 spoilers)

Spoiler:

McCoy as grandpa

was huge.

Man when's the next book?