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Currently Reading: The Undivided by Jennifer Fallon

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mini Review: Blood Rites by Jim Butcher

Blood Rites – Jim Butcher (Published 2004)
Genre: Fantasy
Sub-genre: Urban
Completed: May 3 2010

On a typical day (by his standards) Harry Dresden is hired to protect a film production from a powerful curse while protecting himself from the Black Court of vampires. In a move that initially feels designed to offer up cheap laughs, the film happens to be pornographic. While Butcher makes some of the obvious jokes, for the first time in The Dresden Files he uses his story to provide social commentary about the negative impact of the adult entertainment industry on our modern concept of beauty.

By this sixth book in the series Butcher has created a wonderfully fleshed out magical world within our own. The only downside is that the series has begun to lose its accessibility for new readers. Butcher doesn’t spend the time reintroducing characters and setting details that he did in previous novels – though as a fan that actually improved the experience for me. He seems more dedicated to the continuity of the series at this stage, rather than delivering the isolated stories of earlier files. Events in this book have a permanent impact on Harry; particularly the development of two significant relationships – one genuinely surprising, another that felt inevitable, but still satisfying.

In spite of the fact that Butcher ultimately ties his plot strands together, the war with the vampire courts totally upstages Harry’s day job because of its impact on the ongoing story of The Dresden Files. I enjoyed Blood Rites as a fan of the series, but because of the imbalance between the two major plot threads I wasn’t thoroughly engrossed. 3.5 stars.