My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I do not give out many 5‑star ratings, but for this book I couldn’t do anything else. That is despite the fact that Jim Butcher did something I honestly didn’t think he would do to his legions of loyal readers, something that I absolutely detest. Something that I will not tell you about, because I loathe spoilers.
If you know anything about me, though, it means a great deal to say that even though I would drop most authors who use that particular technique like not just hot, but rotten hot potatoes, I cannot even consider not getting the next Dresden Files book and devouring it the very first millisecond I am able to do so.
My family can attest to the fact that I didn’t just laugh out loud while reading Changes. (Anybody who doesn’t laugh out loud at least once while reading the Dresden Files should be checked for rigor mortis.) This time I laughed so loud and so long at one point that Sam got up and came into the room where I was to make sure that I was okay and getting enough air. There was absolutely no way for me to explain what was so funny, of course, without spoilers.
While there is a great deal of humor, there is also darkness. A lot of darkness. The blurb for the book makes that clear. Susan, the love of Harry’s life, kidnapped years ago by a Red Court vampire and half-turned in a plot to get at Dresden, is back with big, bad news: she had a daughter by him, and the child has been kidnapped by someone. As usual, things go downhill from there.
Many series start out with a bang, have maybe two or three strong volumes, then devolve into more and more and more contract fulfillment books that I occasionally think might be written by clever shell scripts. The Dresden Files is one of the few, beautiful exceptions, as volume twelve proves. I honestly thought that Butcher was winding things up to move on to other projects, due to some of the events in the book, but I will say that he surprised the bejesus out of me. This is definitely not a series-ending book!
I anxiously await number thirteen. I might even do something I’ve never done before, and pre-order it. Yes, Jim, you’ve got me hooked, and how.