I randomly woke up at 5 AM the first day of my vacation. I’m a chronic insomniac: once I’m up, I’m up, and there is no hope of anything except, after walking down to the lobby to read in peace, that the coffee will not taste like lighter fluid.
No such luck.
However, I did luck out in that my book contained a bunch of witticisms and a very well-crafted story. It’s the same element that attracts me to Agatha Christie mysteries and books based on fairy tales: the attention to detail. Butcher leaves loose ends in these stories, but they’re set up as problems that Harry Dresden will have to deal with in the next book. If Butcher introduces a story element (a list of possibilities, a number of things that can go wrong, a character who promises a story arc), he tends to pick it up at some point and layer it into the tale. I love that. Love. Anything complicated, intricate, or meticulous (that’s not obtuse or hopelessly pretentious) and clever? Yup. Sign me up.
I can even forgive him for being a titch sexist because it’s not done in the tired “woe, women = frail” trope. He has a couple of intelligent, resourceful female characters who refuse to admit to being out of their depth. The author seems to respect them all right, but his character doesn’t seem to have any idea what to do about the ladies in his life. He thinks he’s being a gentleman, but he’s kind of just keeping them in the dark. Annoying, but tolerable because everything else is set up nicely.
Also, it is in this book that we learn that Harry Dresden is the Burger King. I think it’s my favorite scene in the book.