Top critical review
One person found this helpful
Not the best entry in the series
on 14 April 2014
Warning: Likely spoilers ahead for Books 1-8 of The Dresden Files…
Fool Moon and Blood Rites still take the ‘crown’ for my least favourite Dresden books, but this certainly wasn’t Butcher’s finest hour. Unlike Fool Moon, it wasn’t boring. So there’s a tick. And unlike Blood Rites, it wasn’t silly, convoluted and full of very eyebrow-raising twists. The biggest problem I had was that we are now 9 books into this series, and White Night felt almost entirely like a stop-gap. Like Butcher wanted to hit his one book per year quota (or had to) and so came up with White Night.
Most of the ongoing plotlines are barely touched upon in favour of a tenuous and thinly stretched mystery involving the return of Elaine (a character who Butcher seems to have randomly decided he’d rather didn’t stay in Harry’s past, and yet is entirely dull and predictable) and some past villains, including one that I still don’t know what was doing there, and the White Court, who are generally a lot of fun, but were involved in one of the longest and most confusing climaxes in the series so far.
There are twists anyone would see coming a mile off, returning friendlies who add very little and could ultimately have had their roles filled by almost any of Harry’s allies, and nowhere NEAR enough progression of the stuff I want to be reading about at this stage, namely: the Black Council, Molly’s apprenticeship, the Outsiders and/or anything involving the Knights of the Cross. The only ongoing plotline to really get any form of conclusion – Lasciel – is disappointing and probably not really the conclusion. And the final scene of the book is cringe-inducingly bad, though luckily not a game-changer – just another pithy, throwaway attempt at humour.
It may sound like I hated this book, but that’s not true. It was still a fun read (or rather, listen – as always, James Marsters was fantastic) and some characters are getting better and better (Harry himself, Molly, Marcone and, surprisingly, Murphy) but it really is a filler book, and if I’d have been reading these books as they were released, I can’t help but think I would have been even more bitterly disappointed.
Apparently Small Favour is a series high point and things really take off from there – I can only hope that is the case.