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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Turn Coat by Jim Butcher

Turn Coat by Jim Butcher
Publisher: ROC, New American Library, Penguin Group
Pages: 432

From the Cover: The new novel in the hit New York Times bestselling Dresden Files series.

The Warden Morgan has been accused of treason against the Wizards of the White Council and there's only one, final punishment for that crime. He's on the run, wants his name cleared, and needs someone with a knack for backing the underdog. Someone like Harry Dresden...

Now, Harry must uncover a traitor within the Council, keep a less-than-agreeable Morgan under wraps, and avoid coming under scrutiny himself. And a single mistake may cost someone his head someone like Harry.

The eleventh book in the Dresden's File Series.

(From Jim Butcher's webstie @ http://www.jim-butcher.com - thought everyone would like to see how Harry Dresden would describe himself and the add he has in the phone book.)

HARRY DRESDEN — WIZARD

Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations.
Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates.
No Love Potions, Endless Purses, Parties or Other Entertainment

The Dresden Files are set in a "alternate" Chicago where magic is real, but only a few actually believe in it; it's a first-person tale told by an irascible wizard named Harry Dresden, who regularly gives the magical establishment indigestion — and the police, the same. Take Sam Spade, your Average Joe Underdog Action Star, and toss in some spellcraft, and you get Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden. Heck of a guy.


As the story opens, Harry Dresden, Chicago's wizard extraordinaire and sometime warden, is having an odd day. Nothing seems to be going right. Suddenly there's a pounding at his door. The White Council's Chief Executioner, Morgan is pounding and swaying at his door. Morgan who has been trying to remove his head for years. Morgan who doesn't know how to break one of magics rules. He staggers against Harry's door, wounded and bleeding, begging Harry, 'Help me, the wardens are after me' as he falls, slipping into unconsciousness and into Harry's arms.

'Hells Bells', what the blooding hell's going on? Morgan has wardens after him? How can this be possible? Harry doesn't know what to do, but he does know one thing, Morgan would never break a magical law, especially not the murder the White Council is claiming he committed. He's an innocent, and Harry must help him. He cannot watch another innocent be hunted and killed. It hits too close to home and what Morgan has tried to do to him for years.

First, he must control Morgan's blood loss, Butters is the only answer. Butters, morgue MD and friend, will have Morgan fixed up, but at what cost. As Harry provides shelter and aid to a now enemy of the White Council, it could cost him and his friends their heads. Mouse, Harry's Foo dog is set to keep watch over Morgan as is Molly, Harry's assistant and apprentice. Without knowing what else to do, Harry contacts Thomas, his half vampire half brother of the White Court. Since the recent war with the Red Court Vampires, the allegiance between the White Council and the White Court Vampires has been tenuous. (White Court Vampire have silver white eyes when thirsty, but they don't live off on blood, but emotions and sex - sex with a White Court Vampire can kill, or at least be addicting, inducing someone to become a thrall. Red Court Vampire are exactly as their name implies - blood drinkers and they don't play with their food, they kill it.)

As Harry starts to investigate, he realizes a strangeness in the air, something is just not right. Harry slips into his Second Sight to see the world at it truly is and to his amazement and horror, he discovers a hideous skinwalker, a naagloshii (an magical creature who has refused to leave life and has gained strength over the centuries),is hot on his trail. Wizards don't take this particular skill on second sight lightly. They don't stare for too long into each others eyes; it can bring a soul gaze that opens the viewers eyes to what is buried deep within the wizard's or person's soul, and sometimes, it isn't pretty, sometimes the evil corrupts from the inside out.

The evilness of the skinwalker makes Harry physically ill and he heads for the only safe place he knows, the Wolves. Will and Georgia as well as Will's young pack of wolves were shown how to morph by a misguide lycan witch, and have become one of Harry's strongest allies. As Harry recovers, the young wolves start patrolling, trying to pin down down the location of the skinwalker. Kirby and Andi, part of Will's pack are savagely attacked, killing Kirby and severely injuring Andi. Now Harry has more blood on his hands. Karin Murphy shows up to lend what help she can, but since the last fiasco with Harry, she's all but lost her rank with the Chicago Police Department as head of the SI, demoted to investigator.

As the story becomes more involved, Harry starts to question the wisdom of the White Council, even starts the question the Captain of the Wardens, Anastasia Luccio who has recently been occupying quite a bit of Harry's free time....and why has Ana suddenly become so fond of Harry? When Harry makes a trip through the Never-Never (the fey land of in between where fey live and strike or capture those who enter and whom the White Council currently has a truce with) to Edinburgh, Scotland....he discovers even stranger happenings going on.....Could the 'Black Council'(those trying to over throw the White Council) have an active agent on the White Council? How are the White Court Vampires involved? How can the naagloshii be defeated?

Turn Coat by Jim Butcher is the eleventh book in the Dresden Series. The name states what the story is going to be about, a turn coat or traitor in the ranks of the White Council. If you haven't read the series to date, this is not the place to start. This is a series best read in order, many twists and turns in the plot create the need to start at the beginning. Some of the early books could be read as a stand alone, but the later books are missing too much information to be satisfying to the reader. Harry Dresden has been hunted his whole life by Morgan. It was only through the good graces of Ebenezer, Harry's mentor and teacher, that he was allowed to live after killing his evil foster-father. Harry's mother and father are both dead, at the hands of vampires and magic. Now, Morgan has come to Harry for help because he knows Harry is the only one who has a chance to save him. Harry is a romantic hero, not that there's a lot of romance involved in this book. He's a romantic hero by his actions, his sense of right and wrong, the way he stands up for his beliefs against all odds. He will put his life on the line time and time again, but will never ask another for the same. He cherishes those around him, even the tiny fey - faeries to who Harry has been a hero and leader - Toot is one of my favorite characters. Despite his minuscule size, he's always there. Harry's heroine is hard to place in this novel, Ana Luccio, Molly Carpenter, Laura Raith, or even Karin Murphy could be seen in this role, all for different reasons. Ana Luccio's mind and soul were ripped from her body and she has taken up residence in the body of her murderer, her only place for refuge, and Harry's current lover. Molly is in the same boat that Harry found himself in as a teenager, without Harry's kindness as mentor and teacher, she would've lost her head to Morgan's blade. She also the daughter of Michael Carpenter, one time avenging angel that is Harry's long-time ally. Laura Raith is Harry's half brother's sister, and unchallenged, but also impostor, head of the White Court. She feeds off of emotion, and she would like nothing better than to eat Harry whole. She could easily kill Harry or enthrall him, but values their uneasy truce more at this time. Karin Murphy has soul gazed with Harry, and Harry has seen her true inner soul, that of a fierce warrior for the weak, but being smudged by the evil around her. She is Harry's guiding light in his darkest hours, one of his closest friends and allies. I've explain more than I had intended, and I hope I'm not spoiling the books. I love the Dresden Files. Harry is so lonely; he wants and needs to be a white knight. Harry wants to be a part of a family; I think this is why Michael Carpenter's family has played such a significant role in the stories to date. Everytime he gets close to his desire, something goes wrong and it slips through his fingers as he watches in desperation. Jim Butcher is one of the best urban fantasy writers out there. I would have liked to seen a more involved love interest in this book, to explore the relationship between Harry and Ana, but it was a doomed romance. Morgan's and Ana's story would have been nice to explore as well, when Morgan was her apprentice many years ago. There is the romantic feel to the story that I enjoyed, like most gumshoe mysteries, that Noir quality that seems to be missing from more recent mysteries. For more information about Jim Butcher's Dresden Files or his Codex Alera Series, visit his website. From his website, all of his books can be accessed as well as a free short he has available online. He also has a blog and a writing forum that readers can participate that are accessible from his website. All his novels are worthy reads that I highly recommend.

Since there isn't a book trailer, here's a peek at the now defunct series trailer. Why did SciFi cancel it?

30 comments:

Wendy said...

I heart Harry Dresden!! I'm half way through the series, and this one is definitely on my wish list but your review is fantastic and I can't wait to get that far in the series!!

Michelle G said...

Dottie,

I have both Small Favor and Turn Coat on the TBR shelf - I need to get to them. I can never figure out how Harry gets into some of the messes he gets in to - or how he gets out of them either. :)

M

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Wendy!

I love Harry Dresden too! I was at my local library and they had one book from early in the series. I picked it up, read it and went back the next day and asked them to order the other books. I've been a fan since. I go to hulu and rewatch the episodes of the Dresden Files, but not as good as the books.

I hope the review didn't spoil some of the books for you. I felt like I had to give some background. Was it too much?

Dottie :)

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Michelle!

Harry does get himself into some odd situations. But he always seem to be able to escape with minor injuries. (Well, some not so minor ones too.) Jim Butcher is excellent at this craft.

Dottie :)

Blanche said...

Hi Dottie!!

Awesome review.......I've not read anything by Jim Butcher but I've heard lots of good stuff about his books!!! :)

Lea said...

Hi Dottie!

Another wonderful review! I'm not a Jim Butcher fan, but you almost make me want to try him again! lol

I hope all is well with you.

Warm Regards
L

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Blanche!

Jim Butcher is strictly urban fantasy/fantasy with a touch of paranormal romance thrown in. I love him, but I started back at the begin and read my way forward. I have watched Dresden grow and change, he's a very talented wizard. lolol...didnt' realize I was that involved.

Dottie :)

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Lea!

Ah, grasshopper, if only I could teach up to love urban fantasy....lol

I wish I could pick a genre, and same, hey this is my favorite, but I love them all. When I'm reading urban fantasy, I think, wow this is it. Romance, the same thing. I kind of feel like a book slut, giving my love freely to all... lolol...

I will say that urban fantasy is one of my favorites.....right now anyway!

Dottie :)

Barbara said...

Hey Dottie!! I'm always amazed with your variety of reading material. This book sounds very complex, but I'm glad that you enjoyed it :)

You know me...I'll be reading historicals til I'm ninety and never tire, lol.

I hope you're having a great week, hon.

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Barbara!

I know, you be reading historicals and I'll be reading whatever grabs my short attention span...lol...at least your consistent. I was just on Sophie's site and the cover art for her new paranormal is fantastic, don't you think? I can hardly wait to read it. I know I'm going to love it.

Turn Coat is an excellent read but you're right, Jim Butcher doesn't write a story with a single plot, there's all these sub-plots and twist and turns, I love it. Magic and vampires, it's great fun.

Dottie :)

Cecile said...

Hey Dottie!! Nice review. This is a completely new author to me! Thanks for the heads up!!!
And Yay!! I can see you again!!!! (((feeling so loved)))

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Cecile!

I'm so happy!! You are loved!!

I've read all eleven of Jim Butcher's novel, and I can't say he's had a bad one. They're all urban fantasy with a little paranormal romance thrown in. Harry has been involved with witches, fey, shifters, vampires (one of his love interest was a reporter that was partially turned by Red Court Vamps, she still loves Harry, but she can't stay with him) and a few other..er..creatures. It actually been quite interesting and fun.

Dottie :)

Wendy said...

Dottie - an award for you!

Literary Blogger Award

Just pick it up at my blog :)

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Thanks Wendy!

I love awards!

Dottie :)

VampFanGirl said...

Sheesh Girl! You read all kinds of stuff. :)

Actually, Jim Butcher has come up on my Amazon Recommendations a bunch of times but it's not my cuppa. Great review though.

:) VFG

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi VFG!

I guess you could say my tastes are ... eclectic. I really will ready almost anything (outside of a few dry bits of prose). My music tastes are similar, but mostly rock. I lived in the country, but with my heart in the hard rock cafe. I have to say my movie taste as the same as well....hmmmm....I guess I'm just a wee bit on the odd side ... lololol ...

Dottie :)

Blodeuedd said...

Never read any Harry Dresden, something for me...I do not know. I need to ponder upon this ;)

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Blodeuedd!

The Dresden Files is a series about a wizard that lives in Chicago, IL and he's also a private detective, sometimes employed by the Chicago Police Dept.'s Special Investigation Unit (SI). It's urban fantasy at it's best. A whole world exists without human knowledge. There are witches, wizards, warlocks (bad witches or wizards), fey (two types, winter and summer - very different - each equally scary at times), shifters, creatures from Indian legends, and vampires (Red Court and White Court). The ruling power of the magical community is the White Council (supposed to be good guys) and they reside in Edinburgh, Scotland. There have been wars between the Council and the different courts. And each is always trying to find a way to use the other. There are eleven books so far in this series, and Jim Butcher is a relatively young man, so many more to come, unless he gets bored or they quit selling.

It's a pretty good series if you like straight urban fantasy with a little paranormal romance thrown in. Storm Front is his first book in the series. I requested the first books from the library to see if I'd like this series. Wasn't sure myself, but I quickly became one of the converted. It's that good. (Lea doesn't care for Jim Butcher, so not everyone's cup of tea.)

Dottie :)

DeSeRt RoSe said...

You got something waiting on my blog :)

http://desertrosebooklogue.blogspot.com/2009/05/literary-blogger-award.html

Pattie Garner said...

Dottie, thanks for commenting on my blog. I'm entering a new world here and trying to find others that have a love for reading and writing. I hope you will read my book and give me a little review. Maybe even support my cause and be a supporter in my quest to teach my students that through writing we can serve others and make a difference.

Barbara said...

Hey, Dottie! YES! I LOVE Sophie's new cover! I can't wait to read the book!!

Blodeuedd said...

Thanks :) Ok, I do have some sort of image of the books now. But would I like them, so hard to say. Maybe I first should check the library, and there is a tv-series? Is it the same?

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi DeSeRt RoSe

Thanks for the award!

Dottie :)

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Pattie!

Thanks for stopping by. I'll take a look around and see if I can locate a copy, I won't mind reviewing, it sounds like a good story.

Dottie :)

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Barbara!

That is really fine cover art, I know the story will be fantastic.

Dottie :)

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Blodeuedd!

There was a short lived SciFi show modeled after the Jim Butcher series, but it differed greatly from the books, still not a bad show, but very different. Harry Dresden was still the main character, but SciFi never really advertised it and it was canceled due to low viewer turn out I believe. In the books, Harry is very magical using runes, spells, charms, staffs, and enchantments. For some reason, this didn't transfer to the tv show, it was totally different.

The tv series is available free to view on hulu @ http://www.hulu.com/

Dottie :)

SciFiGuy said...

So glad you discovered and liked the series. Dresden is one of my MUST BUYS. Great coverage of the book!

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Doug!

What can I say, I love Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden, I even enjoyed the tv series though I didn't think if followed the books very well.

I thought maybe I went into too much detail, but when I wrote without the details, it didn't feel complete.

Dottie :)

Ladytink_534 said...

I still haven't gotten around to picking up these books though I've read several short stories with Dresden as the main character.

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi LadyTink!

Jim Butcher has a short on his website that is a Dresden short and I've almost finished Many Bloody Returns and it has a Dresden Short. So far, I've loved everything that has been related to Harry Dresden. I find the wizard to be a very likable character. I loved his 'white knight' philosophy.

Dottie :)

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