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Changes : a novel of the Dresden files by…

Changes : a novel of the Dresden files (edition 2010)

by Jim Butcher

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2,6701052,228 (4.43)135
Title:Changes : a novel of the Dresden files
Authors:Jim Butcher
Info:New York : Roc/New American Library, 2010.
Collections:Your library
Tags:ebook, urban fantasy, wizards, vampires

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Changes by Jim Butcher

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This book, as such, was exciting, fast paced, with unexpected turns and a complex plot line.

I appreciate the focus on Harry as a nurturer. This, as I have said elsewhere. Given the expectations even a generation ago that men be less involved with their progeny than women, the emphasis and importance Butcher places on Dresden as a teacher, nurturer, saver of babies and biological parent has value. There may be something interesting in comparing the series with Lolita, given Molly's (portrayed as) precocious tendencies.

That being said, I hate the gender breakdown of this novel. Hate hate hate hate. Firey passion of thousand suns. Hate.


I have really mixed feelings about Susan having the baby first off, but that is a personal conflict on my part and I fully recognize it as such. It is kind of a cop out I feel, because she has the kid, but can't keep the kid, so finds a safe surrogate family for the kid, and still shows up periodically to be part of the kid's life. This strikes me as wanting to have the cake and eat it too. Open adoptions are a little different than this, which feels like Susan knew her life wasn't suitable for child rearing and she wasn't able/willing to change it to accommodate the child, so she made a responsible decision and didn't raise the child herself. And yet she continued to be involved with the kid. This is stupid. From a practical stand point, the very act of contact with the child put her at risk. From a plot perspective, this was stupid. It painted Susan incredibly negatively, as though she wanted to be a mother without really having to be a mother. Show up for the holidays and let the surrogate family do all the work. Crap, Butcher, this is crap.

To top all that off, then she denied Harry even the knowledge that he had a child. Given the stuff they deal with, what part of forewarned isn't forearmed? Really? And honestly, it was shitty thing to have Susan do. I don't know how common this is, but I do recognize it as a completely viable male fear. Short of a paternity test, they can't actually verify that a child is their blood, and it is completely possible for the woman to have an abortion without his knowledge, or to have the kid and exclude him from the decision making process.

Now, I have more mixed feelings here. As a sexually active woman, I've had to make decisions about what I would do if I found myself in Susan's situation: knocked up, not wanting to have or keep the kid, not with a partner who could help raise it, or not willing to be with the partner who could help raise it, and not necessarily wanting/willing to deal with the drama of notifying said partner about the situation. Particularly since my solution would be abortion. Honestly, this would be the outcome regardless of what the father thought. At the end of the day, it is my body, and I have to live in it and pregnancy changes the female body in irrevocable ways. I also understand that not notifying all involved parties would be an unfair course of action. And yet. (This is also why I am aware of my morning after pill options, because I never ever want to go through this).

Susan chose to have the kid. And chose to be involved with the kid. And denies Harry the same option. This is uncool to the greatest extent. And I see this as an extreme manifestation of a singularly male fear that the female will not notify him of what is happening. I also think that this is a projection, and to some degree an exaggeration, of that male fear into the novel. It is a very unfair thing for Susan to do, and I think a very unfair thing for Butcher to write Susan as doing. I don't see anything in her character (at this point) that makes this anything other than a plot device, and perhaps a social commentary on the unfairness of women making exactly these sorts of decisions sans the biologically involved men. That is certainly a more generous reading of the situation, and I would be more inclined to by sympathetic to this reading were it not for the manipulative and brutal death meted to Susan, read yet again as punishment for her agency.

I will return to this anon. Writing through the thought process is irking me.

( )
  raselyem7 | Aug 30, 2014 |
[Cross-posted to Knite Writes]

Wow! What a great installment of the series!

Jim Butcher really ups the ante with this book. Instead of letting the series stagnate at any particular status quo, Butcher drives up the stakes to an all-time high for Harry and introduces major shifts in the story that will have ripples on every single sequel to come. This book isn’t called “Changes” for nothing — it’s a MAJOR turning point in the series that reshuffles nearly every aspect of Harry’s life in order to prepare for the descent into the much darker and far-reaching plot points that follow in subsequent books.

This book is really what the series so far has been leading up to in its entirety. The Red Court issues from Grave Peril finally come full circle. Mab’s continual involvement in Harry’s life finally reaches a point of no return. Harry’s familial backstory is finally explored to a much higher degree than it has been in books past, giving the reader a better understanding of the family-related issues and events that led to Harry’s life becoming what it has been so far.

This installment takes characters from every single other book and brings them together to form a complex plot, where Harry’s previous escapades determine who he can turn when for help, who gives it, who doesn’t, and who ultimately impacts the book’s finale. Butcher doesn’t leave anyone (or anything) out, tying together Harry’s various relationships to create the most precarious situation the wizard has ever encountered. And one that will have permanent effects on his life for the rest of the series.

Some people have criticized Butcher for turning away from the idea of “wizard PI” as the series has progressed, especially with this book, which diverges so far from that original premise that the series can never return there. But, personally, I wouldn’t fault Butcher that — because, from the very beginning of Storm Front, Butcher has been slowly but surely building an overarching plot that has always been greater than simply “wizard PI.” And I’ve been invested in that promise of something greater for the entire series; for me, Changes is where that promise finally begins to develop. From this point on, the Dresden Files is a whole different monster. And I look forward to getting to know that monster in the subsequent books.

So, in my opinion, Changes is awesome. An excellent installment of the series that keeps things fresh and new while bringing together ideas from Butcher’s complex, multi-book world-building in a way that creates a story environment similar to but different enough from any we’ve seen so far that the book is propelled to a whole other level while still retaining the core aspects that make it a novel of the Dresden Files.

Great book, all around! ( )
  TherinKnite | Jul 28, 2014 |
A bit slower than other Dresden Files books, but very emotionally-intense. Forgive the cheesiness of this statement, but this book took the series to a new, deeper place. I read this months ago, and thinking about the events that occurred can still move me.

And it was nice to be given a gift that should be a "truism" of urban fiction - When something incredibly unbelievable is about to happen, the universe will conspire to prevent it! ( )
  drhapgood | Jul 27, 2014 |
I'd already read my print copy of Changes, but I really enjoy James Marsters' narration in this audio edition. I also note that this Recorded Books edition does not have a cover depicting Dresden wearing a hat, which most printed covers have, even after the character exclaims that he doesn't do hats in this one. ( )
  JalenV | Jun 5, 2014 |
Okay now the last story in [b:Side Jobs: Stories From the Dresden Files|7779059|Side Jobs Stories From the Dresden Files (The Dresden Files, #12.5)|Jim Butcher|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1269115846s/7779059.jpg|10351697] makes sense.
There was a LOT of things I loved about this installment.
Who knew that Harry could be qualified for the award of

I mean really?! Susan Rodrigiaz you B*&^h! You are just downright F^$@ing wrong! I had no effing clue that something like that was going to present itself into the series. The evolution of the series has been excellent. There was plenty of humor, action, and creatures features in this one. More more more!
Cheers and Happy Readings!

( )
  wickedshizuku | May 12, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 103 (next | show all)
This is book 13 of the series so the character and world building was done a long time ago with a masterpiece hand. What can I say? I’m a long-time Jim Butcher fan so my opinion is biased. Reading Changes has reminded me why I love reading Jim Butcher so much! The wry humour showing through the pages… non-stop suspense action chapter after chapter. The story telling quality is 5 out of 5, as per usual. So what new thing can I say about this book that I haven’t said already in previous Jim Butcher reviews? This book is obviously a pivotal point in the series, as aptly titled Changes. New developments in the story is emerging... And the ending was specifically designed to better torment die hard fans to having to wait for a year for the next installment…

» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jim Butcherprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Blue Moon PhotographyAuthor photographsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lundgren, RayCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marsters, JamesNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McGrath, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Simmons, JoieCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
I answered the phone, and Susan Rodriguez said, “They’ve taken . . . ”
I'm not sure it's possible to manipulate someone with candor and truth.
I think you call that enlightenment.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Long ago, Susan Rodriquez was Harry Dresden's lover - until she was attacked by his enemies, leaving her caught between humanity and the relentless bloodlust of the vampiric Red Court. She disappeared to South America, where she could fight both her savage gift and those who cursed her with it. Now she needs Harry's help more than ever.

For the vengeful Duchess of the Red Court has discovered a secret Susan has long kept from everyone - including Harry - and she plans to use it. To prevail, Harry may have to unleash the full fury of his untapped power - and he may have no choice but to embrace the darkness within himself.

Because this time, he's fighting to save his child.
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In the twelfth book of the series, Harry finds out he has a daughter and has to work with his former lover, Susan Rodriguez, to protect them both.

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