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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars

on 31 May 2017
See my review on goodreads!
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on 29 August 2017
Good Book
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While Night is yet another great volume of the on-going Dresden Files. As always however, I'll start with an advisory for those who haven't read any other books in the series or have only watched the (substandard) TV adaptation; don't start here. Go a start at the beginning with Storm Front. This is not a series you just dip into and enjoy.

For those who are up to date however, I can highly recommend this latest book. Its not quite up to the very high standard of my favourite Dresden adventures such as Summer Knight, Dead Beat and Proven Guilty, but its extremely good none-the-less.

I will not risk spoiling things by going into too much detail regarding the plot, except to say that it revolves around the ongoing war between the White Council of Wizards and the Red Court of the Vampires and sucks (if you'll pardon the pun) in the Vampires of the White Court. Beyond that its the usual mix of neo-noir detective story and gory supernatural violence. Putting in an appearance are many familiar characters, including Harry's half-brother Thomas, Chicago PD Detective Karrin Murphy and Mouse, the giant Temple Dog, along with some less familar ones such as gangster Johnnie Marcone, warden Ramirez and Lara, Thomas' sister and head of the White Court.

It all makes for a further satisfying adventure for Harry. If I have any criticisms of the book its the fact that, having set up a host of new plot strands in his previous book, Proven Guilty, Jim Butcher doesn't really progress the overarching story a great deal. Yes, some bad guys from the past reappear and in one excellent flashback we get to witness firsthand the sharp end of the Vampire/Wizard war, but for all the action involved, by the end wider events haven't progressed greeatly. Whilst its a pleasure to have an ongoing backstory developing behind more immediate events in each book, the speed at which it is doing so is becoming a tad frustrating. Sooner or later Butcher will have to deliver the goods and give loyal readers resolutions to at least some of the plots he has set up.

Apart from that White Night maintains Jim Butcher's batting average and fans will not be disappointed. Now if only they could make the TV show just as good....
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on 1 August 2017
Harry is on the trail of a serial killer that is killing low level magical users, women! That's got his anger burning!
Problem is all the clues and witness statements are pointing at a tall, grey cloaked wizard and a beautiful looking man!
That kind of sounds like harry and Thomas!
Are they being set up? Or is there something weirder going on?
All this while dealing with his apprentice and the duties of being a warden of the white council.
Overall it's another great installation in a brilliant series, it progresses the story car on in an interesting way!
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on 29 November 2017
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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.
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on 3 February 2008
then you will find this an excellent addition to the series. This book is very important to the background myth-arc, with real development among the characters and a clever resolution to a one or two plotlines. (IMHO such resolution is a very good thing.) The writing still snaps, and there are one or two set scenes that come off very well. Harry continues to grow, and is dealing with the conflict between his anti-authority nature and his inevitable development into an authority figure himself.

If you are new to the series, then this is *not* the place to start. Butcher's work is superior to a lot of that in the field in that his character actually goes through changes and learns things. He's a supernatural private detective that actually tries to think once in a while. Things start dark and get darker in the first few novels, and now the protagonist is growing and learning. The series has excellent supporting characters and tries to deal with the moral choices the hero is forced to make, and their consequences. Do yourself a favor and start at the beginning ("Storm Front") and follow the saga!!! I'd recommend The Fates by Tino Georgiou to those who might have missed this bestseller.
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on 26 July 2012
As many others have stated, this is not the place to start your Dresden Files journey. Start with Storm Front and work your way through otherwise this story will make very little, if any, sense.
White Night is perhaps one of the more fast paced of the Dresden Files novels. It's a roaring adrenaline ride with heart, courage and soul. It centers around the White Court of vampires and a particularly evil plan for them to usurp control over the other courts and humanity in general.
This is a great outing for Dresden's half brother Thomas to show how much his character has developed over the series. Molly is also fantastic as she struggles to take control of herself and fulfill her potential. The will-they-wont-they between Dresden and Murphy is great, also made even more complicated with the arrival of Elaine and Dresden's smoldering love and guilt for Susan. However, the character which I love more than all the others is Mouse. The giant, fuzzy Temple dog with a brain, heart and a huge soul. He's great, lovable and I seriously wish he existed!
Dresden's continued journey from Storm Front through the series to this point has been a hugely enjoyable, if at times slightly disturbing, ride. In White Night, we see Dresden change again and learn from his mistakes etc. The pieces in New Mexico and with Lasciel near the end were stand out moments of Dresden's metamorphosis. He's a broken, brooding private eye but he's also one of the most human characters you can find.
Another truly brilliant edition! I really hope Cold Days isn't going to be the end of the series!!
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on 6 February 2015
I recall seeing the trailers for the television version of "The Dresden Files" and thinking it sounded like a wonderful concept; that of a wizard Private Investigator in modern day Chicago. As someone who rarely watches television, though, I never managed to see an episode. So I was delighted to find it was also available in book form.

The book starts in a hurry, with the finding of a dead body which looks like a suicide. However, all is not what it seems, as the body comes with a hidden message that only Harry Dresden, the aforementioned wizard, can see. It turns out that there is a serial killer at large in the magical community of Chicago and they're trying to taunt Dresden into getting involved. It is to get worse before it gets better for Dresden, as it seems that his brother may be the killer and so he has to find someone else behind it, or risk finding his brother implicated.

Starting with the ninth book in a series wouldn't usually be advisable, but Butcher covers for the new reader as well as any author I've come across. Whilst previous events are hinted at, they are mostly mentioned in passing and are rarely an integral part of the story. It's as if he's trying to cover for people who may have missed a previous episode of the television show, more than catering for a reader who is coming to the series late.

Indeed, throughout the novel it's easy to see how this book could be part of a television series, as Butcher's descriptive style is very visual. There are lots of colours and shapes and people and objects are in constant motion. Butcher describes events and objects in enough detail that you can picture them in your head. It's noticeable, however, that his descriptions of people aren't quite so detailed; clothes and colours are described, but you never really get a feel for their facial features.

The thing is, this rarely matters as it's the action is pretty much constant and with Dresden as the narrator as well as the lead character, he is never far away from events. Indeed, this gives the novel an almost Raymond Chandler like feel, as Dresden's narration borrows much if its from that of Chandler's Philip Marlowe, even down to referring to himself as a shamus.

In other parts, it appears that Jim Butcher writes with an eye on the medium of television. The action quotient is constantly high and there are plenty of explosions and flying colours and there are even parts where you think you could slip in a commercial break. But there is also a little comic relief in terms of Bob, the talking skull, which I found to be a little distracting at first, featuring alongside the hero pet dog and the willing, if untried, apprentice.

It's a shame that Butcher feels the need to conform to the clichés, as what he has here is a very original construct. It is this that kept me reading, as while his basic storyline isn't all that different, being a power struggle between warring factions and his characters can be found in one form or another in many television shows or books, he has this one unique factor that makes it all worthwhile.

For whatever else Butcher has done, he drops the world of the magical and the fantastic very neatly into the world of modern day Chicago. If you can forget that he's used every cliché going and get properly involved in the story, "White Night" turns out to be a remarkably realistic read. I suspect that if I were living in Chicago, or possibly somewhere else in the United States, I would be walking the streets about now looking for Dresden or someone like him. This is the kind of fiction that feels so real that you have to double check your reality afterwards.

This is the lasting effect that the novel will have on me. I found that the realism was more powerful than the basic clichés and that is what kept me enthralled. It's by no means the ideal book and it's not going to pose any deep and meaningful questions, but it's very entertaining and well written enough that the magic of it may not reside solely within Harry Dresden by the time you're finished.

For the newcomer to Harry Dresden, I wouldn't recommend this as the place to start, as the first in the series "Storm Front" might allow for a better introduction. If you've read this far in the series, I would only recommend a purchase if you've been collecting the books, as even though it's a fun story, there's not really enough depth to merit buying the book.

This review may also appear, in whole or in part, under my name at any or all of www.ciao.co.uk, www.thebookbag.co.uk, www.goodreads.com, www.amazon.co.uk and www.dooyoo.co.uk
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 10 December 2015
Although this is very much part of the on-going saga of Harry Dresden it is also a book which has more of a stand-alone plot and contributes less to the development of the series story arc than others. For that reason I particularly enjoyed it, although I would advise anyone who hasn't encountered Harry and his world to start at the beginning of the series - you really won't regret it.

Harry is called to the scene of a murder and finds that there is a possibility that his vampire half-brother just might be responsible - he is certainly hiding something from Harry. The murders and the accusations become mixed up with the ongoing war between the wizards and the Red Court (which was possibly started by Harry) and Harry is still adjusting to his promotion to Warden and the fact that he suspects that there are wizards who are betraying the cause. Mixing all this together we get an excellent story full of action and presenting Harry and Murphy with their usual fight against the odds to save the world (or Chicago anyway).

The author writes in such a way that you feel that Harry really ought to be real and that maybe all this action is taking place in a city near to you. He doesn't forget that Harry needs to be real - bad tempered and stubborn as well as easily attracted by a female in contrast to his heroic actions. All the usual characters are here - Murphy, Molly, Marcone, the faeries, and the return of Elaine. Harry keeps secrets, gives of his strength and power, avoids as much disaster as he can, and always fights for what is right.

An excellent series with this as a great story within it
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