Yay more Harry Dresden! This one is centered around a favor Mab is asking of Harry, one of the ones he owes her: save Marcone-the-mobster from the people who kidnapped him. Turns out those people are the Dinarians, the fallen-angel-demons from a few books ago. And then the story is all about them, with not much to do with Mab, which made me a little sad because she's so weird and messed up, but I see why she isn't there tangling up the already-tangled plot. Because in true Dresden fashion, there's not just fallen-angel-demons on his tail, but there's ever-larger and more powerful champions of Summer out to get him, too, because they think that he's tipping the balance too far by helping Winter in this matter. And there's the return of the Archive / Ivy, who I love and was glad to see, even though Butcher seems a little vague about how big an eleven year old should be (which can be overlooked, as she's not really a normal eleven year old, anyway). And there's a new mobster who's trying to snap up some of Marcone's territory while he's out of the picture, who mostly just messes things up and gets inconvenient. And there's a Mab-induced blizzard going all through the book. And there's the Carpenter family and the return of Sanya. And there's Murphy trying her damndest to get right in the middle of things, which, for once, Harry allows because by now, he should know that she isn't going to listen to him if he tries to protect her.
Here's the deal: The Nickelheads want Marcone to be turned, and will get all his power and influence for themselves. They also want to get Harry to call in the Archive so they can kidnap her and turn her-- getting all the knowledge in the world and unleashing the End Times that they so enjoy. Mab wants Harry to get Marcone back, and never really says why, escept that she's repaying debts. Summer wants Harry dead because he's working with Winter. The Nickelheads didn't know that one of their own was in on the raid on Arctis Tor that Harry came in after. The holy sword Harry's guarding becomes a major player, both as a bargaining piece and as something that's looking for a new weilder. Michael's life changes. Molly gets to be helpful a little, but comes to grips with the fact that she's no good in combat. We get to learn something about Ivy's history and maybe something interesting in how Kinkaid fits into it, though I'm hoping it's a red herring for my own personal amusement. Marcone isn't as much a jerk as usual. His guards might be in love, and Gard is seriously a bad-ass-chick-- she remebowels herself when she's disemboweled by a demon. Seriously. And Harry gets the attention of the other side, and a gift from an Angel. And there's the beginings of a new love life for Harry, though it annoys me that it still isn't Murphy-- I mean really, they both admit that they like eachother, and they're sort of in the same mindset now, but they still aren't together? What gives? Maybe jealousy will get through to her?
Overall, another enjoyable read, as always, and I devoured it in about four days. As per usual. I don't think it was as tight as some of the previous ones, but the looseness works for it, too, and there were some twists that I didn't even see coming, which is amazing. Usually I can spot a plot twist a mile away. There's alot of new plot going on: the good angels have joined the fray a little, Harry's got new powers, Michael's changed, there's romance, Harry and the Biggest Gruff reach an understanding, there's more to Ivy and Kinkaid than we knew before and more to come, I hope, the Dinarians aren't obliterated, one of them has gone rogue, maybe more, and Winter is on a sort of slow rampage, Harry is good at leading the lesser magics and being a Warden, and we didn't have to deal with Morgan at all. Never a boring day here, is it?