Monday, December 08, 2008

"Dead Beat" Book 7 of the "Dresden Files" by Jim Butcher

"Dead Beat"
Book 7 of the "Dresden Files"
by Jim Butcher
published by ROC, 2005

Once again Jim Butcher has created a great novel of suspense, action, thrills, and dare I say... a little romance, featuring the coolest wizard of all time Harry Dresden. In this novel the Wardens of the White Council are all but wiped out by the Red Court Vampires, all of humanity is threatened by the Erlking, Chicago will be destroyed by 5 necromancers seeking godhood, Harry Dresden faces a Fallen Angel that threatens to take over his soul, and his half brother is a slob. But hey, this is just a typical Halloween for Chicago's wizard for hire Harry Dresden.

This title of this edition of the "Dresden Files," "Dead Beat," refers not to Harry having to hunt down a dad not paying child support but rather the relentless toll the never ending perils facing humanity that he must defeat, thus leaving his body "Dead Beat." One thing I've noticed in all the Dresden files books I've read is it seems that Wizard Harry Dresden always takes on more than seems like he can handle, but usually through friends and sometimes pure dumb luck he comes out on top. He always seems reluctant to ask for help but eventually volunteers come out of the woodwork. That excitement of not knowing whether he will survive the ordeal and the absolutely wonderful wit and humor by author Jim Butcher keeps me coming back to these books.

This book however Harry finally admits he's in over his head and asks for help from the Wardens of the White Council. The White Council is the Justice League for wizards and out to battle evildoers, the Wardens are their police force. The problem is , when Harry asks for help it's a bad time for the White Council, the ongoing war between the Red Court and the White Council (started by Harry, by the way) has cut down the number of Wardens from 200 to only 50 remaining alive around the world. Thus only 5 can come to Harry's aid. In the process and much to the dismay of Morgan, the Warden that hates Harry, the Council makes Harry a Warden. But before I get to far ahead of myself, let's talk about what happens here.

Harry gets a message from Mavra, the leader of the Black Court of vampires who Harry supposedly destroyed in the last book, apparantly Mavra got away and now wishes to speak to Harry. Remember the Black Court are the most evil of all the vampire courts and are the ones best represented in the Bram Stoker novel, rumor has it that the White Council encouraged Stoker to write that book so the average joe can kill a Black Court vampire, which led to their near extinction. It seems Mavra wants Harry to find a book for her. Only this book is the ultimate of all evils and the ultimate book of Necromancy, black magic raising the spirits of the dead. With this book Mavra could become a god. The catch is that if Harry doesn't find this book, Mavra will destroy the life of Harry's best friend and possible love interest, Lt. Karrin Murphy of the Chicago PD Special Investigations. A little blackmail and Harry pretty much has to do this, actually this is where chivalry gets the best of Harry Dresden.

At the same time Harry is searching for this book, 3 days before Halloween, 5 powerful Necromancers are also looking for this book. When they learn Harry is searching for the book they now have to hunt down Harry.

Dresden learns that the necromancers will use this book to raise the Erlking, a faerie king that can destroy humanity, and make one of the 5 a god with ultimate power to destroy all of mankind. The race is on and Harry is finding these necromancers too powerful to be handled alone.

Harry decides to call in the Cavalry, in this case the Wardens. Keep in mind here that Harry has been under constant surveillance by the Wardens and under the most extreme scrutiny that if he were to ever delve into the Black Arts, he would be executed immediately. Well the Wardens come in to help but before they do they make Harry a Warden, big decision for Harry. He accepts and they go to battle with the Necromancers.

Big action, big thrills, big suspense in "Dead Beat" the 7th book in the Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher. A little bit of a spoiler before I go--- It is so cool when Harry goes riding through Chicago on the back of a T-rex with a polka playing one man band riding with him.

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