So yeah, I finished it. You didn’t even know I was reading it. That’s the magic of being in my own little world. Or something…
Anyway, yeah, the next newest Dresden Files book came out a short time after the one before it. We have been waiting years and end up getting two books in short order. This current one is Battle Grounds, and the 17th book in the Harry Dresden story line from Jim Butcher. And if you didn’t know, it’s still my favorite all time series and characters.
At one point I remember something from an interview with Jim Butcher where he said he had the books plotted out into the 17th book. And so, here we are. I will say the last chapter felt at times like a set up for the future of the series. We have gotten several glimpses of things to come. And he did it all with “show, don’t tell.” Yeah, I went there.
As much as I liked Peace Talks, I don’t think it had the emotional punch of this one. Glancing around at the Facebook groups I am in for the series, I think the reactions are fairly unanimous. The emotions flying for the reader in so many places of this story were so much more than what I have had reading any other story. There are tons of quotable lines and people keep sharing the ones that have stood out to them.
Talking to a friend of mine that started reading roughly the same time I did, we passed messages back and forth at big moments. There would be times where the message would be just a word… “dood” or something along those lines and you would just know where the moment in the book was. If I wasn’t there (I was reading a bit behind), I would run into it with a similar reaction. Throughout our read, we didn’t say anything about a scene unless the other had already passed the section. But this goes back to the groups as well. You would always know where someone was in the story just by their reaction. It didn’t matter what was going on, we just knew.
The pacing of the story was amazing. This was a book you never wanted to put down. Heck, as I sit here writing this I realize I should have been in bed about 20 minutes ago. I wanted to finish before I sat down to do this. Yeah, it sucked me in.
You may notice that I am not really giving any other information about the story. It’s still too new. Maybe if I were to come to it a year from now or something, it would be different. No, right now, my impetus is just to say that you really need to read this book. Hell, take the time to read all the books that came before it if you haven’t read them yet. The context you will gain from knowing the rest of the series will make the emotional punches of this story that much more poignant.
I mean seriously, there were a number of times I cried. I’m not ashamed to even say that. Sometimes the tears flowed freely during sad moments and other times they came when things were just that intense. It’s this thing of all these people we have been reading about growing to become who they are in this book. There are times (too many to count) where the characters have reached beyond anything you thought they could. This is true for the forces of light as well as the forces of evil.
As always in a Dresden story, the lines that separate good and evil are a little bit grey. Sometimes even inhuman monsters can do the right thing and protect those unable to defend themselves. I’m a sucker for heroic stands and this story abounds with them.
Anyway, in order to keep me from inanely gushing about the story, I will end this here. If you haven’t read any of these stories, get out there and get into it. They keep getting better and better.
So at the end of Battle Ground, a short story was added in. “Christmas Eve” was released before both Peace Talks and Battle Ground. But it actually takes place about a year after those stories. When I say released I mean that Jim posted it to his web site around Christmas. It makes sense since this is a Christmas story.
I didn’t read this one when it first came out. Not sure why at the time other than I might have been focusing on other things. I am glad I held off. The story has more weight to it with the context of the stories that precede it in the time line.
As I was reading it I had some more emotional moments that directly related to scenes in Battle Ground. This was a welcome addition to the book.
If you enjoy these stories, consider leaving some coffee money in the jar or you could buy a book or two. Either way helps keep the stories flowing.