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Cold Days: Dresden is alive but not Chicago’s wizard anymore

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Cold Days

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Jim Butcher steers a few curves into the Dresden Files series, bringing back Harry as a corporeal being, a bit bruised and rearranged power wise, but no less wise cracking or magical than the former detective once was in the 14th installment, Cold Days.
Harry no longer scrounges for paydays nor lives to help damsels in distress as a White Knight’s duties have far more reaching complications, including saving all of Chicago. Serving Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness, Harry must wrestle with the idea that he may no longer be in any kind of control of himself, or his morality. Mab wasn’t about to let Harry die in Changes so she restored his damaged body in Arctic Tor and gives the ailing wizard a helping hand in Sarissa, whose real purpose and identity are revealed in the final chapters. Immediately Harry’s knighthood is tested but he survives because Mab has a mission for him: he must assassinate Maeve. Harry still has a moral compass and balks at the order, but he must comply because Mab saved his daughter.
Despite Harry’s reservations, he realizes his advanced capabilities might very well lure him into temptations and as the saying goes: absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Before Harry can carry out his deed, he is attacked on all sides. It seems a lot of human and assorted other beings have an issue with the Winter Knight. You may have to keep a scorecard as to who all these villains are and what exact motives drive them to extinguish Harry once he returns to Chicago.
The attacks keep a long story moving and one-by-one, Harry reunites with his human consorts, including Thomas, Karrin Murphy, Butters, Molly and even canine, Mouse. Harry and circumstances warrant a re-examination of their relationships and trust levels. When Harry learns he has a parasite in his head, flags and bells sound loudly for Karrin.
But Dresden plunges ahead attempting to find Mab’s motives and it seems the island Demonreach holds the answer. The island is a way for a group of evil doers called the Outsiders to escape their underground prison and turn Chicago into an all-you-can-kill playground.
Cat Sith proved to be the most humorous and multi-dimensional character other than Harry. The White Knight’s unrequited love for Karrin is again explored amidst weapon fire and the outcome of that relationship hinges on the changes on the way for Harry’s student, Molly, probably the biggest shock of the novel and greatest hope for a continued story arc.
In the end, even supercharged, White Knight Harry Dresden struggles with human issues and vices. And not to mention a parasite living in his head, which will keep him on the island Demonreach until the next Dresden Files book launches later this year.

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