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Cold Days: The Dresden Files, Book 14 | [Jim Butcher]

Cold Days: The Dresden Files, Book 14

After being murdered by a mystery assailant, navigating his way through the realm between life and death, and being brought back to the mortal world, Harry realizes that maybe death wasn’t all that bad - because he is no longer Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard. He is now Harry Dresden, Winter Knight to Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness. After Harry had no choice but to swear his fealty, Mab wasn’t about to let something as petty as death steal away the prize she had sought for so long.
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Publisher's Summary

Harry Dresden lives!

After being murdered by a mystery assailant, navigating his way through the realm between life and death, and being brought back to the mortal world, Harry realizes that maybe death wasn’t all that bad - because he is no longer Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard. He is now Harry Dresden, Winter Knight to Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness.

After Harry had no choice but to swear his fealty, Mab wasn’t about to let something as petty as death steal away the prize she had sought for so long. And now, her word is his command, no matter what she wants him to do, no matter where she wants him to go, and no matter who she wants him to kill. Guess which one Mab wants first?

Of course, it won’t be an ordinary, everyday assassination. Mab wants her newest minion to pull off the impossible: kill an immortal. No problem there, right? And to make matters worse, there exists a growing threat to an unfathomable source of magic that could land Harry in the sort of trouble that will make death look like a holiday.

Beset by enemies new and old, Harry must gather his friends and allies, prevent the annihilation of countless innocents, and find a way out of his eternal subservience before his newfound powers claim the only thing he has left to call his own… his soul.

©2012 Jim Butcher (P)2012 Penguin Audio

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  •  
    Bonnie Bellmore, NY, United States 12-01-12
    Bonnie Bellmore, NY, United States 12-01-12 Member Since 2013

    BJS

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Harry Dresden just gets better and better"
    What did you love best about Cold Days?

    The varied story lines and how they each interact with each other. Jim Butcher is a fantastic story writer. Butcher, has each character in all his stories grow and change to some degree. Cause and effect and inter action with others. I've read everything Jim Butcher has written, and was NEVER disappointed "The Dresden Files" which I started with book ONE, and now just finished Fourteen has just gotten better and better with each book in series. .


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Cold Days?

    There were so many and if I mention some they may end up being spoilers. So I'll resist giving several of my favorites.


    What does James Marsters bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    James Marsters is Harry Dresden, but not only Harry. Marsters does the narration of each character so well you always know who's speaking every time. I've listened to him do other narrations and he NEVER disappoints.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes, there is always humor, and sad moments, however again I don't want to give away any thing that will spoil the story for some one who is a follower of the series. Just know that if you've enjoyed the first Thirteen books you Love this one.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm glad they brought back James Marsters to narrate. Book thirteen was a great story and the narrator did a good job, after all he's reading Jim Butchers story, and the story it's self was awesome. But it would have been better with Marsters since he's been doing if for the first 12 books in series. Happy to have him back. Can't wait for Book 15, hoping James narrates again.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teahouse Fox 11-30-12 Listener Since 2006

    ...and this is my favorite store on the Internet!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I'm not dead, yet!"

    Cold Days marks the beginning of the second half of Dresden's saga. If you are new to the series, stop here, go back to Storm Front (The Dresden Files, Book 1), and read your way through the first thirteen books, then Side Jobs, and then come back. I'll wait here. Now you're up to date, let's go -

    Preflight checklist: Jim Butcher, one of the best storytellers in modern fantasy, back in the saddle? Check. James Marsters is back as the Audible/audio incarnation of our favorite irreverent, overwhelmed, put upon, wise cracking wizard? Check. Geek/pop culture humor? Check. A crap-ton of magic gets thrown around? Check. The old crew is back in the fight? Check. Harry's up against something far out of his weight class? Check.

    Harry was only "mostly dead" and returns to the realization that he failed to avoid the consequences of the bargain he made with the Queen of Air and Darkness. He is now the Winter Knight, a role that Harry has dreaded for most of the series, and now has to live with. The fae have tortured Harry with their deadly games off and on for 13 books, but it all gets turned up to 11 once he is the Winter Queen's knight.

    If that's not bad enough, he will have to explain his 'death' and current role to the White Council - and to be clear, that and several related explanations do get sidestepped in Cold Days - There's too many people Harry needs to catch up with to cram it all into one book. Especially since he's got so much on his hands.

    Demonreach, the island he has attuned himself to, sitting on top of a network of magical ley lines, is about to explode, with enough force to cause Google to update it's satellite photos for the entire western hemisphere. Oh, and Mab's first task for Harry? No less than the assassination of the Winter Queen That Will Be - her own heir and daughter, Maeve.

    Everything's on the line again, and the only help Harry will find is in the form of his core posse - Thomas, the New and Improved apprentice Molly (now, with less crazy!), Karin, Toot Toot (and the Za Lord's army) and his dog Mouse all sign up for the fight. But the fight is never what Harry thinks it is.

    A lot of reveal in Cold Days about the neverending battle in the Fae lands, and the relationship between the Winter and Summer courts, and the Council Gatekeeper. The big picture starts to come into focus, and you, along with Harry, begin to realize the very, very deep waters the series is about to sail into. The stakes have gotten much higher. But with that comes the possibility that Butcher may wind up staging a world-as-we-know-it-ends-here apocalypse with every future installment, and that can wear out the novelty and interest of huge battles that threaten to turn into repeats.

    Which brings up what I didn't like about Cold Days. For the first time, Butcher disappoints by retracing territory he's covered before, and fairly thoroughly. Power not wholly Harry's own is used out of necessity, and with it comes the corruption of thoughts also not wholly his own. Dresden spent a number of books with a fallen angel infesting his every thought, giving him power beyond his own (hellfire), only now Lashiel has been replaced by the mantle of the Winter Knight and powers of winter cold and ice. He is tempted with power yet again - not power that he craves for himself, but power he needs to protect the people he loves, and the millions of innocent bystanders who will die if he doesn't. If you remember the Blackened Denarians story arc, this is playing out in very similar fashion so far. Temptation, power, corrupted thoughts, isolation, and distrust all come back in play in Harry's interpersonal relationships. I can't help but feel disappointed at this development. Why revisit this theme and angst again?

    Next theme is that Harry, out of fear for his friends, will try to buffer them from a lot of uncomfortable truths. In their emotional reunion, Thomas lampshades this, and seems to accept it as part of his brother's personality, though he works on trying to convince him to open his heart to the people dearest to him (Karin and Maggie).

    Finally, the Karin/Harry issue gets sent back through the wash cycle for another spin. With a dash of Molly thrown in to complicate matters. I would be very disappointed if Harry went down the Molly path romantically, for the very reasons that Harry himself has given in several books. However, the spectre of this possibility becomes far more possible in future installments after the dramatic conclusion of the events in Cold Days.

    James Marsters, much missed in the previous installment, is indeed back. He does the most marvelous voices for the multitude of beings in the Dresden-verse. I have 'read' all but one of the Dresden books in audio only, and he was a superb choice for a narrator, that only gets better and better. But among my favorite are his voices for Toot Toot and Captain Hook. I can listen to these books over and over, and still be entertained.

    Ghost Story was the middle of the Dresden series, so I anticipate that Cold Days should set the stage for the plot lines that follow.

    Buckle up. Or, as Murphy says "Get on the back, *itch!"

    It's going to be a helluva ride.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lori corning, ca, United States 11-29-12
    Lori corning, ca, United States 11-29-12 Member Since 2008
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    "WOW!!!!"

    Amazing! Had me smiling & stunned. I need to listen to it again right now.

    5 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SHAWN PINSON, AL, United States 11-27-12
    SHAWN PINSON, AL, United States 11-27-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Keep em coming..."

    Jim Butcher never ceases to amaze... and James Marsters is officially THE voice of Dresden.

    The best book series I've "read" to date... and this entry keeps par with the rest..

    Start at the beginning (Storm Front), and enjoy The Dresden Files..

    9 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason pottstown, pa, United States 11-30-12
    Jason pottstown, pa, United States 11-30-12 Member Since 2014

    reading adventurer

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The story is back on track !!"

    Jim Butcher does not disappoint in this installment to what should be considered the greatest urban fantasy series! Harry is beat up, grimy and most of all laughing in the face of death. The story building done in Ghost Story pays MANY dividends in this novel. I'm not one for spoilers so I can only recommend this novel 100% to anyone on the fence!!!

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JenDep10708 BRONXVILLE, NY, US 12-02-12
    JenDep10708 BRONXVILLE, NY, US 12-02-12 Member Since 2011

    JDep10708

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    "Stupendous!!!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Cold Days to be better than the print version?

    This is a little difficult to answer. I have a wild imagination and easily get lost in books, whether in print or recorded voice. It is not a matter of it being better, a good book will be great no matter what.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I LOVE BOB! He cracks me up and is loyalty is unparalleled!


    What does James Marsters bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    This is easy, life. James brings the books to life like no one else can. I actually refused to even buy Ghost Story in audio format because he did not perform it. Yes, perform not read. I can see the story when he performs.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Thomas and Harry seeing each other again.


    Any additional comments?

    I told my boyfriend about 2 years ago that he should try these books, he was hesitant. Now he is addicted. Anyone who picks up one of these books should be prepared to read all of them and Side Jobs as well. They always leave you salivating for the next installment.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 12-01-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "WOW!"

    For anyone who was frustrated with Ghost Story, you will be vindicated! This is classic, exciting, satisfying Dresden! Butcher at his best.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Ubik 11-30-12
    C. Ubik 11-30-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Marsters + Butcher = WIN"
    What did you love best about Cold Days?

    Epic in scope and feel, this is easily Butcher's best work. And Marster's narration is pitch perfect. Glad he's back!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story is tight, the characters feel almost like family, and the twists and turns will leave you breathless.


    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clara Barzon 11-29-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Fantastic Combo - Butcher & Marsters."
    What did you love best about Cold Days?

    Everything. The Story, Charaters and Imagination.
    Mr. Butcher #14 is his best - Hand Down.
    I hate waiting for any book to be published but when I read Chapter 1 & 2 at
    Mr. Butchers Website. I knew that the "wait/pain" was all worth it.


    Have you listened to any of James Marsters’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Mr. Marsters performances are Masterful, Personable and Memorable.
    With " fairies voices " He must have being doing helium.
    Bob - Spirit of Air with a Britt accent -- I want one.

    Masters "is" Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden.


    Any additional comments?

    To Mr. Butcher: Thank You for a great story. Will never rush you to write a story.
    To Mr. Masters: You are simply Masterful.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DJM Franklin, TN USA 11-29-12
    DJM Franklin, TN USA 11-29-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Another Unique and Startling Story"

    The danger with any long running series like the Dresden Files is that it will fall into a formula where the variations from book to book amount to little more than moving the pieces around through the same story on different days. In contrast, Butcher continues to deliver unique stories that reveal new aspects to the universe he has created and new dangers and possibilities for the characters. The only frustrating thing, and this is not a criticism, is that the universe created over 14 books has grown so rich and complex that some books cannot contain all the characters that you would expect to see. I wanted to know where several of them were and what they were doing but I’ll now have to wait a couple of years to find out.

    It’s not possible to say much of anything about the story not already included in the description. It would be too easy to include a spoiler. Suffice to say that rather than getting tedious, this series keeps me wanting more. On a side note I, too, was glad to have James Marsters back. I have to agree with those who say that he is Harry Dresden. John Glover did an outstanding job with Ghost Story but, after 12 books read by Marsters, it just wasn’t the same.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
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