I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
Business has been slow. Okay, business has been dead. And not even of the undead variety. You would think Chicago would have a little more action for the only professional wizard in the phone book. But lately, Harry Dresden hasn't been able to dredge up any kind of work--magical or mundane.
But just when it looks like he can't afford his next meal, a murder comes along that requires his particular brand of supernatural expertise.
A brutally mutilated corpse. Strange-looking paw prints. A full moon. Take three guesses--and the first two don't count...
For me, this was a slightly better read than the first book, in that I feel that Harry’s character has somewhat solidified—I feel like he’s a bit more consistent, there are fewer things pulling him back and forth between the noir detective and the western genres. Choices have been made and patterns established.
Harry is established as a bit of a magical bad boy (apparently because women like the bad boys). He’s still pretty silly in his relationships with women—why be concerned if your skin is getting saved by a woman? Like that’s a bad thing! Just be happy someone is bothering to save you! Men out there, you do not have to be rescuers! We women like men who treat us like equal human beings. On the other hand, there are plenty of competent women doing interesting things in this novel—being equal human beings, in other words, and getting to demonstrate that they are just as able to lead the action.
This is a werewolf tale, but it kind of felt like Butcher looked at all the different versions of the werewolf and said, “I can’t decide, so let’s use them all.” And there was one story line, with one group of wolves, that didn’t really get resolved. Unsure if that will carry over into book 3 or if we are just supposed to pretend it never happened.