A catch up post from March
Cold Days by Jim Butcher
In my quest to catch up to the Dresden series before the latest book came out, I nearly stalled out here. After the breath of fresh air that was Ghost Story (yes, that’s despite the different narrator), I was saddened to go back to a Harry Dresden that notices every single attractive feature on a woman before seeing anything else. And that’s before we got to the Winter Ball and Maeve’s bedazzled bits. I had to skip forward in the audiobook at that point. It just seemed to go on forever, and I was done by sentence one.
Setting aside the return to status quo for Harry Dresden’s character, I loved exploring his new powers and his relationship with all of his friends. The confrontation at Demonreach at the end of the book was the most fun I’ve had with Dresden in a while, and made the rest of the book worth it.
I just won’t be reading the scene of the ball in Winter ever again.
The Truth About Night by Amanda Arista
I loved this book. Paranormal anything isn’t usually my cup of tea, but I really liked Merci and was cheering for her from page one. I liked the hard, no nonsense reporter confronted by the supernatural. Merci herself is relatable and down to earth, and I loved how she dealt with the things she was discovering about herself, her past, and the world itself. I also liked how Arista dealt with the recovery from trauma, all the way down to the tiny details. It wasn’t something that just appeared when the story needed it to appear, but a bad experience that controls Merci’s life.
Rafe is awesome. A lot of characters in other paranormals that I have read really fail at making their characters fit together in a way that makes sense, even without the supernatural side. Not so with Rafe. He fits in with Merci so well that I was cheering for their romance even though I came for the mystery!
I loved the building to the conclusion of the story, and I can’t wait to read the next one!
Urn Burial by Kerry Greenwood
I like the Phryne Fisher series in general, but this book was not as good as the others. I did get rather early on that it was a parody of other golden age mysteries, especially Agatha Christie. After that, it became a lot more about spotting the reference to tropes of the mysteries than paying attention or even caring about the mystery itself. There wasn’t even as much about the wonderful clothes and jewelry that I love about reading these books.
However, I did like the upfront and modern attitude that Phryne shows both in her treatment of LGBTQ characters, and defending her Chinese lover from bigots. It is refreshing to read a book centered in this time period that has both period-typical racism and homophobia, and a clear statement that these ideas are wrong and should be confronted when found. The previous time Phryne had a gay character, she reacted more stereotypically, if indifferently, so this was a nice change.
All in all, a good read, and a fun case of spot-the-reference, but not one of the best Phryne Fisher novels.