Turn Coat - Jim Butcher I seem to have developed a habit of reading the first book in a series then skipping a whole bunch to read from the series again. It worked well for me with Star Wars: A New Jedi Order and I can’t complain about my recent run with The Dresden Files.

So now, ten books after [b:Storm Front|47212|Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1)|Jim Butcher|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1345556917s/47212.jpg|1137060], Harry has gained an apprentice, werewolf friends, a vampire brother, a warden girlfriend, fae connections, a pizza lordship and subsequent army and a promotion to the White Council. But Harry is still good old snarky, sarcastic, self-deprecating Harry and the man you can turn to and count on when you are in desperate need of help and can’t trust anyone else. Which is exactly what Morgan does when he’s framed for murdering a White Council Wizard. Harry agrees to help him, but doesn’t count on Morgan being trailed by a very powerful, very deadly skinwalker.

I’ve definitely missed a lot – White Court Vampire wars, teenagers becoming werewolves, a big fairy battle – but Butcher does a great job of filling me in on just enough details to make sure I wasn’t completely in the dark, without overloading me or giving away too much. I’d like to think that the balance works well for readers who have been with Harry all the way through. No one wants a full recap of the “previously on” every time they read a new book in the series.

One of the changes that definitely stuck out for me was the increased sexuality. Blame it on the damn vampires, who can’t seem to exist in an urban fantasy setting without bringing all their kink with them. Harry is a male with standard male urges, but they weren’t as prominent in the first book as they are now. At least Harry is a gentleman and apparently so is Butcher. There is a lot of look and appreciate, but no touchie touchie in the sexual interactions. As in, the sex doesn’t take over the plot as it does with certain unnamed urban fantasy writers who shall not be named and shall remain nameless.

It was fun meeting all the new characters and seeing how they interacted. Shout outs go to Mouse, Harry’s dog, who really held his own in all the scenes he appeared in. Man’s best friend brings me to the overall theme of relationships and especially loyalty that runs through this book (and perhaps the series?). Harry’s loyalty to those he cares about and those who put their trust in him remains stellar. Mouse and some of his other companions, like the stalwart Murphy, are unquestionable friends, but the loyalty of others – to Harry, to their respective ruling bodies, to each other is all over the place. At the heart is Morgan’s apparent betrayal and the fact that many of the Council members don’t believe he’s guilty, but are willing to let the steadfast warden take the fall for the greater good unless Harry can find the traitor in the ranks.

Since I’m unfamiliar with the players and the political machinations of the various councils and courts, nothing was overly predictable for me. It was nice to just sit back and enjoy the show. Credit also must go to James Marsters, the narrator of the audiobook, who really nailed Harry’s nonchalant attitude.

Cross-posted to
The BiblioSanctum