The first time I read Jim Butcher’s Cold Days was not long after my library got it in (last December). I read it in a mad rush trying to gobble up the latest Dresden adventure…and it left me a little unsure of what to say.
So, a few days ago, I sat down with some knitting and listened to the audiobook again. I feel better prepared to talk about it.
I enjoyed the book because it is Dresden and I am sucked in no matter what. Butcher is an endlessly entertaining writer and, let’s face it, James Marsters is no slouch as a voice for the audiobook.
What I think:
1. This is the “turning” book. This novel marks the first steps of a new path for Dresden and there isn’t much overt movement for the character internally because: A) he’s really off balance after becoming the Winter Knight and being “dead;” B) there are too many new things popping up to worry about old things; and C) the time clock is very short and doesn’t allow much deep interpersonal interaction–it’s more of a “info now, emotion later” kind of discourse. Essentially, this is a new beginning and all the threads are being sussed out.
2. Changes gutted Dresden’s world in every way–no home, no hope, no life. His world flipped upside down: he has a daughter (previously unknown) and in danger; he finds out that he isn’t invincible (and is made helpless); he finds out to what depths he will sink to do what he thinks is right. Much like the moment in Harry Potter #4 when Potter discovers that Voldemort CAN get to him (will kill anyone to do so) and there is no one who can save him but himself, Dresden is given a nasty shock of reality. There is nothing but raw reaction to everything that happens.
3. Ghost Story felt like it was tying off loose ends in Dresden’s world.
4. Murphy. While Dresden has crushed on her for years, he never did much about it before Changes. However, now with him being “alive” again and the Winter Knight, Karrin does not trust him (no matter how amusing she finds him). I also can’t see either doing much to change the situation. I might be reading it wrong, but this feels like a death knell for the crush–a kind of you-can’t-go-back-again, missed moment thing.
5. I am very excited to see what is coming down the line…