02 June 2014

Review: Small Favor

Small Favor
Small Favor by Jim Butcher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The sixteenth book came out this past week, and it's really weird hearing some chatter here and there while reading this one. Even weirder is how this started out as possibly my favorite and unfortunately dragged a little until it picked up at the end. They can't all be crazy winners.

I've said this a few times about this series at this point, but it's worth repeating - Jim Butcher's strength as a writer comes from keeping a lot of old storylines in his back pocket and in keeping his characters in danger. Yes, at this point, I am fully on board with the fact that Harry Dresden is very much a bend-but-don't-break character, but it means we have a lot of extras along the way, from Murphy on down, that are in danger instead. It's an interesting way to tell a story, and one I'm fully on board with in terms of how unique it is.

Putting aside that, this book again wastes no time in diving in. Harry battles gruffs, gets caught up in supernatural politics, and is thrown right in the middle of a centuries-long affair regarding artifacts and remnants and so forth. If you're diving into the series in book ten, none of this makes sense, but for the sake of a midseries tale, we're doing okay.

Where it drags is in the latter half. So much great preparation comes into play where we essentially skid to a narrative stop within the progression. I think it's more that I've gotten used to the bang-bang prose that a portion of the story that seems a little broad makes me impatient, but there we have it. The typical final battle was awesome and typical, with the added bonus of this book essentially leading us into the next as opposed to keeping things kind of tidy.

Overall, not my favorite, but far from my least favorite as well. It's flawed, but solid. Still loving this series, though, overall, and I'm looking forward to the next one even still.

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