In this book, the tenth in The Dresden Files series, Harry finds himself facing down some surprisingly powerful new foes as well as some incredibly powerful but familiar ones. And as usual he has to get through the day using a blend of cunning planning, quick thinking, and deadly improvisation. But this time around, not everyone comes out the other side unscathed (well … I guess it’s not like everyone does any of the other times either).
In Small Favor, it is about a year after the events of White Night and things are going well – Molly has been progressing well with her training, The Para-net has been very successful, and Harry has even learned some new tricks by virtue of his own tutelage. But it seems neither court of the Sidhe are content to let him rest for long and it seems that Murphy brings him a case that has fallen angels written all over it. Through the course of dealing with these issues, he manages to take down a handful of gruffs (large, strong fairy creatures that look like, well, bipedal goats), an obscene number of hobs (violent monkey-ish creatures that are adverse to light), and a half a dozen Denarians – all without using a lick of fire. And while Harry rarely goes through these things alone, this time around he calls in almost the entire Scooby gang – Molly, Michael, Murphy, Thomas, Kincaid, the Archive, Luccio and the wardens, as well as several of Marcone’s associates (since it seems that it is Marcone playing the part of damsel in distress this time around … again) – he also ends up getting some unlikely and unique forms of help along the way.
In the end, Harry hands the bad guys their collective asses and gets the girl (for real – on multiple levels). And while a certain Knight of the cross finds himself compromised, an unexpected candidate becomes apparent. If you’ve read the series up to this book, this volume is a must-read. If you’ve stopped some number of bookx back, catch up. If you’ve read this already, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.
I’d like to note that (in case you hadn’t noticed) I’d gotten into a pattern of doing book reviews on Wednesdays. Unfortunately this one will likely be the last one for a while. I have yet to even pick up book 11 (I’m cheap) nonetheless read any of it (btw, if you want to get it for me as a birthday present – it is called Turn Coat by Jim Butcher and my birthday is in mid July). I also haven’t picked up anything else to read, so this column will be shelved for a while. I’ll try to fill in the gap somehow, but likely by starting some other regular pattern (say on Tuesdays) so this slot can remain open.
In case you haven’t been keeping up, Harry Dresden – the same that has been on watch by the White Council for years – is now a Warden. It seems the war with the Red Court (a particularly powerful brand of vampires) has hit the wizard justice league pretty hard and run their numbers thin. So now Harry is charged with protecting the citizenry of Chicago and the surrounding region from supernatural threats … officially (he has been doing so the whole time anyway, now he just has jurisdiction). But wearing that grey cloak is not a simple charge and as usual there are those who would see him fail.
In Jim Butcher’s eighth volume of The Dresden Files – Proven Guilty – Harry finds himself helping out a friend in need. But what starts as simply bailing a friend’s daughter’s boyfriend out of jail evolves into a struggle with a number of fairy creatures who look like horror villains and feed on fear and ultimately into a battle in the heart of the Winter Court in the Nevernever. And all the while, Harry still is struggling with his own inner demons (or more specifically an inner fallen angel) as well as some conniving behavior by some White Court vamps who seem to leech onto the fear-feeding action. And in the end Harry finds himself facing some tough decisions that may change the rest of his life.
Once again, Butcher places Harry in some thrilling and precarious positions and as usual Harry always seems to have another card up his sleeve. Harry continues to grow and surprise all the while continuing to be himself without apology. There is little else I can say besides queue up the next book.