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on 30 November 2012
Another unputdownable book from the mind of Jim Butcher. Harry is in more than the usual amount of trouble from the get go. Really revved the series back up after the slightly slower Ghost Story. The story pulls you in and doesn't let you go until you've finished it.

Oodles of stuff for any follower of the series to get into - you must have read the earlier books in the series to make *any* sense of this book though, if you are new to the series - this is not the book to start with. Left me a lot to think about and speculate with my fellow Dresden fen. I can't really find anything in the book to be truly critical of - and yes I know I'm doing the literary equivalent of fan girl squeeing but really that's the feeling I'm channeling right now. :) If I could rate this higher than five stars I would.
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on 9 January 2013
Jim Butcher is an excellent writer and I have enjoyed the Dresden Files and his Furies series immensely. However, one of the main attractions for me of the former has been the amalgamation of supernatural fantasy with the wisecracking, noir-detective characterisation. Unfortunately,that connection has been drifting for some time and, with this episode in the series, is no more.

Harry is a Faerie Knight not a detective and the result is that this book, while maintaining writing standards, is nowhere near as entertaining as the earlier novels. Butcher needs to find a way of getting Harry back to his own "normality" as he is in danger of sliding into a kind of generic urban fantasy and losing his unique qualities.
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on 28 November 2012
I cannot recommend this book and this series enough. Jim Butcher has created a fantastic world within our own world and Harry is a hero who kicks ass. Cold Days pushes the series along nicely and you finally get to know who and what Harry is really up against (well sort of). Once again has to gather his allies and save the world all within a couple of days which results in Harry having to go from one crisis to another involving lots of mayhem along the way. I will not give out any spoilers but at the end something happens to one of the main characters that I don't think anyone who has followed the series will have ever expected - something that I assume is going to lead to a lot of trouble and heartache for Harry in subsequent books. If you have not ever read this series and you like magic, wizards, vampires, ghost, fairies (the homicidal kind) etc then start reading today.
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on 29 November 2012
I will keep this short and simple. Love the book, it pushes the story forward while leaving you guessing for what will happen next. Jim, I know you are planning to write just up of twenty books, but please don't stop there, if you keep writing such quality work then you should keep milking it. On behalf of all your fans, we wont complain one bit. Amazing book, buy it, read it, love it. That's all I have to say.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 8 November 2013
This is a wonderful series of books and undoubtedly very popular now. I suspect because they contain a bit of everything in the fantasy genre - enough to keep every type of fan happy. There are literary references alongside pop culture jokes and it's always a great romp with action and humour, around the main character, whose internal monologue is part Chandler detective, but always a recognisable "voice".

This latest installment of the series is perhaps more serious in nature, but also takes us farther into Jim Butcher's imagined universe. Although we eventually get back to Harry's beloved Chicago, this starts to be more about a huge inter-dimensional war, than a local wizard 'stroke' P.I. making a living from his basement. We have the recognisable "crew" of friends and acquaintances, who help and hinder Harry as well as newbies like the Cat Sith, who is a hilarious construct and not what you might think!

But this is now broadening out to see Harry installed as the Winter Knight and a chesspiece in the great game between faeries and their war with the outsiders attacking our reality. This is an idea that seems quite like the struggle taking place in F Paul Wilson's "Repairman Jack" series - with added faeries. Butcher has now created a very complex backstory for Harry, involving Queens and Ladies of Faery, as well as Wizard's guilds etc. This is probably not the best time to pick up the series - although Harry is re-inventing himself, after "dying" in previous episodes.

This might all sound too complicated and far-fetched - but that's where a lot of the humour comes from. Harry is just and ordinary guy, who is as bemused as we are, about all this complexity and the hopelessness of what he is faced with. But rather than giving up and cowering in a corner, he faces all his demons (sometimes literally) with humour and wit. It's a tale of the indefatigable human spirit, which makes you feel positive and uplifted, even if you can't always quite believe it - but then neither can Harry!
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After so many 'Dresden Files' novels two things have occurred to me.

1. They are now pretty much critic proof. Jim Butcher has got the formula pretty much perfected, so if you're already a fan of Harry and his world you'll almost certainly enjoy the next volume, whatever Amazon reviewers or other critics might say. You might enjoy some marginally more than others, but overall if you liked all the previous books you'll like this one too.

2. The 'Dresden Files' sub-title really makes no sense any more. The books are now so far beyond their fantasy private-detective origins that I can barely remember the days when Harry was working out of a shabby office in down town Chicago.

'A Dresden Epic' would probably be a better sub-title now, because that's what they've become. Ghost Story: A Dresden Files novel was a bit of a return to smaller scale story-telling, but Cold Days ramps up the scale once again. If Ghost Story was a chance to pause and reflect after the destruction of the Red Court and the end of the vampire/wizard war, then Cold Days marks the start of an entirely new phase in the Dresden series; one where the stakes are even higher than before.

Butcher reveals this fact with a truly epic scene in the Never-Never, which expands the reader's understanding of the wider universe and makes him or her realise that all the books prior to this have only uncovered a tiny part of the bigger picture. Its a great way to expand the Dresden universe and send the series off in a brand-new direction. In fact the whole book seems to be setting up new plot threads and dynamics, but Jim Butcher is skill-full enough by now to weave all the developments into a satisfying and compelling story.

If I have a complaint about Cold Days its that the finale does become a slightly overblown affair that risks veering towards the ridiculous, with characters undertaking feats that are almost superhuman at times. It doesn't quite trip over that line but it does come close.

I would also say that, as the Dresden universe expands and focuses less on Chicago and the 'real world' and more on the Never Never, the series also risks losing the human scale that grounded it and made it so compelling. Wars against creatures from parallel dimensions are all very well, but a bit more pounding the pavements of the Windy City, uncovering supernatural crimes, and fewer massed battles wouldn't go amiss. May be then calling the series 'The Dresden Files' wouldn't seem quite as ridiculous.
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on 1 December 2012
If this was a film you would need Michael Bey to direct & a $200 million dollar budget. But he would no doubt lose the books heart. In my view it is often diminishing returns with long running fantasy series.I never know if this is because authors run out of ideas, or become a bit lazy & treat the work as a cash machine, or if as reader familiarity starts to breed contempt. But Butcher just keeps getting better & better. I could not put this book down. It is a great roller coaster ride with some big twists at the end leaving me desperate for more. Please Jim Butcher another one soon.
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on 18 June 2013
I love Dredsen and yes this book is enjoyable but I just found certain parts of it long winded and not really the right time or place for it for example the whole gay relationship saga part just felt a bit trying too hard to address current issues when it wasn't needed and there are better places to air your opinions.

I will however contine to read Dresden but feel that the books are coming to their natural conclusion and if htey should end in the next one or two then I would be left happy, feeling that the characters were put to bed at the right time without going stale.
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on 1 December 2012
Devoured this book, Jim has brought a new lease of life into the wonderful world of Dresden. The characters and wit remain but the arena is getting larger. I thought there would be a more sedate story following the previous two books a sort of gentle intro into Harry‘s new life, Jim had far grander plans and the new Winter Knight has a whole lot on his plate and a frenzied time scale to achieve what seems impossible. Already gagging for the next book.
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on 4 December 2012
I was not really keen on Ghost Story but this book is a massive return to form. The fact that this series is 14 books long and I pre order the book waiting by the door for it to arrive says it all. This book finally gives some of the big answers to big questions, some huge changes and character development. I can't say much about the story without spoiling it so I wont, I`ll just say read this book.
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