I recently saw Jim Butcher speak at the Phoenix ComiCon. He was on like four panels I attended–no, I wasn’t really stalking him–and two really cool things:
- If ever in doubt do the worst possible thing.
- Try to make every book read as a standalone even if it’s part of a 20 book series.
That’s not all he said. He gave other equally awesome isights into his books, writing etc… but those were the two statements I latched onto.
So, yes, I am reviewing the fourth book of his Dresden Files.
The thing I enjoy most about Harry Dresden isn’t that he’s a wizard for hire, its his motives behind taking on the cases he investigates:
He’s constantly broke. No money for bills. No money for food. No money to get the hell outta dodge when shit goes wrong.
And shit always goes wrong–see really cool thing #1
Harry Dresden would be out of business if shit ever went right, and we would be out of awesome books to read, too.
In Summer Knight we have Harry Dresden recovering from the very bad shit that happened in the three books prior–because it all adds up–and well, Dresden is all out of sorts living the unwashed miscreant lifestyle in his basement working on fixing something that was severally screwed up in book three. And what’s the worst thing that could happen?
Your friend schedules you an appointment with a beautiful woman, that’s what.
The sheer brilliance of Summer Knight shines through in all the little bits and pieces of gold Butcher sprinkled in the books that come before it, because sooo many of those little things culminate here. So, while Butcher has ensured you can read Summer Knight as a standalone–meaning it has a solid goal /plot that Dresden may or may not achieve before the end of the book–you should read the three leading up to it so you can make all these little connections as you go.
Because that’s what reading is about, isn’t it? Trying to figure out the bigger picture with just the small shards of the truth the author gives you along the way?
That’s what it is for me, anyway.
Happy Reading. Happier Writing
Blurb from goodreads:
Lost items found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates.
No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment
Ever since his girlfriend left town to deal with her newly acquired taste for blood, Harry Dresden has been down and out in Chicago. He can’t pay his rent. He’s alienating his friends. He can’t even recall the last time he took a shower.
The only professional wizard in the phone book has become a desperate man.
And just when it seems things can’t get any worse, in saunters the Winter Queen of Faerie. She has an offer Harry can’t refuse if he wants to free himself of the supernatural hold his faerie godmother has over him–and hopefully end his run of bad luck. All he has to do is find out who murdered the Summer Queen’s right-hand man, the Summer Knight, and clear the Winter Queen’s name.
It seems simple enough, but Harry knows better than to get caught in the middle of faerie politics. Until he finds out that the fate of the entire world rests on his solving this case. No pressure or anything…