“Family” (The Dresden Files #6: Blood Rites)

The cover for Blood Rites, with Harry Dresden and his nonexistent hat.
The cover for Blood Rites, with Harry Dresden and his nonexistent hat.

I think that I should say that I’m a huge fan of The Dresden Files, by Jim Butcher. I’ve read six of them now, out of 15. I originally picked them up because I thought that they would keep me busy, and I was right. Anytime I get the new one, I just devour it. Then, it’s on to the next one. Anyway. I just thought that these books could keep my busy review-wise as well.

Harry Dresden is in a bad spot. Running from both a burning building and demon monkeys flinging steaming hot hell-poo, and safeguarding a box of puppies from said monkeys, he makes a quick getaway with his Vampire ally Thomas. Thomas leads him to a potential case by Arturo Genosa, a filmmaker who’s actors keep dying around him. Harry thinks Genosa is the victim of an entropy curse, but he doesn’t know who is cursing him. On top of all that, Mavra, the leader of the Vampire Black Court, is in Chicago, and gunning for Harry. And, a few of his friends and allies many not be exactly what they seem to be. Can Harry find the killer before he’s targeted himself?

Let me give you a bit of a history lesson(ish). The first three books of the Dresden Files, Storm FrontFool Moon, and Grave Peril, were an unstoppable fury of urban fantasy genius. The fourth, Summer Knight, was actually not that good. When I finished the fifth, Death Masks, I had quite possibly just read the best Dresden book out of the first five. Needless to say, I was expecting great things from Blood Rites, but I wasn’t sure if it would actually deliver.

It did. Blood Rites was laugh out loud funny in some parts, had some great moments of the spoiler type, and in some places, it was very touching. Thomas the Vampire was there again, and the mystery had more twists and turns than a 100 foot water-slide. It didn’t have the big, action finale of Death Masks, but it made up for that when Harry, Murphy, Ebenezer, and Kincaid stormed a stronghold of the Black Court, and went up against Mavra. That was awesome. There was also an all encompassing theme of family throughout the book, as Murphy’s dreaded family reunion was on the horizon, Harry revisited his past in multiple places, and another awesome reveal with Thomas that I won’t spoil here. 8 out of 10.

Overall, Blood Rites is one of the best Dresden novels that I’ve read (the first six, at this moment in time), and it defied my expectations. Jim Butcher has great talent, and it is a real treat to watch how he builds the plot up into one awesome climax after another, Blood Rites being no exception.

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