Left me a little cold - Cold Days (The Dresden Files #14) (Audiobook)

Cold Days (The Dresden Files, #14) - Jim Butcher, James Marsters

I'm not really sure I like the direction the series is taking. I understand the need to shake things up and keep them fresh, especially in such a long-running series such as this. This is book 14 and there's still an anticipated 6 books left to go. You can't have Harry being the looked-down-upon trouble-making wizard that whole time. Or can you? Because now he's the looked-down-upon trouble-making Winter Knight - who's also somehow still a wizard of the White Council - and all that's really changed is he's now working for Mab and having rapey thoughts courtesy of the Knight's Mantle. But he's Harry. He resisted Lashiel for years. Surely, he's man enough to withstand the mantle long enough for him to figure out what Cringle so obviously hinted at as his way out but of course went right over his head because, well, there's six more books.

 

I also really hate that

Molly becomes the Winter Lady without her knowledge or consent. Harry knew what he was getting himself into, but Molly never signed up to have her soul taken over by the fae, much less the winter fae, much less Mab, much less assume the roles of the Winter Lady, whatever those are. 


For that matter, even Sarissa becoming the Summer Lady without her consent is problematic. She's a changeling and can choose to be fae or human but has chosen not to choose, at least for the time being, and that choice is taken from her rather violently - by the murder of Lily, the previous Summer Lady. She at least knows what to expect and knows how the fae works. Molly doesn't have that.

 

Not that the mantles ever gave a crap about silly things like consent. They're not designed that way and only care about whoever they deem strong enough to bear them, and I understand that. Doesn't mean I have to like it though. Doesn't mean the negative implications aren't there.

 

And don't even get me started on Lily's characterization here. Just *insert appropriate feminist rant* and know that I agree with it wholeheartedly.

(show spoiler)

So yeah, Harry once again gets duped by everyone until he figures it all out at the last minute. Harry once again acts like a goober and a "noble" poopface for not wanting to get his friends involved because he wants to spare them and blah blah blah. Didn't he learn this lesson like 10 books ago? At least once his friends do show up and insist on helping, he doesn't put up much of a fight. 

 

This had all of Butcher's well-thought out mythology and grand storytelling and everything we've come to expect from The Dresden Files. We learn a buttload of new mythology - like Santa is real, and there's this ongoing war since forever between Winter and the Outsiders (and was I the only one who thought of that Patrick Swayze movie every time that name came up?), and we learn more about Demonreach and its purpose, and it's all very well-written. I just don't like my hero working for the bad guys. Even if it was inevitable and spelled out in flashing neon signs since the beginning of the series. This was always going to happen and Butcher wasn't exactly subtle with the foreshadowing. I was just really hoping and crossing my fingers that Harry could somehow wiggle his way out of it. Unfortunately, as we see here, the more he wiggles, the farther down his slides.