The new novel in the #1 New York Times best-selling Dresden Files series. Long ago, Susan Rodriguez was Harry Dresden's lover - until she was attacked by his enemies, leaving her torn between her own humanity and the bloodlust of the vampiric Red Court. Susan then disappeared to South America, where she could fight both her savage gift and those who cursed her with it.
Now Arianna Ortega, Duchess of the Red Court, has discovered a secret Susan has long kept, and she plans to use it - against Harry. To prevail this time, he may have no choice but to embrace the raging fury of his own untapped dark power. Because Harry's not fighting to save the world...He's fighting to save his child.
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©2010 Jim Butcher (P)2010 Penguin
Butcher's latest Dresden File is OUTSTANDING. Yes, totally worthy of All Caps OUTSTANDING. If you think that because you've read his past Dresden novels, you know how this one is going to end... prepare to be shocked. "Changes" is definitely an appropriate title for this book. I won't go into the plot, because anything beyond what the publishers already described would be far too spoilerish.
I also have to say something about James Marsters- the narrator. Holy Cheese Doodles is this guy good. He can make a shout sound like a shout without it hurting your eardrums, he can meld his voice so it sounds, very believably, like a female whisper. He can produce the crack of dry humor and the choke in his throat when deep sorrow is called for. He did an excellent job of narrating this book and I was left wishing he had been hired to narrate the Codex Allera books that Butcher has also written. (but that is another review.)
Can't say enough good things about this one. Definitely worth the buy.
I was hooked on Harry Dresden practically from the first moment of Storm Front. While early books were a little shaky - and James Marsters took a while to reach his stride as a reader - by the time I listened to White Knight, I was convinced that Butcher & Marsters were at the top of their games. Yet over the course of the next several books, Harry and the cast of supporting characters became even more complex, more interesting, more human. And Butcher kept revealing surprises and "Aha!" moments that kept me engrossed.
From the opening moments of Changes, I knew that Butcher had trumped himself with this one. Everything - and I do mean everything - comes together here in a deeply satisfying way (despite a cliffhanger conclusion). Plots that have been unfolding for several books are finally resolved and new ones introduced.
Changes reminded me a lot of the final chapter of The Lord of the Rings - a series referenced by Harry as he and his friends (and even former foes) form a fellowship in order to complete the ultimate quest. The book culminates in a battle of good vs. evil of epic proportions and has a valedictory feel to it. But according to Butcher, there are several more books planned for the series - good news for his devoted fans.
I urge anyone who has not read previous Dresden Files not to begin with this. The impact of this book is meant for devoted fans - it is a payoff 12 books in the making - as well as a glimpse of new directions for Dresden and Company.
Any criticism I have seems petty by comparison to the towering achievement Butcher has realized in Changes. There are a few moments where I felt the editing should have been tighter - which is perhaps why Butcher has pushed back the release of his next outing - Ghost Story - from April to July, 2011. The worst part of being a Dresden Files fan is figuring out how to feed our addiction between fix.
Bravo, Mr. Butcher! A tour de force.
I couldn't stop listening to this amazing story. James Marsters has read it perfectly. He is the voice of Harry Dresden and I hope he will read all the upcoming books.
This is easily the best of the Dresden series thus far. The book is aptly named and aptly written along those lines. The character development is phenomenal and many questions are answered. Those who are saying this is a Finale? Nope. I ain't buying that one. I highly recommend this to Dresden fans but STRONGLY DISCOURAGE this being your FIRST book to introduce Dresden.
I am so pleased that Audible now has the complete series now and I recommend you start at the beginning and have the sweet experience of going through all twelve books.
James Marsters does his very best in this audiobook. It's almost more of a dramatized version than an unabridged audiobook! Thanks, James for such an excellent performance.
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.
This is probably the most fast moving of the books in terms of action, but it doesn't reduce the rich drama and character development along the way that is the hallmark of Butcher's writing.. The only problem I had with the story was the ending, but don't let that keep you from buying it. For any fan of modern/urban fantasy, this book is at the top of the pile.
Literally, from the first line to the last I was captivated and riveted. This is a fast pace story with many of the old characters returning. You will laugh at the humor, cry at the "changes" and be thoroughly entertained in the imaginery world that Jim Butcher has created. The scenery details are amazing and the storyline is a paranormal rollercoaster of making bargains, meeting demons (don't want to say any spoilers) and visiting "never never" places (outside of Chicago). Harry Dresden learns more about his family and his friends, and in order to save one he has to sacrifice. James Marsden is the voice of Harry Dresden and he portrays him flawlessly. He is Harry, and he projects the other characters very well. This series gets better with every book, now is the waiting for the next. Highly recommend reading the Harry Dresden series in order.
Audiobook Junkie... Love all types of Science Fiction
Or as Dresden might say, Ventas Servitas! It took me a few minutes of shocked silence after finishing this book to digest events. I am amazed at how far this series has come. I started with book two giving it 2 stars due to some frustrating tendencies of the main characters and the heavy breathing of the narrator at times. Next, I slowly worked my way through to book 7 as they increasingly get better. Then the revelation that "polka will never die" hit and I have been unable to finish a Dresden Files book without wanting to immediately start the next one since. The endings just beg for follow ups. Even now I want to download the next and I am starting to worry that I will run out of material soon and have to wait like the rest of the Dresden fans. There are several surprises in this book and huge events that are a must read for the story line.
So what do I say about this story? Well, if you have made it this far I would just be giving spoilers. If you are completely new to The Dresden Files, or like to skip around, then you shouldn't be reading this book yet. I started with book 2 after having experienced the TV show. It is hard to recommend skipping the basics, but I can tell you if you stay through the beginning it is worth the wait.
Narration = top notch. I would even go as far now to say James Masters is my favorite narrator on audible. Masters has come pretty far in the course of this series. He puts a ton of effort and emotion in such a compelling way to make very distinct characters come to life. I couldn't imagine having another reader and I think something must be lost for those that do not own the audible version.
If there was a 6 stars this book deserves it..
Wizard Harry Dresden face his most daunting battle ever in this latest installment of his war with both the evil in the world of magic and the demons within. This time he must fight to save both himself and the daughter he only recently learned existed.
Like all of Dresden???s adventures, the book begins with the revelation of an evil plot leading to lots of little battles culminating into an epic confrontation. We know that Dresden ultimately will win, but author Jim Butcher does and outstanding job of ramping up the suspense by creating heart stopping how-is-he-ever-going-to-get-out-of-this-one encounters with the badest of the bad monsters from the netherworld. This one, however, is different. The ending is a twist I didn???t see coming, and it does indeed change everything.
The next book in the series is due out this fall and it will no doubt be very interesting to see how Butcher does get Harry out of this one. I think there may be clues in some of the recent books, but we???ll have to impatiently wait and see.
Narrator James Marsters, as always, does a magnificent job of channeling Dresden and bringing Butcher???s imaginative writing to life.
I really enjoy the entire series; I really enjoy the way Butcher writes. This one is a lot of transformation all at once in Dresden's life, but James Marsters does a fantastic job of reading it, as always. Marsters is an absolutely amazing reader. Not perfect, but vastly entertaining!
Oh yes, I have read the Hardback when it first released and couldn't wait for it to be released in Audio format. It did take a while for it to be available on Audible. The story is fast paced, witty and connects a few dots whilst creating a lot more. I found that by listening to this, after reading Ghost Story, there was lots of little things that I had missed and help unravel more of the overall story arc.
The development of characters previously briefly glimpsed.
He makes a great Harry, a great voice. Also love his Bob voice too.
Oh cripes... No, I can't do this without dropping plot clangers, sorry.
This is the twelfth book in the series and doesn't make a great stand-alone listen. However fans of Harry Dresden books won't be disappointed by these audiobooks.
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