Wednesday, 16 March 2011


I bought Jim Butcher's twelfth novel in the Dresden Files series ahead of schedule.  I normally wait until they are out in paperback.  This may sound crazy but it was because the publishers (Orbit) had decided to re-issue the series with different covers, which are the same as their American counterparts.  This was possibly the last chance to have a set that looked similar, even though the hardbacks are styled to look more a leather bound book than the paperbacks which have a card like file look to them.

Changes is brutal and Butcher wastes no time in setting up the main premise of the novel.  Harry Dresden, wizard and private investigator, has to save his daughter from the Red Court vampires who want to use her in a ritual that could change everything.  However; it was not until he received a phone call, in the first chapter of this book from his half vampire ex, that he was aware that he had a daughter.

I was skeptical about the premise, but Butcher works the addition of an unknown daughter in danger well.  I got a bit sick of Harry being so righteous and giving up everything just to save one person, but I'm not a parent, and this is Harry.  Anyone who has followed the series knows that he was orphaned at a young age and couldn't bear allowing that happening to his own kin, so of course he would go balls out to save her.  And indeed he does.  Close to everyone from the series gets a mention or appearance in this book, and to me it felt like a series finale and that was before I even got to the end.  For that reason, maybe I was expecting more but the final few chapters didn't have the same emotional punch as Turncoat did; however, there is plenty to mourn and Butcher sets up a new start and perhaps a new direction for the Dresden series.  It's going to be a long wait till summer...

The Behaviour of Moths

This was my second attempt at reading this debut novel from Poppy Adams.  Having bought it in a birthday book spree, it was a pick because of it's striking cover and I faintly remember a recommendation from a friend.  The first time I attempted a read, it languished in my work bag for about three months and I only read about five chapters before I replaced it with another book.  It then was a staple in my hand luggage whenever I traveled, but again it was never picked up. After finally settling in to read it, I wasn't all that impressed.

I almost don't know how to describe it.  After her sister's return to their childhood (and almost Gothic) home, the lead character Ginny is recounting events that lead to their separation for countless years.
It fits in with my theme at the moment of non reliable narrators, but then how do we know that what an author ever writes for the character is entirely the truth?  It didn't answer enough questions for me personally, I was left wondering what happened to Aurthur, what really happened to Clyde and Maud and even Vivian.  I thought the reasons for the ending were flimsy but also somehow it got the character of Ginny where she needed to be.  Perhaps I should have used my own imagination to fill in the blanks, but it wasn't powerful enough to stay in my thought process for days after having finished it.