Pros: great world-building (and I kind of hate him for making it look so easy, not that I'm bitter or anything); terrific humor; good plot; strong characterization; lots of active female characters; wonderful denouement.
Improvements: in the previous book, men were described in terms of what they did; women were introduced by how attractive they were and what physical features made them so. Granted, all
the women were attractive, which is rather sweet of Butcher, I guess, but it does kind of miss the point. In this novel, the women are still mostly gorgeous, but one of them gets to be just kind of okay-looking; and at one point, Harry Dresden makes mention of a good-looking FBI agent and then
points out he’s talking about a guy. So that's cool.
Room for improvement and reason to hope: Harry Dresden is still a total dork when it comes to women. I don't have exact quotes, because I listened to the audio version of this book; but he says something about hating to be rescued by women because he feels like he ought to be the one doing the rescuing. Okay: 'cause first of all, Harry, you'd love to be rescued by a man? Or at all? And second of all, you know very well that the kick-ass women you hang out with aren’t any too fond of being rescued by anyone
, especially you. But Harry gets totally called out on being a provincial lout in this respect. So maybe there’s hope for him. Especially if he keeps getting hit on the head.
too many large-breasted women struttin’ around in the altogether. Seriously, dude. This isn’t supposed to be that
kind of fantasy novel.
Conclusion: If you haven’t read this series, you should check it out. Probably a good read even if you get a paper version rather than listening to the recording as read by James “My British Accent May Have Its Flaws, But It Still Makes American Women Swoon” Marsters.