Posted on June 2, 2007 by Flames
Written by Jim Butcher
Reviewed by Matt M McElroy
The Ninth novel of the Dresden Files series, White Night advances the plot that has been building up for the last few books. This novel also features more than a few characters from previous books in what feels like a “Who has a beef with Harry?” vibe. Heroes and Villains show up in this story, trading blows and witty dialog throughout.
The book starts out in fairly typical Dresden Files form with Harry getting a call from Sergeant Murphy regarding a case that his magical knowledge may be needed. It seems that someone is targeting magic users and making their deaths seem like suicide.
After some investigating, it appears that either Harry or his half-brother Thomas may be the killer. Harry knows that he isn’t the killer and has a difficult time believing that Thomas would do such a thing…so there must be something else going on. Some of the new characters introduced in this part of the story are a lot of fun. It is a quick peek into the lives of Chicago’s “lesser” magicians. These are magic users and psychics who are not powerful enough to be mixed up in the White Council and other supernatural affairs (until of course someone forces their hand by killing them off).
Harry discovers that his old flame, Elaine, is also involved in the case. They team up in their efforts to protect their charges and end up facing down the real killers, members of the White Court of vampires. Several battles are well-written throughout the book featuring a good mix of magic and mundane warfare.
One of the greatest elements of the Dresden Files is the depth of the characters. Each one of them has a developed personality, including hopes, fears, odd quirks and more. The struggle is what matters. No battle happens without consequences. Good people get hurt, make mistakes and not everyone walks away from the fight. This novel includes plenty of that. Not a single character emerges from the fight unscathed. The landscape of the ongoing battle is altered in several ways. Harry manages to take out a few enemies, but learns of some deep, dark secrets along the way. Some good people are lost in the fight and those left behind are more determined to fight on.
As much as I enjoyed this book, it does not stand on its own nearly as well as Dead Beat or Proven Guilty. In order to “get” all of the story elements of White Night you need to have read at least some of the other Dresden Files novels. Plenty of characters from previous novels make appearances and previous battles are references throughout the text. White Night is also a set-up for more battles against the Black Council (and whomever the traitor of the White Council is) in the next book.
White Night is a great novel. I’ve been following the Dresden Files all the way through and enjoyed every one of them. With the new TV series on Sci-Fi channel more fans have been introduced to the characters and hopefully more of them will be picking up the books. It will be great to see what Jim Butcher does next…
Look for the The Dresden Files – The Complete First Season (DVD) on Amazon.com