©2008 Roc; (P)2009 Penguin
I've recently returned from living and working in Alaska. I, my beautiful two dogs, and wonderful three cats travelled together.
There is just something exceptional and magnificent about White Night. Harry Dresden is an Urban Wizard who meets fantastic creatures and has the most mind-blowing adventures that anyone can have in modern (the sci-fi/fantasy version) Chicago.
Harry’s story unfolds in the first-person and usually encompasses an epic grandeur in its scale. White Night is no different. He is a complicated character with many layers to his personality. When you encounter him in White Night you find that you want to find out exactly who he is. There is always something new to learn or experience about him. You know that he is a good person but finding out the many layers of “who” he is becomes more complicated. He is generally for the underdog, the down trodden, and of course there is a soft spot, (or achilles heel), for all women. In White Night we also encounter more of the love he has for his half demon brother, Thomas Raith, and the love his half demon brother has for him. We first met Thomas Raith in Grave Peril, even though we did not yet know that he was related to Harry. The story of Harry and Thomas is captivating. Harry has felt a special kind of loneliness believing himself to have no family until Thomas reveals their shared heritage in Blood Rites. Their story continues here. The fact that they both struggle to know each other and love each other adds a depth to each of their characters that enthralls the reader. It also gives a breadth and depth to both Harry and Thomas that we have not seen previously. It raises the questions in our own lives, if Harry can love his half-demon brother, Thomas, can we not expand our own capacity for love in our own existences.
One of the most entrancing scenes is where Harry almost drowns after being attacked by ghouls on Thomas’ boat, the Water Beetle. His brother, Thomas, dives into the icy water without hesitation, after the ice breaks due to rampaging ghouls and gun fire, (Harry has made it icy with magic to save the women and children who Thomas had gathered to keep safe from the “culling”), and gets him out of the lake and carries him to safety. Harry awakens just for a few moments and knows that he is “safe“ because Thomas “has him.”
One sighs in relief along with Harry after experiencing this scene.In the entanglement between Harry and Thomas, we see shades of Wuthering Heights, both Harry and Thomas mirror the best and the conflicted in each other and in us.
The new characters introduced are interesting but they are not as fascinating as witnessing the further character development of old friends like Karrin Murphy, Mouse, Thomas Raith, Carlos Ramirez, Molly Carpenter and Bob (the skull), if you follow this series. We even come to appreciate Mouse more. Mouse is Harry’s adopted Temple Dog with Foo dog ancestry and has special powers who works at looking like a "regular canine." We first met Mouse in Blood Rites. Mouse does a great deal to keep Harry and those around him safe. In White Night Mouse gains a canine admirer, Toto, a small dog who belongs to Abbey, a new and minor character in this novel. This lends comic relief since Toto in, miniature, is always trying to imitate Mouse. The comic relief is beneficial since in White Night there is death all around, treachery, and a dastardly plot to kill off, serially, the unattached female magical practitioners of Chicago and perhaps the world.
Once again, Harry, and company must stand in the breach between good and evil. He must take the fight for the protection, shelter, and security of those in need to the Conclave of the White Court of Vampires. There the cause is won, just barely, in a magical duel to the death.
White Night is fast paced with moments of heart stopping action. It is simply magnificent. The pros are lyrical. If you follow the series, you welcome back Karrin, Molly, Mouse, Ramirez, and Bob like old friends.
James Marsters has grown with the series. In White Night he gives a near flawless performance that continues to breathe life and drama into our most cherished characters. I highly recommend White Night and the series.
First, an update, since no one who left a review complaining of it has done so: The audio file is intact, not corrupt and contains the full contents of the book. I will assume either there was a download problem, or an issue with the hosted file that has since been corrected.
James Marsters has quickly become my favorite Audible narrator. He nimbly performs a wide cast of characters with many distinct voices, many of which are magical, evil or demons - I wonder how many throat lozenges he goes through a book. This is no dry reading, but a one-man show - mostly spent as Harry Dresden the droll, wise-cracking and sympathetic hero.
The pop culture references sometimes get laid on a little thickly, but they serve to ground Harry in the world as we know it, while he moves equally easily through the fantasy around him.
He is a magical Everyman in a world of intrigue among the heavy hitters of the supernatural world. He is increasingly distrustful of his fellow Wizards, targeted by ticked off vampires, training his new apprentice, worried about his brother the White Court vampire's secretive behavior, while he tries to track down the murderer staging the suicides of local women.
Did I mention the fallen angel in his head trying to corrupt him?
I love these books - There is both lighthearted humor, and darker drama - the characters are never just 'one thing' they all develop into multifaceted personalities and their relationships with Harry keep every book interesting.
With every book Harry seems to pick up a new friend to add to the close knit crew who follow from book to book and add to the depth of the underlying story in the series.
First, let me say that I was turned on to the hard copy books initially and loved the series from the start. Then I started travelling more for work and was nervous about having them in audio format starting with book # 8. No need to worry, it was even better than I could have hoped for. James Marsters does a GREAT job of bringing the story and people to life. His intonations, laughs and accents really help to make this an exciting listen. I have actually found myself driving around the block of my customers locations a few times just to get to the end of a chapter for a stopping point. Just like a book you can't put down. I strongly suggest you start with the books in order, now that they are available, to help understand the story development fully. It is good to watch Harry Dresden grow from the beginning and know where the other players come in at and get the background foundation. I am now up to book # 11 and they just keep getting better. I rate these books as 5 stars due to the story line and the excellent narration. Well done!
I love the Dresden world, I love the Chicago of his dreams and nightmares, the people and creatures who inhabit it, and I love Harry and his flaws and foibles and victories.
Jim Butcher must be one of the most positive writers on the planet. He's forever finding something interesting and worthwhile in underworld lords, demons, succubi, and anyone else who has blown it bigtime. His stories have an undercurrent of redemption and hope and I find myself smiling whenever I think of these novels with their graphic violence, murder, and mayhem as being feel-good!
But the books take moments to ponder philosophical ideas and complicated problems of pain and suffering and true love and beauty and elevate the standard noir material to something deeper and thoughtful. I love that.
I very occasionally get tired of Harry's drollery when it's in an improbably precarious predicament, and I personally get tired of the drawn out battle scenes, in the same way I do when I watch LOTR or any action film. But those are minor quibbles to a series of characters and events I find appealing and compelling.
This book in particular was one of the best of six books I've read so far. And I've read them out of order which while probably not ideal, hasn't diminished my enjoyment of the series and only vary rarely do I find myself confused by plot because Butcher does a good job of keeping readers up to speed on important history and backdrops.
I've never been much interested in Chicago until I picked up this series!
I would recommend White Night as one of the funnest Dresden books so far. I loved all the humor...my favorite lines coming at his entrance to the White Court gathering. When you listen to that part you will totally know what I mean:) As usual Marsters voice makes Harry bigger than life. I have a friend who has just read the books and I turned my audio book on and she agreed that the Harry in her head sounds just like Marsters. These books keep getting better and better. As long as Marsters continues to narrate the books I will definately keep listening to what happens next in Harry's life.
I am easily amused!
This is another brilliant book by Jim Butcher. A complex story with familiar characters and some new horrific villians. If you are a fan of urban fantasy this series is as good as it gets. Don't miss it. James Marsters does a fabulous job narrating the book. I have signed hardback copies of many of the books in the series but choose to listen to the audio instead because Harry Dresden is not the same without James Marsters.
I was really surprised at how much I liked the Dresden books. They are decently written, but the narration is superb, in my opinion. I was excited when two new books (this and Proven Guilty) came out on Audible. I listened to Proven Guilty in about a week, but when it came to White Night, the file was corrupted in the first 10 minutes. Half of the first chapter was cut out, and then the second chapter has another cut, with some insertion of something further in the book (I assume). This is the second time this has happened to an Audible selection. Considering how much I get from Audible, this is a very good percentage, but still irritating enough to make me comment.
I write reviews to help readers, not to win votes. My reviews are my honest opinion whether popular or not. I hope they help you. ;)
I avoid giving much in the way of plot in these reviews in order to avoid spoiilers. That being said there is a major reveal in this one and a lot of beefing up on Harry's backstory prior to the series. Also, some of the consequences of Harry's previous adventures start to come home to roost in this one. The author's writing continues to improve. You can't go wrong with this one.
The story line in this book is great. I love the continued inclusion of the White Court and Marcone and how Harry gets deeper and deeper with both. Treachery in the White Council? Hmmm, me smells trouble in Harry's future. Butcher continues to peel layers back from Harry and it just gets better and better the deeper we go.
I really enjoy genre fiction, mostly fantasy and mysteries but enjoy discovering new authors.
In this book, Harry spends some time with the vampires of the white court which means there is some sex going on. Not that their's anything wrong with that. There is a bit more creeping around and investigating and less magical smack-downs which is a nice change of pace. Harry's sarcastic come backs in the face of an enemy feel a little forced sometimes, since he isn't so snarky the rest of the time. Small complaints about an otherwise outstanding entry in the Dresden files. My only warning is that if a persepctive reader/listener hasn't read other Dresden books, don't start here.
"A view into the white court"
I love James Marsters narration of the Dresden files novels and White Night doesn't disappoint. The series is taking shape nicely and Dresden is taking shape as a more rounded character.
The showdown in the deeps is beautifully cinematic, showing off just how much Jim Butcher has grown as a writer. Plus the reveal of why Thomas has been so secretive is wonderful.
His voice is just Dresden. He fits thus so well and embodies the whole character so well!
Who's the real killer?
All the Dresden Files are wonderful band thus is a great addition
"Good books with excellent narration"
I enjoyed the Dresden Files books but started to run out of enthusiasm by the time I reached this book as the series seemed to be getting very dark and gloomy. This one has been unread on my bookshelf for a year. However the audible version has rekindled my enthusiasm. James Marsters is a fantastic reader who brings this series to life with his intelligent interpretation of characters and moods. Over this series he has reduced me to tears and had me laughing out loud. I am noticing subtleties I missed when reading as I can't skim when listening like I do when reading.
This review has said little about the book and plot but you wouldn't be starting this book without knowing the others in the series, stand alone it isn't! I found the atmosphere of this one lighter by the end with a satisfying ending.
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