Cold Days - Jim Butcher

Harry Dresden is back...and totally screwed...just the way we like it...

After being murdered by a mystery assailant, navigating his way through the realm between life and death, and being brought back to the mortal world, Harry realizes that maybe death wasn’t all that bad. Because he is no longer Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard.
He is now Harry Dresden, Winter Knight to Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness. After Harry had no choice but to swear his fealty, Mab wasn’t about to let something as petty as death steal away the prize she had sought for so long. And now, her word is his command, no matter what she wants him to do, no matter where she wants him to go, and no matter who she wants him to kill. 
Guess which Mab wants first?
Of course, it won’t be an ordinary, everyday assassination. Mab wants her newest minion to pull off the impossible: kill an immortal. No problem there, right? And to make matters worse, there exists a growing threat to an unfathomable source of magic that could land Harry in the sort of trouble that will make death look like a holiday. 
Beset by enemies new and old, Harry must gather his friends and allies, prevent the annihilation of countless innocents, and find a way out of his eternal subservience before his newfound powers claim the only thing he has left to call his own…
His soul."

Many of you know that Harry Dresden is my book crush. He kinda reminds me of my husband, tall and handsom (not dark, as my true love has blonde hair and blue eyes), intelligent, caring, a man of action, a smart ass...every girls dream right?

Now, I have to say that as much as I loved Ghost Story (the book previous to Cold Days), I felt it wasnt up to par with the other books in this series. I just had a hard time buying Harry as a ghost and not having his wizarding abilities. It just felt a little strange. I've read some reviews with people bitching that it just wasnt a "Dresden book" and that Jim Butcher kinda went away from the format of the story that has made Harry Dresden so awesome. But I think all the nay-sayers who complained about Ghost Story, will love and feel better about Cold Days because, holy shit, it is non stop for our favorite wizard. Not just with the action scenes, but also all the mental stressers that Harry has to go through with being the Winter Knight.

Harry Dresden is a character purposly written to be a throw back to the chivalry idea: respect for a lady, the knight in shinning armor, the do-gooder. But all this has a darker under current that has slightly been touched on throughout the books (Cold Days is #14 in the series ladies and gents. yeah...#14...). But when Harry accepts the Winter Kight's mantle and become's Mab, Queen of Air and Darkness's errand boy, that primal and darker side of Dresden fights it's way to the surface. I always enjoy Harry's internal monologues as they dont only explain him and his thought process, but also raise questions to say "If it were me, what the heck would I do?" As the Winter Knight, harry feels the constant pull and tug and increasing pressure to give into his darker nature, which now that I think about it, makes me think of that Nickleback song, Figured You Out. All rounchy and wrong and sexually charged for all the bad reasons.  

Along with all the internal struggle of dear broken and battered Dresden, there is a heavy dose of action and mystery and plot twists....Oh My!! A lot of the characters from previous books have returned and there are also some really intersting and strange new villians introduced. The new villians,  The Outsiders, are from a different plane of existance and are trying get through to the Nevernever are in line with all of Butcher's villians in that they are creepy and power hungry. Oh course, they are totally going to play a huge part in the next book. Yeah. I said it, there's going to be a #15 book.

So my dear Harry is no longer leading an ordianry boring existence any more. I mean, within the space of a year, he has returned from the dead, been made Winter Knight, and Warden of Demonreach (Demonreach is an living island and would take waaaaay to long to explain). He fought and kicked two high level Outsiders and lived, led the Wild Hunt with the Erlking by his side. He has battled the Summer Knight in single combat and won, and was granted personal vaors by the Archangel Uriel.  Like I said...not an ordinary life.

Holy Crap! How could I forget about that kiss?! The one between Dresden and Karin Murphy? And I'm not saying it was a romantic kiss. Hell no. It was a primal, heat of the moment in the middle of battle, we might not make it out alive kiss! It was so passionate and real and raw. Some of the best writing in this book if you ask me, and about damn time. Even if nothing happens between Dresden and Murphy, and they stay nothing but friends forever, its good to know that they got it out of their system. But I'm a just a romantic...

Jim Butcher served this story and a silver plater and I'm not going to lie, I devoured it all up. It had everything I love and need: a smart ass hero, and band of heros and villians that so well crafted they are almost real, balls to the wall action, internal struggle that is borderline Dostoyevsky, and a world that I so wished I could live in. It was so wonderfully satisfying...and I cant wait to see what kind of hellfire and torture Jim Butcher puts my hunky bookcrush through. Oh Harry are sexy...

Remember guys...
Be yourself...unless you're a pirate...then always be a pirate!