Book eleven! Though they've totally stopped numbering them, so I guess it's indefinite. Which I'm totally alright with. Because it's really becoming an addiction now-- I've caught up with him, and now I have to wait, and I think the only thing that will keep me from going bonkers is a combination of the fact that he writes a new one every year, and the fact that I can write my own stories to fill in the gap.
Harry's having terrible headaches that are never really incorperated into the story when there's a knock at the door and a bloody and beaten Morgan says he needs help. Harry, being Harry, doesn't tell him to bugger off, and instead decides that he'll fight for the underdog, even if the underdog is a right bastard and doesn't deserve it. It seems Morgan's been accused of a Senior Council murder (one of the ones we never had to deal with), and Harry doesn't think it's him, despite all the mountains of evidence against him. Let the craziness ensue while Harry shelters a criminal, Molly keeps getting herself almost killed, Mouse proves he's the coolest dog in the world, Murphy kicks ass and does it well, a skinwalker almost walks off with everyone's skin on multiple occasions, a minor criminal wizard named Binder turns out to be pretty fun, a new PI horns in on Harry's turf, Thomas gest kidnapped, Madeline is a vampiric skank, Lara is a vampiric mob boss, Harry has relationship issues with Anastasia, Morgan bleeds on everything and keeps picking fights, and the Black Council makes moves. Lots of moves.
I totally called the villain before the half-way point, but Butcher's good enough that I thought I'd miscalled and was surprised anyway.
New developments, characterwise: Harry seems to be feeling his age a little-- he keeps talking about how long he's been doing this, and he's finally starting to think ahead and think in new directions. He's also still crazy old Harry, forming psychic bonds with myterious old islands, throwing around Soul Fire and making bold challenges to everyone he meets. Which is how we love him.
He hand Murph both said the L-word (not 'lesbian') and it almost made me cry-- both because it was sad and heart-wrenching and uncertain, and because it was totally not the sort of culmination of passion that I want. But it's still there, on his side at least. C'mon, Butch! Stop being all Mulder-and-Scully on me! It's been ten years!
Molly is nursing some serious demons, and she keeps slipping up. Sooner or later, this is going to be a plot, and it's so not going to be pretty.
The Senior Council is half made of jerks. But we knew this already. All of them, however, finally get a little character development, as well as Morgan and Luccio, and this is all good. But Morgan? Remember when we got backstory on Snape? That's all I'm saying.
The Pixies are getting bolder and more devoted to Harry and so much more organized that people are noticing. And Toot-toot is still the coolest.
I'm going to have nightmares about skinwalkers for the rest of my life now.
Thomas-- no! But I suppose the way things were just couldn't last, story-wise. It's been done, and it'd eventually get boring, though I hadn't reached that point yet. (note: one of the things I like best about these stories is how I can tell he's always got a mind toward what will make a better story. Poor Harry's been beaten repeatedly by everything under the sun, including his personal life, and there's still new stories to tell. And he's always unexpected. I've read eleven of theses books now, and I'm still greatly enjoying them and waiting with rapt attention for the new ones. Maybe I'll have to actually buy all the previous ones (I've been borrowing them) and re-read my favorites periodically)
And the plot thickens without once causing everything to get too dense. The Council denies there's a Black Council. Harry and McCoy decide to do something about it. Politics are all up in arms all over the world. Everyone's a threat! Nothing is sacred! And it's still an endge-of-your-seat compulsive read. I'm getting good at devouring these things in three days flat.