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Dead Beat by Jim Butcher
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Dead Beat

by Jim Butcher

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Dresden Files (7)

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4,399861,116 (4.33)126
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Showing 1-5 of 85 (next | show all)
I think this is my favourite Dresden Files novel to date. Jim Butcher has been doing some incredible stealth world/plot building in this series that I just didn't notice until the opening few chapters of this one. Throughout the whole thing we've got Harry dealing with Mavra and his hand, and him learning to deal with Thomas being his brother, and the Red Court stuff and Susan, the whole faerie realms and outstanding Mab dramas, things like going deeper with Bob and Harry's personal history, the whole Lasciel coin thing, and...

See? He's covered a heap of ground in this series and it comes to the fore here where Butcher can sort of pick and choose what known elements work for the story he's currently telling. Don't need the Knights, no problem. Haven't seen Billy and the werewolves for a while? They're still around and useful here, call them in. It's sort of fantastic!

The story told here is dark, not like angsty dark or gratuitous "darker and edgier than the last installment!" just turning dark. It's centred around necromancy which had some really cool modern upgrades for the magic related to the zombies and things and a memorable cast of baddies. There's the backdrop that the White Council's war against the Red Court is going badly and Harry's character is evolving. It's this part of the book that was especially confronting, but it was realistic - it's good character development. Here's a dude who's been hideously burned and has associated fear of using some of his powers (fire), upon which he previously relied - he's questioning himself and his abilities. He's dealing with the aftermath of a lot of major personal losses over the last few books and a lot of overhanging stressful situations. He's grumpy, he's withdrawn and he's human. This is what happens when humans have to do deal with inhuman levels of confrontation and stress.

It's not gloomy, but some of my favourite moments in this book were the ones where Billy was asking him if he was ok and Dresden having to question and reflect on how his path has wandered. Things like the Lasciel deal where he has to confront whether or not he's still truly acting on black and white morality and, if not, what his grey is and how he can justify it. This is particularly nice considering his overhanging angst about McCoy's past and the whole feeling of "I thought you were the epitome of goodness and light, you bastard!"

The actual necromancy story arc resolution was solid. I both like the future story element hints and opportunities that the Warden stuff opens up and it sort of hurts my teeth from excess cheese or something. I'll read the next few and come down on one side of the fence or another on that.

I also really liked the addition of Butters - it's nice having someone who is cool while also being realistic about how people would cope if their car was chased by zombies. We're not all wise cracking badass wizards in the face of that and I think having him there added an element of balance.

And comedic value:

“Screw up my life?" He stared at me for a second and then said, deadpan, "I'm a five-foot-three, thirty-seven-year-old, single, Jewish medical examiner who needs to pick up his lederhosen from the dry cleaners so that he can play in a one-man polka band at Oktoberfest tomorrow." He pushed up his glasses with his forefinger, folded his arms, and said, "Do your worst.”


Gold!

Finally, let's address the dinosaur in the room. I loved it. The established necromancy/magic laws supported it as a logical move, it was stupidly fun and very Dresden. Seriously, it's like Butcher had a dream about Dresden on a dinosaur and mapped a magic system/plot around it so it could happen. I'm cool with that.
( )
  heaven_star | Oct 20, 2014 |
I think this is my favourite Dresden Files novel to date. Jim Butcher has been doing some incredible stealth world/plot building in this series that I just didn't notice until the opening few chapters of this one. Throughout the whole thing we've got Harry dealing with Mavra and his hand, and him learning to deal with Thomas being his brother, and the Red Court stuff and Susan, the whole faerie realms and outstanding Mab dramas, things like going deeper with Bob and Harry's personal history, the whole Lasciel coin thing, and...

See? He's covered a heap of ground in this series and it comes to the fore here where Butcher can sort of pick and choose what known elements work for the story he's currently telling. Don't need the Knights, no problem. Haven't seen Billy and the werewolves for a while? They're still around and useful here, call them in. It's sort of fantastic!

The story told here is dark, not like angsty dark or gratuitous "darker and edgier than the last installment!" just turning dark. It's centred around necromancy which had some really cool modern upgrades for the magic related to the zombies and things and a memorable cast of baddies. There's the backdrop that the White Council's war against the Red Court is going badly and Harry's character is evolving. It's this part of the book that was especially confronting, but it was realistic - it's good character development. Here's a dude who's been hideously burned and has associated fear of using some of his powers (fire), upon which he previously relied - he's questioning himself and his abilities. He's dealing with the aftermath of a lot of major personal losses over the last few books and a lot of overhanging stressful situations. He's grumpy, he's withdrawn and he's human. This is what happens when humans have to do deal with inhuman levels of confrontation and stress.

It's not gloomy, but some of my favourite moments in this book were the ones where Billy was asking him if he was ok and Dresden having to question and reflect on how his path has wandered. Things like the Lasciel deal where he has to confront whether or not he's still truly acting on black and white morality and, if not, what his grey is and how he can justify it. This is particularly nice considering his overhanging angst about McCoy's past and the whole feeling of "I thought you were the epitome of goodness and light, you bastard!"

The actual necromancy story arc resolution was solid. I both like the future story element hints and opportunities that the Warden stuff opens up and it sort of hurts my teeth from excess cheese or something. I'll read the next few and come down on one side of the fence or another on that.

I also really liked the addition of Butters - it's nice having someone who is cool while also being realistic about how people would cope if their car was chased by zombies. We're not all wise cracking badass wizards in the face of that and I think having him there added an element of balance.

And comedic value:

“Screw up my life?" He stared at me for a second and then said, deadpan, "I'm a five-foot-three, thirty-seven-year-old, single, Jewish medical examiner who needs to pick up his lederhosen from the dry cleaners so that he can play in a one-man polka band at Oktoberfest tomorrow." He pushed up his glasses with his forefinger, folded his arms, and said, "Do your worst.”


Gold!

Finally, let's address the dinosaur in the room. I loved it. The established necromancy/magic laws supported it as a logical move, it was stupidly fun and very Dresden. Seriously, it's like Butcher had a dream about Dresden on a dinosaur and mapped a magic system/plot around it so it could happen. I'm cool with that.
( )
  heaven_star | Oct 20, 2014 |
This one got a bit long winded in the philosophical reflections department, particularly when the tension was high. Alright, already! Yes, we know he's making difficult moral choices. Does he have to yammer on about them? This book was lightened by the presence of Butters, the mortician and particularly Warden Ramirez in chapter 41. Nicely done. Looking forward to seeing them again.
  2wonderY | Jul 30, 2014 |
*Book source ~ Purchased at Audible

Halloween is right around the corner and Chicago is experiencing some really weird things. Weird and bad. Murphy goes out of town for a little R&R and Harry gets sucked into the bad happenings in his town when Black Court vampire Mavra demands Harry bring her the Book of Kemmler or some incriminating photos of Murphy killing defenseless ‘humans’ will be sent to the police. While looking for the book though Harry finds out something big and catastrophic is going down on Halloween night and it’s up to him to stop it. Since when is Harry’s life ever easy?

My Guest Reviewers:

A ~ my 16-yr-old daughter
T ~ my 14-yr-old son
K ~ my 13-yr-old son

This series continues as a favorite. Everyone loves the magic and the humor as well as many of the characters. This book talks about necromancy and they enjoyed learning about how it works in the Dresden universe. The plot was a good one with twists, turns, new far-reaching plot points (such as about the War and info about the Erlking and the Wild Hunt) and imminent peril to Harry and it was extremely enjoyable to listen to. As far as narration goes, James Marsters has reached his stride and we would have a very hard time listening to another Dresden book if he wasn’t narrating it.

Favorite characters besides Harry:
A ~ Ramirez, Bob and, of course, Mouse. She was disappointed Michael was not in this book.
T ~ Lasciel, Ramirez and Mouse
K ~ Sue and Mouse

Favorite moment:
A ~ Butters thought Harry was gay and there’s a part towards the end with Bob and Sue that I won’t mention due to spoiler avoidance
T ~ The whole part with Sue, Harry’s threat to Mavra
K ~ The whole part with Sue

While there were many to choose from we whittled it down to a tie for favorite quote:

“We are not going to die.”
Butters stared up at me, pale, his eyes terrified. “We’re not?”
“No. And do you know why?” He shook his head. “Because Thomas is too pretty to die. And because I’m too stubborn to die.” I hauled on his shirt even harder. “And most of all because tomorrow is Oktoberfest, Butters, and polka will never die.”

“What's with that?' Butters screamed, his voice high and frightened. 'Just covering his head with his arms? Didn't he see the lawyer in the movie?” ( )
  AVoraciousReader | May 28, 2014 |
Another fantastic addition to the series. In this installment I really felt sorry for Harry, he has been put through the ringer on so many different levels. In the last book his hand was rendered useless from being severely burned, and in this one he has a shurikan wound in his opposite leg. This is a terrible combination from a less severe experience of my own, and can say that I really sympathize.
One thing that I don't fully comprehend is the passage of time in this plot, and I think that I've missed something in-between books.

Bob the skull was really scary in this installment, and had the creeping willies from his recovery of memories of a former owner. This section is where you would want to fact check, and I did do that about WWI. I learned so much about this topic. Thank you, Jim Butcher, for peaking my interest in the history aspect of your books.

Also glad to see that the puppy from the last book has turned into a great and terrible beastie. He is a very funny character, and I enjoy the comedic relief he brings to the series.

Also "Polka will never Die!" ( )
  wickedshizuku | May 12, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 85 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jim Butcherprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chong, VincentIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marsters, JamesNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
For my son. The best thing that ever happened to me. I love you, Short-stuff.
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On the whole, we're a murderous race.
Quotations
From Morgan, this was the equivalent of Emperor Constantine converting to Christianity. He was almost admitting that he had been wrong. I reached into my pocket, pulled out a penny, and dropped it to the floor.
"What was that for?" he asked.
"I'm just making sure gravity is still online," I said.
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Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
Paranormal investigations are Harry Dresden's business, and Chicago is his beat as he tried to bring law and order to a world of wizards and monsters that exists alongside everyday life. And though most inhabitants of the Windy City don't believe in magic, the Special Investigations department of the Chicago PD knows better.

Karrin Murphy is the head of the SI and Harry's good friend. So when a killer vampire threatens to destroy Murphy's reputation unless Harry does her bidding, he has no choice. The vampire wants the Word of Kemmier [whatever that is] and all the power that comes with it. Now Harry is in a race against time - and six merciless necromancers - to find the Word before Chicago experiences a Halloween night to wake the dead ...
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 045146091X, Mass Market Paperback)

When a killer vampire threatens to destroy head of Special Investigations Karrin Murphy's reputation unless Harry delivers the powerful Word of Kemmler to her, he has no choice. Now Harry is in a race against time to find the Word before Chicago experiences a Halloween night to wake the dead.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:11 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Chicago wizard Harry Dresden rushes to solve the riddle of a vampire's demand for the Word of Keppler in order to save the city, and his friend Karrin Murphy, head of the city's Special Investigations department, from the threat of supernatural horror.… (more)

» see all 7 descriptions

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