Saturday, March 23, 2013

Blood Rites - Jim Butcher

    2004; 452 pages.  New Author? : No.  Book #6 of the Dresden Files series.  Genre : Urban Fantasy.  Overall Rating : 8½*/10.

    Chicago’s wizard-for-hire, Harry Dresden, has a dream job – providing magic protection for the cast of a porn movie.  The director is convinced that someone wants to put him out of business by harming his cast with “Evil Eye” spells.  Sure, sure.

    It turns out, however, someone really is throwing life-threatening spells at the actresses in the movie.  Spells so powerful, they’re beyond the scope of an ordinary caster.  Who’s behind this and what is their motive?  Harry better find out because the next lethal spell is aimed at him.

What’s To Like...
    I read Book 1 of this series way back in 2009.  Most of the main characters came back to me quickly here.  A couple new ones have been added somewhere along the way, and a couple new ones get added here, including a puppy.  This is a standalone story, but the usual maxim applies – you will get more out of the series if you read the books in order.

    The “porn movie” motif is a tease.  There’s no squishing or slurping, and after the first third of the book, it doesn’t figure into the story much.  There is some cussing, and one naked body waiting to be sacrificed, but that’s about it for R-rated stuff.

    Jim Butcher has a great writing style, and the whodunit aspect of the storyline is done well.  The horror is tempered by a steady stream of humor.  There is plenty of action, and everything builds to a satisfying climax.

    “Christ, Dresden! You almost got me killed!”
    “Don’t be a baby.  You’re fine.”
    Thomas frowned at me.  “You at least could have told me!”
    “I did tell you.,” I said.  “I told you at Mac’s that I’d give you a ride home, but that I had to run an errand first.”
    Thomas scowled.  “An errand is getting a tank of gas or picking up a carton of milk or something.  It is not getting chased by flying purple pyromaniac gorillas hurling incendiary poo.”  (pg. 9 )

    I put the stupid mask on.  “You might not know this, but I don’t function all that well as an investigator when blinded.”
    That’s the idea,” the gunman drawled.  The gun left my neck.  “Try not to make me feel threatened,” he said through a yawn.  “I’m all spooked and jittery.  If you make any noise or start to get up, I’ll probably twitch, and this trigger is pretty sensitive.  My gun is pointed at your nose.  The ensuing cause-and-effect chain could be inconvenient for you.”
    “Maybe next time you could just say ‘freeze,’” I said.  “No need to walk me through it step by step.”  (pg. 89)

“Be vewy vewy quiet.  We’re hunting vampires.”  (pg. 305)
    A brief synopsis of the Dresden Files world.  There are some fairies and demons and whatnot, but for the most part this is about Vampires versus Wizards.  The Vampire Orders come in three Orders : white, red, and black.  You really don’t want to mess with the Black Order ones.  The Wizards are members of the White Council.  The Vamps come in varying shades of evil and the Wizards aren’t exactly pure good.

    I enjoyed Blood Rites, which was also true of the other Dresden Files book I've read, reviewed here.  I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to read another one in the series.  Presumably it’s a matter of  “so many books, so little time”.  In any event, two more are now on my TBR shelf.  8½ Stars.

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