I honestly didn’t think anything would be able to top Changes. It was just so emotional and… Full of change (yep, I went there). But damn. Just damn. Cold Days didn’t just top it for me, it blew it out of the park.
All of those little things in the previous books that didn’t make sense? The things I just kind of went with assuming I had missed something? Those questions are all starting to be answered, and on a totally epic scale. I feel like this entry in the series just took Dresden from and bunch of semi-related stand alone Urban Fantasy novels to one huge Epic Urban Fantasy tapestry. Yeah, tapestry, I know. I squeezed reading this into a Wheel of Time re-read, deal with it.
I love Butcher’s sense of humor. I love how I can go from tense and on the edge of my seat, to laughing out loud, and then to getting a little misty eyed all in one page. I love that he teases my stupid squishy romantic side a little, without the story turning into a another lame paranormal romance (sorry PNR fans, it’s just not my thing). I just plain love this series.
What else can I say? If you’re considering picking this book up, I’m hoping you’ve read the other thirteen books in the series first. And if you’ve read all thirteen, I’m guessing you’re enough of a fan to want to continue. And if you’re a fan, you won’t be disappointed.
No doubt about it, five stars. Hell, make it six for that matter. Loved it!
Damn it… Now I have to wait a whole year to find out what happens next.
So here’s the thing.
I’m a Dresdenite. I love me some Dresden Files. It was my first real taste of Urban Fantasy and it is the reason I read so many others in the genre in hopes of finding something just as good. It’s lead me to some good series and to some really, really bad ones as well. Every other UF I’ve read gets measured against the entirety of the Dresden Files, which is probably unfair but pfft, nothing says I have to be fair.
So how does this book compare?
Well, not badly really.
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I heard about this series and author via a recommendation at Dear Author. We were discussing the way [some] authors and [most] publishers are really screwing with the sub-genre “Urban Fantasy.” Urban Fantasy started as basically Sword & Sorcery but in a modern format and urban location. Somehow someway…Urban Fantasy became Romances with angry, sword wielding women who dressed in strings and had sex with paranormal creatures. Thank goodness someone in the comments section pointed me to this book.
This book…isn’t like that. I mean, it’s still an Urban Fantasy so it stays pretty close to the trope…but there is no emphasis on sex. The moment the heroine made a stupid decision…something bad happened to her. And there are POC characters!! Wow!
One of my favorite scenes in the book? When Khefar (hero) and Kira (heroine) are kissing and they stop. Because they have more important things to do…like planning for and killing the evil bad guy. 😀 There is no sex in this book.
This being an Urban Fantasy, Kira is the strongest Shadowchaser in quite a while. Kira is a bit of loner but it’s not because she’s angry with the world. She is gifted (or as she considers it, cursed) with a power that does not allow her to touch people in any way with her bare skin. If she touched them she would severely hurt them and possibly kill them. That puts a damper on interpersonal relationships, I’d say. She does have some really good “normal” friends but only a few – those she can trust. There is a relationship brewing in this book but it is not the focus of the story. Kira is fascinated with Khefar…but a huge portion of that comes from the fact the he is the only human she can touch.
Another thing I really liked about the book was its ethnicity and different focus. Kira is African American and Khefar is Nubian. Both Kira and Khefer worship Egyptian deities (Kira worships Ma’at and Khefar worships Isis). Egyptology is a large focus of this book (and I’m assuming the series). I haven’t ran across many (if all) fantasy books with this focus so kudos to the author!
While Kira is presented as very powerful, she is faced with a villain she cannot fight alone. She has to grow and learn teamwork during the course of the book. I appreciated the fact that Kira was shown as fallible and I hope that she will be forced into additional growth during the series. I do have a small concern: will she become too powerful? That becomes boring.
There is some info dumping at the beginning of the novel. Some of the terms are not really explained and the author leaves the reader to figure it out via context clues.
All in all, this is a fun book with great characters and a fresh background. I’m glad I ran across this author and I will be continuing this series.