June 4th, 2010

_Changes_, Jim Butcher (kindle)

Look, the book I waited the duration of the Amazon Penguin pricing war (hey, it sounds funnier that way) to acquire and read. Was it worth it? Well, I don't object to the amount of money I spent on it, even tho it was priced at the publisher's request at $12.99, IIRC. I've paid more than that for bad Jayne Ann Krentz novels (and not bad in a good way, either) on the kindle.

I don't even object all that strenuously to the amount of time I spent reading it.

What I _do_ object to, very, very vehemently, is that at the end of the novel, Harry Dresden has been shot, has fallen off his brother's boat into the lake, and appears to be on the verge of death with no one around to notice, much less do anything about it.

Is this a cliffhanger? Seems like it to me. The other obvious alternative explanation would be that Jim Butcher has had it Up To Here with his wizard books and would much rather write his other series and is pissed off that his fans aren't willing to switch over in droves and figured this might nudge them over.

What happened _prior_ to that event (given that that is just the last page or so of the novel)? Oh, and if you are livid in anger with me about the spoiler? Well, let's just say that the _last_ time I spoiled a cliffhanger, I got more thank-yous (at least one) than how-could-yous (zero), so I am motivated to continue. In this outing, Susan reappears (remember Susan? The reporter Harry was boinking who got noshed on by some Red Court vampires?) with partner Martin. Susan has News: she had a daughter (yup, Harry was the dad) and recently that daughter has been taken from the adoptive family (all of them are dead) by the Red Court, which turns out to have planned a sequence of blood sacrifices leading up to Daughter the effect of which will be to kill every mortal (or part mortal) genetically related to Daughter. This Must Be Stopped, so Harry goes on a spree of calling in chits and inking deals (okay, no ink involved -- just some well-publicized sex) to get enough help to take on the Entire Red Court in Their Place of Power.

There's a side bit at the Erlking's Dining Room. The fact that the side bit at the Erlking's Dining Room is a side bit tells you a lot about the scale of conflict in this entry in the Harry Dresden series.

After cryptic advice from Odin, a red herring in which Susan's loyalty is called into question, some knock-down drag-outs with assorted Red Court Uglies, a Gift from Mom and a Deal with Mab, after Thomas nearly kills Molly and Susan nearly kills Harry (ah, the Hunger), and a Trip Through the Ways, there's a really huge battle and a really huge betrayal that turns out to actually not be completely a betrayal but actually a plot within a plot and anyway Daughter gets to watch Father Kill Mother on a Sacrificial Altar to genocide the Red Court.

Yeah, that kid is going to need therapy. Lots of it.

Was this a good book? No. Was this a fun read? Not really. Normally, I like the wild rides that are Harry Dresden novels, but I had a feeling when I found out there was a Daughter, and sure enough, Every Last Stinking Thing that Matters to Father got Destroyed, which says a whole lot about how someone feels about Parenthood and I have an opinion about people who feel that way about parenthood and it isn't a good one.

This was stupid, disappointing, contrived and ended badly. If I do buy the next Harry Dresden entry, it will be after scouring the web for detailed, spoiler ridden reviews, checking the ending for possible cliffhangers and I am going to wait however long it takes for the kindle pricing to get down in the neighborhood of $7 or so -- after the paperback has been out for a year, basically.

Don't waste your time or your money.

ETA: And don't get me started on the heinous creepiness that is the treatment of central and south america. Don't _even_ get me started on that.

ETAYA: Supposedly, a short story in _Side Jobs_ due out in October/November of this year, will continue the tale a few minutes after the end of this book. Who knows if that will help or hurt. I'll look for spoilers before committing any more money to this. I cannot _believe_ people liked this book. In droves. Clearly, YMMV.

I may not be posting much after the middle of the month

B. is getting married and we'll have a new person providing child care for about a week. Both kids are supposed to be in the wedding; hopefully everyone recognizes that flower girls and/or ushers that don't necessarily do what they are supposed to do is not too surprising. Hopefully the alterations on A.'s dress will be okay. And we should probably try the tux on T. They keep growing, which is why I put it off so long.

Last day of school for T.'s regular school year is the 17th. He gets 6 weeks in the summer, however. I had been expecting no school at the end of August, but he hadn't started school yet at this time of year last year, so I hadn't fully realized the gap between the end of the regular school year and the beginning of the summer program. Yikes. We probably should have had a vacation planned or something.

In any event, there will probably be a whole lot of outings and activities and so forth in an effort to keep T. from going completely bug nuts. I will likely survive, but my blogging may become very minimal.