By Jim Butcher
After the tremendous Turn Coat, I was expecting big things from Changes and boy does this book live up to the promises.
It's impossible to write about Changes without giving away a few spoilers - however I'm not going to mention anything you can't read on the back of the book itself.
So the big news right at the start is that Harry has a daughter - Maggie, a child that ex-girlfriend and half-vampire Susan Rodriguez has been hiding from him for years. Susan has only come clean because the Red Court Vampires have kidnapped Maggie and clearly plan to do unspeakable things to her. Step in world-weary wizard PI Harry, totally unprepared for the literal shitstorm Butcher is about to put the poor fellow through.
Seriously I know that there were bound to be some Changes (the title being the first clue) but my god I didn't realise just how many and how far reaching those Changes would be. The last 60 pages are amongst the most hectic and packed pages I've read in recent times (which after all 12 books is a huge emotional investment) - with a big shocker right at the end.
The story is more focused than most Dresden books, with less deviation from the main plot and fewer twists and turns. That's not to say there aren't still a few suprises, not least the change in character as Dresden does everything he can to prevent his daughter being killed. This is an emotional and angry Dresden like we've not seen previously, less the detective and more the avenging father.
Butcher throws everything at the book, including the biggest cast seen so far with many of the regular characters making an appearance along with a few new ones. After the events of Turn Coat, the White Council is entirely absent, meaning Harry has to call in favours from other sources and strike a few bargains that are likely to come back and haunt him. Meanwhile Harry has his world picked apart piece by piece. That does include a few resolutions to the over-arcing plot (although many points are not completely resolved).
Changes feels like the place Butcher has been promising we'll get to over the past 11 books, it's shocking and mesmerising at the same time. If you haven't read the previous Dresden books then this is the worst place to start reading. If you have read the previous books you just have to read this one, I defy any Dresden fan not to be at least a little shocked by it.
Written on 30th May 2017 by Ant .