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Summer Knight (Dresden Files, Book 4) by Jim…

Summer Knight (Dresden Files, Book 4) (edition 2002)

by Jim Butcher

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5,260108841 (4.16)204
Title:Summer Knight (Dresden Files, Book 4)
Authors:Jim Butcher
Info:Roc (2002), Mass Market Paperback, 371 pages
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Summer Knight by Jim Butcher



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Showing 1-5 of 107 (next | show all)
Oh, Mr. Dresden. Why must you be so awesome and yet so annoying?

I love this series, but I've learned I have to steel myself for the two cringetastic moments that occur regularly in the Harry Dresden novels.

1. Harry always makes some scathing remark about how tough his job is since people don't believe in the supernatural anymore. Because apparently this series is set in a society that's completely different from our own. Yes, I understand the world's a little different from our own in these books; but the author is asking me to believe that people have stopped being superstitious. Or maybe everybody I know suddenly stopped believing in ghosts, astrology, zombies, vampires, demon possession, Ouija boards, Tarot cards, telepathy, and/or the positive power of talking to plants, and they forgot to mention it to me.

2. Harry has to say something about "chivalry" or "helping damsels in distress" instead of just kicking ass and getting his damned job done, already. I mean, what century is it when your supernaturally powerful opponent is threatening not just your life but (kind of, long story) the whole damned world, and when you finally get a shot at her, you preface it with a statement about how you guess it wasn't very gentlemanly of you, but you really had to punch her?

The fact that I keep giving these books four stars means they manage to be amazing in spite of some serious button-pushing on these two fronts. The fact that they never quite earn five from me is because, well, see above.

I can't talk about pretty much any of the plot here, because all the stuff I want to discuss (including one thing that really bugged me) is serious spoiler-alert territory. If anyone feels like chatting, meet me in the comments section.

I will say this, though: Pizza saves the day.

P.S. Buffy's "Spike" narrates these audiobooks, but he doesn't bring his awesome fake British accent. You should listen to them anyway. He does great work.
( )
  Deborah_Markus | Aug 8, 2015 |
Six-word review: Dresden tackles supremely powerful magical forces.

Extended review:

I've made it to book 4 in the series, and I must agree with the cheering squad: author Jim Butcher does hit his stride with this one. There's a kind of calm confidence of style, like that of an athlete who's done his stretching and warming up and now proceeds to his performance with masterly control that looks like relaxed ease.

Not that Butcher is quite in the "masterly control" league. It's just an analogy.

He does, however, manage to preserve the virtues of earlier installments--good plotting, interesting variety of human and nonhuman characters, capable pacing, and above-average-for-a-page-turner command of the language--while incorporating original mythmaking that dovetails nicely with traditional magical lore and practice.

I did notice that the action quotient seemed to pick up in this installment, and I'm wondering how long it'll be before the relentlessly rapid succession of unwinnable lethal challenges against unbeatable foes begins to seem ho-hum: oh, look, another unimaginably horrible evil being that Harry can't possibly defeat, especially since he's tied up, paralyzed, frozen, sleep-deprived, divested of all his magical devices, and lovesick to boot. What do you think, five minutes? a few bruises? maybe a cracked skull, six broken bones, a gaping wound, and psychic rape? It's okay, he'll be fine.

A few things about Butcher's writing are getting on my nerves, mostly having to do with numbing repetition:

• He routinely repeats words that he's just used a sentence or two earlier, sometimes not twice but three times, and sometimes in the same sentence; for example, in the space of six pages:
p. 193, "quivering" twice, five words apart
p. 194, "bloody" twice in one sentence
p. 196, "looked wildly" followed shortly by "looked around wildly"
pp. 197-198, in back-to-back paragraphs, "writhed," "writhing," and again "writhing"
This goes on all the time. I blame the editing.

• He gets a run on one adjective and uses it over and over, whether it suits or not; for instance, "scarlet." Now, blood isn't scarlet, which is a bright red color inclining toward orange. It's crimson, a deep, purplish red. But he has scarlet everything. Not red, not crimson. Flames, blood, outfits--anything red--he doesn't say red. He says scarlet. It's contrary to use such a precise word imprecisely. (And even if you disagree about the names of those colors, won't you agree that fire and blood are not the same color?)

• His main character, Harry Dresden, first-person narrator, has a few pet phrases; one of them is "hell's bells." Someone might indeed use it as an exclamation as often as he does--people tend to do that sort of thing unconsciously. But this is writing, and nothing a character says ought to be unconscious to the author. Sounding the same note time after time after time really wears thin. It isn't cute, it's tiresome.

On the other hand, I'd forgive a lot to an author who has one character refer to a group of others as a swill-spouting pack of lollygagging skunkwallows.

A general piece of advice to no one in particular: you shouldn't use a word like "foofaraw" if you have no idea how to spell it (it isn't froo-fra, as on page 73) and don't know what it means (it's not a kind of lacy decoration; did he mean frou-frou?).

And "bereft" (page 204) isn't a verb. Or rather, it's the past participle of the verb "bereave," and as such it functions as an adjective. You can't say you're going to bereft someone of something.

However, I'm still reading. This book was fun, it entertained me, it didn't insult me or bore me, and I'm still coming back for more. There are popular authors whose work I've sworn never to read again, and some I take only in intermittent doses with long intervals in between. I've been reading Jim Butcher's Dresden series practically back to back (now on book 5), and he's holding up. That makes him a winner with me. ( )
3 vote Meredy | Jul 15, 2015 |
Summer Knight is a very interesting read, though the storyline could have developed a little faster-paced, since I, personally, was too bored through some chapters. That said, the storyline itself was great - captivating and full of twists, my favorite kind. Though it could have been just as great without that Wal-Mart debacle, and those completely useless and boring characters, Meryl, Fix and Ace. The war between Summer and Winter was a great idea, as well as the White Council's coming to town. And I loved the fact that Harry finally told Murphy everything - she was less a cop and more a friend in Summer Knight. All in all, a very enjoyable read. ( )
  v_allery | Apr 19, 2015 |
This series just keeps getting better and better! In this fourth installment Harry Dresden has to not only deal with the Wizard's White Council and the Vampire's Red Court, but the Fairy Courts of Summer and Winter. He has to do a nearly impossible job for the Winter Queen and if he fails that then he will be revoked of his wizard status by the White Council, who would in turn hand him over to the Red Court to end the wizard vampire feud. No matter which way he turns, Harry runs into boatloads of trouble. He has to call on Billy and his werewolf gang to help him, but then he is worried about jeopardizing their lives. And to top it all off, someone who he hasn't seen in over a decade waltzes back into his life. Non-stop action and the creepy crawlies keep getting scarier. Well worth a read or listen :) ( )
  ecataldi | Mar 21, 2015 |
This was an enlightening installment in that we got to learn more about the major powerhouses that make up this universe: the fae, the White Council of wizards, and the vampires. I enjoyed the previous book slightly more than this one because it was high on humour, and even though SUMMER KNIGHT did have its moments, it was primarily plot driven. Additional info about Harry's past comes to light including what went wrong with his first love, Elaine, and his humble beginnings as an apprentice. Learning the ins and the outs of the various courts' politics was interesting, and I'm beginning to look forward to the secondary characters' antics almost as much as Dresden's. James Marsters really brings this series to the next level with his over-the-top creature voices, and by nailing Harry's blasé attitude. NEXT! ( )
  RabidReads | Mar 6, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jim Butcherprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chong, VincentIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marsters, JamesNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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This book is for big sisters everywhere who have enough patience not to strangle their little brothers - and particulary for my own sisters, who had more than most. I owe you both so much.
And for Mom, for reasons that are so obvious that they really don't need to be said - but I thought I would make special mention of candy cane cookies and that rocking chair that creaked me to sleep.
First words
It rained toads the day the White Council came to town.
Sometimes the most remarkable things seem commonplace. I mean, when you think about it, jet travel is pretty freaking remarkable. You get in a plane, it defies the gravity of an entire planet by exploiting a loophole with air pressure, and it flies across distances that would take months or years to cross by any means of travel that has been significant for more than a century or three. You hurtle above the earth at enough speed to kill you instantly should you bump into something, and you can only breathe because someone built you a really good tin can that has seams tight enough to hold in a decent amount of air. Hundreds of millions of man-hours of work and struggle and research, blood, sweat, tears, and lives have gone into the history of air travel, and it has totally revolutionized the face of our planet and societies.

But get on any flight in the country, and I absolutely promise you that you will find someone who, in the face of all that incredible achievement, will be willing to complain about the drinks.

The drinks, people.
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Book description
Ever since his girlfriend left town to deal with her newly acquired taste for blood, Harry Dresden has been down and out in Chicago. He can't pay his rent. He's alienating his friends. He can't even recall the last time he took a shower.

The only professional wizard in the phone books has become a desperate man.

And just when it seems things can't get any worse, in saunters the Winter Queen of Faerie. She has an offer Harry can't refuse if he wants to free himself of the supernatural hold his faerie godmother has over him - and hopefully end his run of bad luck. All he has to do is find out who murdered the Summer Queen's right-hand man, the Summer Knight, and clear the Winter Queen's name.

It seems simple enough, but Harry knows better than to get caught in the middle of faerie politics. Until he finds out that the fate of the entire world ress on his solving this case.
No pressure or anything.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451458923, Mass Market Paperback)

Private detective/wizard-for-hire Harry Dresden is suckered into tangling in the affairs of Faerie, where the fate of the entire world-and his soul-are at stake.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:33 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Now that his girlfriend has left him, professional wizard Harry Dresden can't pay his rent and alienates his friends. He's soon approached by the Winter Queen of Faerie with an offer he can't refuse--all he has to do is find out who murdered the Summer Queen's right-hand man, the Summer Knight, and clear the Winter Queen's name. Soon, Harry finds out that the fate of the entire world rests on his solving this case.… (more)

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