01 April 2014

Review: Proven Guilty

Proven Guilty
Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher

My rating: 0 of 5 stars

Proven Guilty might be the first time I've felt a misstep of sorts with the series.

I need to preface this: Proven Guilty is not a bad book. It's still better than most of the urban fantasy I've read up to this point, and having now invested considerable time and energy into the series and characters, there's plenty here to like.

The issue with this book, I suppose, is just that it felt like it was floundering up until the last 100 pages, that sort of justified the first 300. I get the feeling that Butcher was knee-deep in convention culture by the time he started writing this book, because a lot of it takes place at a convention, and that's where the meat of the plot sits. Instead of it being a fun supernatural story, it spends a lot of time being a procedural novel with a supernatural bent. Less about Harry, less about him dealing with what he's done to himself, more about trying to solve the mystery of a supernatural murder.

I don't think that's what these books are.

The good news was that the last parts of the books redeemed it a lot. We see some of the classic Dredsen fallibility, some excursions into other universes, and a pretty great ending that sets up a nice wrinkle for future books. I didn't see that coming, but it made the book feel both important as well as transitional. I guess one has to expect some sort of slowing of the plot a bit when it comes to what is a 15+ book series up to this point, but considering how solid the more recent books were, I guess my expectations have risen with the quality.

Definitely not bad, just far from excellent. Considering how this one ended, I'm pretty excited to see where we're going from here.

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