Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Changes Changes
The Dresden Files - Book 12
by Jim Butcher

Supplied for review by Hachette New Zealand

Reviewed By: Jacqui Smith
Jan Butterworth

Changes is a very apt title for this, the twelfth book of the Dresden Files. There are significant changes in both Harry Dresden’s person, and in the world in which he lives in this novel, and I have to say, that if you are a follower of the Dresden Files, then you really ought to read this book – just to keep up with what’s changed. That’s not the only reason, because this is a real page-turner, with lots of tension and lots of action, and it’s a darn good story.

For those of you who haven’t discovered the Dresden Files yet (there are probably some), here is what you need to know. Harry Dresden is a practicing wizard, who resides in a basement apartment in Chicago, and occasionally helps out the Chicago police with some of their more unusual cases. His universe has the usual magicians, werewolves, vampires and fae that populate urban fantasy, but those vampires are, by and large, monsters. None of that "Twilight" twaddle here, none of that silly business with vampires as darkly sexual, tortured souls. Nope, mostly the vampires here are insane, evil things that the good guys get to beat up on. I like that.

Changes begins with a bit of a bombshell for Harry, as in the first sentence he learns that a) he has a daughter, and b) they’d kidnapped her. They, we learn very shortly, are vampires of the Red Court (the really nasty ones), and it’s not just a bit of baby-sitting they have in mind. The plot is afoot, and it really motors along from there to a literally earth-shattering climax. Dresden has to make some significant sacrifices along the way, too… but no more details, I don’t want to spoil it for you.

-Jacqui Smith

"I answered the phone, and Susan Rodriguez said, 'They've taken our daughter.'

Harry is shocked to discover he has a child with his ex-girlfriend Susan. Their daughter has been abducted by a vampire of the Red Court, Duchess Arianna Ortega, who blames Harry for her husband’s death. She is planning to use the girl as a human sacrifice to gain enough power for the Red Court to rule the world.

Thanks to diplomatic wrangling, the White Council refuses to offer help. Harry must rely on his own skills and cunning to outwit the monsters and save his daughter. He has the help of many friends and familiar characters (cop Murphy; Harry’s half brother, vampire Thomas; Sanya the Knight; and Harry’s apprentice, Molly) as they risk everything to save Harry’s daughter. The book ends with a cliff hanger on the last few pages. I’m really anxious to read the next one now. This CAN’T be the end!!!

Changes is a great read, full of action and with a clever plot that keeps you guessing. The longest book in The Dresden Files series, there is never a dull moment in this book. For Harry Dresden fans, this is a must read. If you are a new reader, don’t start the series here, go back to Storm Front: Book 1.

-Jan Butterworth

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