I've recently returned from living and working in Alaska. I, my beautiful two dogs, and wonderful three cats travelled together.
Changes is a superb feast for the mind and heart. This is a solid 10 star read. The first scene and the first words of Changes, ("I answered the phone, and Susan Rodriguez said, 'They've taken our daughter), are captivating. After hearing this announcement from Susan Rodriguez, we are held hostage until the entire story has unfolded. There are many intense moments in Changes. One occurs in the very first scene. In this scene, Harry is told that his daughter, Margaret Angelica, is missing. Together, both Harry, (and you and I), hear about his daughter for the first time, ever. This scene informs the tone and intensity of the narrative. He first met Susan, his daughter’s mother in Fool Moon where they began dating briefly.
In Changes, aptly named, Harry’s entire universe changes. His car, the Blue Beetle, is destroyed; his home burns down; he is separated from his tom cat, Mister, in the fire; his office is bombed; he is uncertain about the dependability of Thomas, who has been yielding to the demon side of his nature; and his friend Karrin is in trouble with the FBI; and many members of the White Council have mysteriously become ill. He proves that he will go to hell and back to save one who is not known to him but is important and loved, because he has given her life, albeit unexpectedly, along with his unrequited love, Susan Rodriguez. He shows this by making a deal with Mab, Queen of the Winter Sidhe.
The war that is started with the Red Court of Vampires in Grave Peril is brought to a conclusion in Changes with a total absoluteness and grim finality. In fighting the cause of his daughter, he fights again for many who have been victimized by the Red Court. The Red Court has held evil Dominion over the parts of South American and Mexico where the Red Court dominates. This is an allegory for the victimizations and the abuses in life: physical and emotional abuse of children and adults, and even modern human slavery, (usually the slavery of women promised what they have hoped for but in the end are given so much less), perpetrated on specific factions in society by the powerful, whether criminal elements like cartels or otherwise. If only all evil-doers can be vanquished like the Red Court in one crusade by one pure of purpose such as Harry becomes in Changes. Changes is also the tale of a love story gone wrong. Harry and Susan once upon a time dated and unbeknownst to Harry, they had a child, Margaret Angelica. Margaret Angelica appears to be a “right” result of their relationship. The part that has gone wrong is that after all that they must go through; they will never be able to be together.
Themes such as third world victimization, the victimization of women, the development of the Stockholm syndrome, and the difficulties of being a parent in today’s world are considered in this modern allegory and gives us pause. Why the Stockholm Syndrome: While the psychological condition in hostage situations became known as “Stockholm Syndrome” due to the emotional “bonding” with captors and is and was a familiar story in psychology, it had been recognized many years before and was found in studies of other hostage, prisoner, or abusive situations.
In the final analysis, emotionally bonding with an abuser is actually a strategy for survival for victims of abuse and intimidation. The "Stockholm Syndrome" reaction in hostage and/or abuse situations is well recognized. We see this, especially in the story of Alamaya. She belongs to the Red King and will do anything that she feels that he wants her to do. This includes offering Harry her body, not to please Harry, but to please the Red King and show that she is willing to do her duty. The bonding has occurred with individuals like Alamaya because having no power; this is their best way to survive one who has such little regard for human life.
The tale of Changes is impressive by virtue of its greatness. Though Harry overcomes many obstacles to save Margaret Angelica, in the end, not everyone can be saved. This again informs the reader and reminds one of life. Failure exists and we must rise above the struggle. Harry rises above the struggle and the price he pays is dear.
Changes, though a modern allegory, is also reminiscent of Homer’s Odyssey and the many challenges that Odysseus encounters before he again returns to Ithaca. Odysseus after 10 years of trial and tribulation finally reaches home. The cost has been dear.
Changes rises to the status of icon and Harry becomes the avatar of justice. In its brilliant narrative it stands alone. It’s the most impressive novel of the series to date.
James Marsters is masterful in his narration. This is a solid 10 stars.
Consider "Changes" to just be a pivot point in a extremely well told story. When you go through it you get to see Harry make his usual hard choices even his hardest. There is also some interesting character development with some of the bit part characters. One of the major characters dies and Jim fleshes out a good portion of the rest of the major players. Uriel makes an appearance as well as a unexpected god (note the lower case for you religious nutters). And Thomas is by Harry's side through most of it. Excellent read for the Dresden Crack addicts we all are.
Fantasy and Romance Author
Wow--I just finished listening to this book, and once again, Jim Butcher proves that he can wring the maximum amount of tension, danger, and emotional trauma out of any situation. This book is an amazing roller-coaster ride, and James Marsters' performance is, as always, impeccable, bringing all of the characters to vivid life.
Harry Dresden's situation is grim, and getting grimmer by the minute, as he's pushed to his limits and beyond, and forced to make difficult and dangerous choices. But that doesn't stop him and his friends from indulging in the series' trademark sharp, funny dialogue and wisecracks.
One of the best installments of the series to date, and according to Jim Butcher's website, it looks like we have at least eight more novels and a number of short stories to look forward to in the future.
Highly recommended for fans of the series. I am eagerly awaiting the next installment!
1*=I didn't like it..... 2*=It was OK...... 3*=It was good but I will never read it again.......... 4*=Maybe I will read it again in the future.............. 5*=I will definitely read it again(maybe more than once)
It is really time for changes!!!
Everything you know about the series will be changed!!!
Whatever happened previously in the series Harry always tried to lay low and not to get in trouble, but now the rules have changed:
Harry has a daughter!!!!!
And no matter what the cost no one will stand between him and her!!!!
No matter the price no one will be allowed to harm her!!!!
I'll admit it: I fell in love with Harry Dresden in "Storm Front." It's an affection that just keeps growing and this novel may push me the farthest yet. I was entertained, surprised, tickled and I finished listening to the last 3 chapters with tears streaming down my face. Harry Dresden will always speak to me with James Marsters' voice and this novel reminds me how well he does all the many voices.
I give it my highest possible recommendation.
What a writer! What a narrator!
What a book!
Not my favorite but I will say the following: 1) the beginning and the ending are excellent, it's the middle third I didn't care for and 2) if you don't want to start with book 1, this one would probably be the best bet.
I'm actually a day old tart, filled with maple custard. Perhaps, this reads as a rational introduction to others, and you are deliberately misreading it, because, come on, maple custard.
I really loved this book. James Marsters just wins at life in this audio.
There was one gaping plot hole at the end that I didn't get. I guess, once a vampire is a vampire, they aren't,... considered,... family anymore? Unless,... they're white court?.. What?.. I don't get it, but I still loved it, plot hole, and all.
Dresden sort of breaks character, but it makes some of the actions more intense then Butcher's usual writing style.
I got to visit some of the places featured in this book, and I LOVED the culture. It's so nice seeing them finally get a nod in a dark fantasy fiction.
James Marsters is the voice of Harry Dresden. I was incredibly impressed with his narration. I am devoted fan of the series and the book. I have read this book three times since its release only a year ago, but because we were going on a long car trip and since my wife and our daughter are all fans, I decided to invest in the audible version too. I have no reason to regret it. I am seriously considering starting from the beginning just because Marsters did Changes so well.
** spoiler alert ** I think the title was "Don Pishari" to say it in Japanese, just perfect for this book. Things happening in this book will make anyone change especially Harry. Big and not so big revelations occurs and it surmounts to a very big climax scene rivaling the white night battle scene IMHO. And then... OMG OMG OMG was my reaction when i finished this book.
If you have read this book and haven't read the Side Job, I would highly recommend it. It contains a short story after "Changes" and will make you feel a little bit better.
I am hanging on threads until I get to read the next book...
If you haven't yet listened to the Dresden files, go and start at book 1. You will only appreciate everything that happens here with the full background. If you have read all the Dresden files except this you do not need me to encourage you to purchase Changes. Dresden is addiction more than fiction. And this hit of the Harry Copperfield Blackstone Dresden adventure pipe is ripe with humor, dense with anticipation and emotion, and will leave you suffering from serious heart wrenching withdrawl, fiending for the next installment....if there is one.