“Changes”
Book 12 of “The Dresden Files”
by Jim Butcher
Read by James Marsters
Produced by Penguin Audio, 2010

As I eagerly began this book, yeah, I was pretty much salivating at the promise of a new Harry Dresden, wizard for hire, novel, I was not aware that the title would speak volumes as to what is in this book.  I have to warn you, while I’m not one for spoilers, ther may be one or two that slips in this review, it’s hard keeping it to myself.  Harry Dresden’s life and the lives of those around him are going to go through major changes in this book.

First let’s sum up what’s up with these books.  Harry Dresden is a wizard of the White Council.  The White Council is the world’s wizards that police the world’s population’s use of magic.  They do all they can to prevent black magic from occurring.  The White Council is at war against the Red Court of Vampires.  Vampires are represented by 3 courts, Black, the ones closest to the Nosferatu image of vampires, White, the ones that don’t drink blood but live off the energy of a human, and the Red, these are the ones that look bat-like but can create a flesh mask to hide their true selves.  The Red Court want to rule the world.  Harry’s ex-girlfriend Susan was halfway converted to a Red Court vampire, all she needs is to take human blood to become a full-fledged vampire.  To avoid this she ran off to South America to find a group that is fighting off the urge to become full fledged vampires and to battle from within the Red Court.

Harry Dresden is a black sheep when it comes to the family of wizards, when his mother died he was raised by his uncle who turned Harry to the “Dark Side,” but Harry was too young to realize there was another choice.  Harry managed to be turned over and trained by Ebenezer a White Council member and the only wizard capable of bearing the Black Staff.  The Black Staff gives the wizard the ability to break any laws of magic to protect the laws of magic.   Harry also has a Fairy Godmother, a real godmother who is a powerful Fairy.  Serious Magic there with the Faery and Fae.  The Queen of Winter of the Faery court has been trying to recruit Harry to become her Knight, basically the Queen’s body guard and errand boy, but with killer intentions.

Wizard Dresden also has help from an odd collection of assistants, Harry’s half-brother is a Vampire of the White Court, Harry’s Apprentice Molly is being taught how to become a wizard after nearly slipping to the “Dark Side.”  She is also the daughter of Michael Carpenter a Knight of the Cross (yes THE CROSS).  Harry’s best friend is a Chicago cop working in the strange crimes division, Karrin Murphy, Harry’s computer of sorts, Bob, a wizard spirit kept in a human skull that knows pretty much everything in the history of magic,  and finally Harry’s 2 pets  Mister, a huge fat cat, and Mouse a huge Chinese Temple Dog.

So that’s where we stand with some great magical fights and some great team work through all the Dresden files books, until we get to this one.  Here’s where it all “Changes.”

At the beginning of the book Harry gets a call from his former girlfriend, Susan, saying that the Red Court has kidnapped their daughter.  Harry has a daughter? Yep, that’s news to him also.  Now it’s personal, with some emotional moments Harry decides he’s going to do everything he can to get back his daughter.  But first Him and Susan and Martin, here protoge in the Red Court underground go to the building where Harry has his private investigator/wizard for hire office.  Red Court attacks Harry’s office building is blown up…no more office and that is only change #2 in a long series of changes.

His first choice is to see if he can get help from the White Council of Wizards, after all they are at war against the Red Court.  Talk about bad timing the Duchess of the Red Court is making an appearance before the White Council at the same time Harry arrives.  What a chance Harry has now to demand his daughter back, except in order to protect his daughter he does not reveal to anyone that she is his daughter only a little girl kidnapped by the Red Court.  It seems the Duchess is there to promote peace and a cease fire in the war.  There goes the White Council’s help.

Harry then turns to “Gentleman” Johnny Marcone, Chicago mob boss.  Marcone cannot help but steers him to a security firm that can help.  After a trip to Europe, Harry is presented to an extremely powerful being, could it be?….Thor’s father, Odin?  He cannot help but does provide some tools.

Harry eventually gather’s what forces he can and heads to the Mayan temples in Mexico.  It seems the Red Court is using Harry’s daughter to perform a blood curse ritual.  Using the girl as a sacrifice, this will kill all in her bloodline.  Harry is the target.  So with the final Knight of the Cross, a cop, a white court vampire, an apprentice, a temple dog, and his fairy godmother Harry is off to Mexico.

At the end is a huge battle that features some serious magicks, and gunplay that would make John Woo proud.  The big event is what Harry has to sacrifice in order to go to Mexico.

Okay…I’m not sure how to say this but the end of the book left me flabbergasted.  After the huge battle the world of Harry Dresden changes.  I’m doing everything I can to keep from telling you the end so I think I will stop here.

Great book…get it.

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