I spent much of this book going 'Saw that one coming' then, 'saw that one coming a mile off,' then 'yep, that one too'. And then 'holy shit, okay, that one not so much.' I mean, who knew the dog could talk?
I've been chain smoking the Dresden books starting about a month ago, I guess, and it's given me an interesting perspective on the series. Yes, they're samey. Yes, they're repetititive. There are flaws in the writing and characterisation that annoy me and any time there's a fight you know that if Harry cares about someone, Butcher will not allow them to die no matter how badly hurt they are (and yes, I'm aware of how ironic that statement might seem in light of what Harry does but that was foreshadowed with a goddamn flashing neon sign at least twice in this book.) All that. Yes. And yet...
I like Harry. I like his friends, and more to the point, I like his enemies. I like seeing what else is going to be thrown at this man and how he's going to get out of it. There may not be a lot of surprises - I mean really, honestly, hands up if that ending surprised anyone? Anyone at all? I didn't think so - but it's a comfortable kind of predictability.
I like that when someone makes a promise three books ago, it's honoured eventually. I like connecting the dots to actions someone took in book four that are just coming to fruition - it makes me feel smart when I put the pieces together. I like being able to predict what will happen and that smug feeling when it does.
This far through the series, I figure the only people looking at reviews are fans. And fans will not be disappointed.