SPOILER WARNING for Cold Days

I finished Cold Days (#14 of The Dresden Files) and it was OK. It’s one of the longer books of the series, weighing in at 515 pages, so there was a lot there to love. The problem is, I didn’t love it. Bums me out to say.

There was a lot of ground to cover in this book. Harry, back from the dead, has to deal with belonging to Mab as the new Winter Knight. She’s got training lined up for him, a great big birthday party, and then his first assignment — to kill Maeve. The story centers on Harry trying to solve the mystery of what the adversary is, who’s affected, and who should be killed, all while he’s adjusting to the power he’s been given.

As the story unfolds, everyone he knows is surprised to see him alive and pissed at him for not getting in touch after coming back from the dead, and finally Harry realizes (again) that he could use the help of his friends. The book has lots of interesting tidbits about other characters and some about Harry’s past, but overall i didn’t love it.

I was disappointed with Harry’s “struggles” with the winter mantle telling him to hurt girls. As I understood it, those scenes were supposed to show him dealing with the consequences of his choice to become the Winter Knight, but that didn’t make them any fun to read. The message seemed to be that Harry is a good guy after all, and would never do a thing like that…although he totally could have if he wanted to. I thought the women involved who knew what he had just been thinking about in those scenes had somewhat strange reactions. As in, not much of a reaction at all. Especially not Molly, what was going on there? He said he wanted to “put her in her place”? That’s pretty dark. Anyway, that aspect of the book was disappointing, and took away from my overall enjoyment of it.

There was, however, some great stuff in Cold Days. I did really like Demonreach and finding out more about that character and island. I loved the scenes with Mother Winter and Mother Summer, and the parts with the Wild Hunt. Cat Sith was lots of fun and I hope to see him again. After waiting so long to see if Harry and Murphy get together, I was happy to see Harry take Thomas’s advice to not put things off until later and just go for it already. However, when we finally got to the end, I found that the conversation between Harry and Murphy was just kind of awkward. Crying and hand-holding? Um, I guess that’s the relationship we’ve been waiting for all this time?  I’m interested to see what becomes of it, and I’m excited for the release of Skin Game tomorrow. Something tells me it’s not going to be full of date nights for H&K and picnics with all the Dresden friends, but I’m looking forward to it anyway 🙂

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