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ARC Review: Cold Days by Jim Butcher

Submitted by on November 27, 2012 – 4:00 am9 Comments

Author: Jim Butcher
Title: Cold Days
Release: November 27, 2012
Series: Dresden Files #14
Reviewer: Noa
Source: Publisher

Purchase: | Book Depository


After being murdered by a mystery assailant, navigating his way through the realm between life and death, and being brought back to the mortal world, Harry realizes that maybe death wasn’t all that bad. Because he is no longer Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard.

He is now Harry Dresden, Winter Knight to Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness. After Harry had no choice but to swear his fealty, Mab wasn’t about to let something as petty as death steal away the prize she had sought for so long. And now, her word is his command, no matter what she wants him to do, no matter where she wants him to go, and no matter who she wants him to kill.

Guess which Mab wants first?

Of course, it won’t be an ordinary, everyday assassination. Mab wants her newest minion to pull off the impossible: kill an immortal. No problem there, right? And to make matters worse, there exists a growing threat to an unfathomable source of magic that could land Harry in the sort of trouble that will make death look like a holiday.

Beset by enemies new and old, Harry must gather his friends and allies, prevent the annihilation of countless innocents, and find a way out of his eternal subservience before his newfound powers claim the only thing he has left to call his own…

His soul.

Some of you may know that the past two weeks have not been easy for this Doll, regional unrest and all that. It was a bit hard to focus on any reading  or anything really, unless it was news related.

Then I got a package in the mail – delayed by hurricane Sandy – it was an ARC of Jim Butcher’s Cold Days, the latest in the Harry Dresden series. Now, I’ve been meaning to read this series, honestly. My friends have all told me it’s a Must Read series and I don’t know why or how but I missed it. Still, what’s a Doll to do? I started reading Cold days thinking that I’ll just see if the book can be read without reading previous books in the series… I read the whole thing in one sitting, including 20 minutes spent in a bomb shelter. I didn’t even notice the”boom”.

The answer to the “can this be read as standalone” is: I guess, maybe, I suppose so, but why would you want to? It’s such an engrossing book, if there are more like it I want to read them right. now.

Yes, Cold Days was an outstanding read that managed to make me forget there was a war on.

The story begins with Harry waking up from his coma/death in the lair of Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness (and lets just say that Mab’s form of physical therapy leaves much to be desired but makes for a seriously awesome opening to the story) he has made a deal with the devil (ok, fairy queen) and now he’s no longer just an ordinary wizard – he’s the Winter Knight – the man responsible for assassinating any mortal Mab wants dead. So why is his first task killing an immortal? Why can’t Mab do the killing herself? These are the questions Harry asks as he faces the toughest job of all – going back home when everyone thinks he’s dead.

Yet when he returns to Chicago, Harry realizes that there is more to be concerned about. Not only are his friends questioning whether the man before them is the same Harry who left, he himself isn’t sure. Could it be that the mantle of the Winter Knight is changing Harry’s very being? But that’s really just the beginning, “Harry’s Island” Demonreach is becoming more sentient and it has a message for Harry, a seriously death and doom kind of message.

All in a day’s work for Harry Dresden…

This is where the roller-coaster really starts going crazy – and all I can say is Please Sir may I have some more?????

There was so much going on in Cold Days and yet I never felt lost, I never felt like the plot was too convoluted or overreaching and while I kept wishing I had read the previous books – it was only because each character sounded so incredible I wanted to read more. There is just something about the way Butcher writes that felt not as if I had crashed into this series, but rather as if I had simply joined the ride. Were there points that I missed? I’m sure but they did not take one ounce away from my enjoyment of this book. And while I haven’t read previous books (ok, I’m already at Fool Moon) I realized easily enough that this installment was a bit of a game changer for the series – and not just for Harry, but for almost every member of the “scooby gang.”

From start to finish Cold Days was fast paced with action, drama and humor without any of them feeling forced. And even though Cold Days was my first Dresden Files read, I felt like I had known the characters for years. I already have a crush on Thomas (typical) and Major General Toot Toot ;)

By the end of Cold Days I had completely forgotten that this was a series and that I have missed out big time; the story was so fluid, and I felt so completely involved that I was too shocked to do anything except wish I could read Harry Dresden #15 right then and there….because wowza!

And while all you Dresden fans have Cold days to look forward to, I now have 13 books (plus short stories) to explore for the first time. I cannot wait.

Noa first fell in love with books when she discovered 100 acre wood and its inhabitants. To this day, the last pages of “The House at Pooh Corner” make her cry. In a good way. From“Calvin and Hobbes” to “The Iliad and the Odyssey” and lets not forget “Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes”. Biographies, mysteries, history books and romances all have a place on her bookshelves. Who needs furniture? This 29 year old singleton’s dream is to invent the zero-calorie chocolate. But until that day arrives, she tries to create sweet confections with whatever chocolate she can find. An MA in conflict studies (need a mediator?) means Noa loves a good debate, especially when she wins. If she were in charge, books would be free for everyone.
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