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Dead Beat (The Dresden Files, Book 7)
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Product Description

The USA Today Bestselling Author's new Dresden Files novel...finally in paperback-and soon to be a Sci Fi Channel movie!
Filled with kickass adventure and supernatural fireworks, Jim Butcher's Dresden Files novels have been compared to Harry Potter. Now, Harry Dresden must save Chicago from black magic and necromancy-all in a day's work for the city's only professional wizard.

Customer Reviews:

  • Bigger, Badder, Bolder and Grimmer - A real T-Rex-capade
    This seventh volume in Jim Butcher's excellent series serves up the hot magical action and cool wise-cracking wit that fans of Harry Dresden have come to expect.

    DEAD BEAT is a notable landmark in this series for several reasons. For the first time, the magical world that Harry inhabits is given grounding and gravity; it seems to have become one of the notable landmarks of Chicago like the Field Museum (which provides a memorable setting and prop for the final battle). It is the first book to weave a plot that links strongly to previous books. As such, the characterizations and actions begin to separate from formula outlines and to cut a little closer to the bone. Harry has always been a vivid character, but now he's getting deep. And the supporting cast is also getting more three-dimensional. We are allowed a startling glimpse into the torment that Harry's half-brother Thomas is suffering. We see a transformation of the pathologist Dr. Waldo Butters from cowardly to courageous.

    This book is chock full of delights for the reader: the drawbacks of rooming with a vampire, zombie polkas, a really big dog and the difficulty of cornering on a dinosaur...Read the book. I can't say any more....more info
  • Butters the Drummer
    This is the second book that I've read in the Dresden series, the first being "Proven Guilty" and I must say that this had me just as surprised and intrigued as book 8.

    Without Butters, albeit not your typical hero type, Dresden wouldn't have a chance in this book. It was a really great read and study of one's greatest fears and triumphs effecting not only oneself, but everyone around you and the dangers of effecting their perspective of the world around them. It's also a story of keeping your friends close and your enemies as far away as possible. As if that's possible for Dresden.

    Good Book!...more info
  • Butcher's Dresden in top form
    A fantastic series with a complex lead character who wise-cracks his way through one tight situation after another. Highly recommend the whole series....more info
  • Fantasy-Noir by a master of the genre
    I can't recommend the Dresden files enough. It's a sleek, often sexy, ride through the dark imagination of Jim Butcher. It's very much the alternative to, often poorly realized, fantasy fiction that is glutting the market of late....more info
  • Slow to start, but a killer finish
    Dead Beat meanders a bit in the early going but comes together at its memorable conclusion when Harry Dresden pulls off his best trick yet.

    One of the three top Dresden Files novels....more info
  • Another great read!
    I've been reading all of the Wizard Dresden series and this one is another out-of-breath chase from start to finish. I really thought that the author stayed true to the characters and the story line in the 7th installment. It seems like other authors really get lost by the 7th book of a series. That being said, this is not the place to give the series a try. Go back and read book #1.

    I'm bummed that I've got to wait for the paperback of his next novel but that's life. (I prefer paperback...)

    This one was worth the wait. Can't wait for the next one....more info
  • Harry Saves the Day
    This is the seventh installment of the "Dresden Files" by Jim Butcher. I don't know how I missed this series before, but it is a book that you can't put down. With the addition of the Sci-Fi series, I thoroughly enjoyed the first two episodes so much it made me want to read all the books in the series. Its always best to start at the beginning of the series and work your way through to the end, however, this one was available on the library shelf, so I decided to give it a try. There is enough background information given throughout the book to keep you up to date.

    Because of the television series, I already knew something about Harry Dresden and his unusual talents. He is the only Wizard listed in the Chicago phonebook. This book has everything you would want in a Fantasy book, ghouls, necromancers, wizards, fairies, zombies, Halloween Night, and of course our hero to make everything come out ok in the end.

    Think of this character, Harry Dresden, as a grown-up Harry Potter going around doing good deeds and saving mankind and humanity from all the nasties that go bump in the night.

    Whether you believe in magic, or the alternative universe, is up to you, Butcher brings the characters together and interacts with humans to the point of being almost believable.

    There are some strange and not-quite-can-I-trust-this moments, like the galloping dinosaur, but all in all it's a great book, and our hero must make some life choices that I'm sure will have serious repercussions in future volumes.

    ...more info
  • A Fun Read - Hard to put down
    I didn't read any of the previous works in the series - just Dead Beat. This book stands on its own extremely well. Harry is an affable character that is easy to like. He reminds me of so many people I know - you know the type: hell-bent on doing what is wrong because it is right. The book is laced with all types of interesting characters. There is a half-blood brother that also happens to be a laid-back vampire. Butcher also introduces us to a goofy medical examiner that reminded me of the quirky professor in the animated film Titan A.E. This list goes on.

    All-in-all the book is just plain fun to read. I can't wait to dive into the next in the series. If it is anything like Dead Beat, I'll most likely read the entire series from the start. Besides, I need to find out more about the origins of that whacky skull.
    ...more info
  • Still writting strong
    Readers of the series will not be disappointed and makes it hard to wait to read the next one...more info
  • good
    If you think the modern/urban fantasy genre is getting tired, the dresden books keep it alive, or at least undead....more info
  • if you love harry dresden you won't want to miss any of these!
  • Finally, character development!
    It took 7 books, but Butcher finally matured Dresden. I like this series but I kept waiting for some Dresden character development and maturity. Butcher developed all the other characters and grew them all, book by book, except for Dresden. So I was overjoyed when just pages into the 7th book, Harry Dresden become MORE. I saw that some peeps didn't like this one, but so far, it's my favorite, I read half of it in one night. I am finally looking forward to the 8th, and hopefully more, as well as the series on the SciFi channel. ...more info
  • Actually pretty good
    I started reading Butcher's books as an antidote to the Katie Macallister mess, as avoidance of the Kim Harrison slop, and was hoping for a rescue from the Charlaine Harris body snatching. His books are pretty good. I was really surprised by the series. The book was full of enough action for any reader. I was a little disappointed at the failure to conclude the fallen angel aspect, but hey then the series would end....more info
  • Harry Dresden is my hero....
    Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series is arguably one of the best out there!

    Harry Dresden is a wizard who claims Chicago as his territory, regardless of what the Wardens or anyone else says. He's also extremely protective of his friends so when Black Court vampire Mavra blackmails Harry with ruining the career and future of Karrin Murphy, Harry agrees to cooperate. Murphy is the Director of Chicago Police Department's Special Investigations division and as such, she and Harry have worked closely together. Mavra wants only one thing from Harry- the Word of Kemmler. But what is it?

    Harry, his dog Mouse, Bob the talking skull, and his half-brother and White Court vampire, Thomas, will have to save both Murphy's career as well as the entire city of Chicago and possibly the world. Acolytes of Kemmler have entered the city and everything from ghouls to zombies is determined to find the Word of Kemmler and become a god. In addition, Harry is stuck with protecting cowardly Medical Examiner Waldo Butters after rescuing him from an attack at the morgue. Will Harry be able to save Murphy and Chicago? And where are the Wardens when you need them?

    DEAD BEAT is more introspective than many of the other books in the Dresden Files series. Harry is growing in both his abilities and knowledge and yet his desire to remain a force for good is apparent. Harry bears the mark of Fallen Angel, Lasciel, and therefore has untapped powers yet he consistently tries to do the right thing even to his own detriment. Harry is heroic despite his faults or perhaps even because of them.

    However, the characters of Butters and Mouse really made DEAD BEAT stand out. Butters is your stereotypical geek who can't do anything right socially. Heck, he's not even successful when he enters the big polka festival in Oktoberfest! Mouse, meanwhile, was once a small dog but is now described as the size of a woolly mammoth. Both Butters and Mouse are minor characters and yet are central to Harry's success in DEAD BEAT. An important lesson about life in general as it pertains to fear and cowardice is also given through the example provided by Butters.

    DEAD BEAT is another thrilling installment in the Dresden Files that fans will not want to miss! This reviewer had been skeptical about the series entering hardcover as many series tend to fizzle out around the sixth or seventh book. However, Jim Butcher has demonstrated that his imagination knows no boundaries as DEAD BEAT contains some of the most creative scenes this reviewer has ever read. The only caution would be for readers new to the series; do not start with this book but instead immediately engross yourself in the first book as you will then be hooked as well!

  • Giving it 5 anyway
    Butcher stepped in it a couple of times in this book and I almost rated it down for that. 1) the .44 magnum thing (it's not that difficult to gain SOME knowledge about firearms) and 2) the Joe McCarthy slur (just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you), he should get up to date on the facts of that era. There's a lot of new information since THE FALL.

    This is my first Dresden book and I didn't have any problem getting to know the characters. It was a fun read and I'll definately read more of series. Pacing is good, dialog is snappy and shows humor and warmth, good guys are trying to be good, bad guys are sometimes not bad.

    Too bad it's in Chicago. I'm ready for some action in Fairbanks or Fayetteville or Bellingham or Shreveport or ... Independence(?).

    I read 2-3 novels per week and would put Butcher at the top of the list for my next read. There are a lot of author wannabees out there who somehow get their stuff published. They've wasted my time. Butcher willl not disappoint....more info
  • Pay No Attention to the Single Star

    Ignore the frothing screed that gives the book one star based on a) a typo (the trigger thing) and b) one throwaway line where the main character echoes a sentiment about McCarthy that's shared by 99.9% of the population. How a mis-typed word and a snarky utterance can ruin an entire series for someone, I'll never understand.

    If you're a Dresden fan, I rank this one amongst the best in the bunch. This book features the fleshing-out of the supporting cast, some exciting (and, yes, over-the-top) action, and--best of all--several startling changes to the status quo. I was genuinely surprised at some of the developments, and I'm anxious to see where Butcher takes them next....more info
  • Unique Fantasy Fiction
    I really enjoy Jim Butcher's Dresden File books. Each book develops the characters a little more and you learn a little more of their histories. I like that in a series. "Dead Beat" was as good or better as its predecessors.
    I find the Dresden File's combination of Fantasy and real modern life unique and interesting. Most Fantasy takes place in a Fantasy world and in time before electricty, cars etc. ...more info
  • Fast-paced, action-packed and witty, a T-Rex of a ride!
    Fast-paced, action-packed and witty, a T-Rex of a ride!

    First, it starts off with an uncomfortable moment between Harry and Murphy. She's asked him to water her house plants during the weekend ~ while she's in Hawaii with none other than Kincaid. While Karrin deserves a vacation, Harry wishes it wasn't with Kincaid.

    To make matters worse, he receives a note from Mavra, a vampire from the Black Court, the vampire that previously tried to kill him. She has pictures of Murphy doing things a cop isn't supposed to be doing while helping Harry and Kincaid, and if Harry refuses to do Mavra's bidding, she'll send the pictures to the police. Harry can't let that happen, and he has only three days to find what Mavra's looking for - all without help.

    However, Mavra isn't the only one looking for the Word of Kemmler, a book written by Kemmler himself, a powerful necromancer, that had been taken out ages ago by the White Council. For necromancy is the worst kind of magic, and to use such magic is to break the laws binding all wizards.

    Between saving Butters's butt and and fighting off zombies, Harry has to find a way to stop the other six necromancers all wanting what Mavra wants - all of Kemmler's powers. But Harry can't do that job alone and finally calls in the White Council to help, only to find out what three-quarters of all the Wardens have been eliminated by the Red Court. How did the Red Court know where to hit? Is there a traitor among the Senior Council? And why are the necromancers looking for the Word of Kemmler now, of all times? Captain Luccio, the head of Wardens, desperately needs the help, and Harry becomes a Warden, something he never thought he'd accept. But will Harry find the answer and the power to stop what's about to happen? One can only hope.

    And true to his word, Harry does.

    Action-packed and fast-paced, this novel is a joyride. For three days, there is fight after fight, question after question, all with very little results until closer to the final battle. And just when you think it's hopeless, Harry uses the necromancer's magic against them, with a T-Rex of all things (and I swear, it was the best part of the book!) to fight the good fight.

    And just to make matters more difficult, Harry has his own inner battles to fight as well, along with wanting to tell Lasciel (a Denarian from a previous novel) to take a hike and not being able to. Yes, he needs her help, but the cost would be astronomical, and it's a cost he doesn't want to pay. But without any kind of help from her, he knows, deep down, that he won't be able to get the job done.

    Along with his witty comebacks and remarks making this reader bark out with laughter, it's darn near impossible to put down any of the Dresden Files novels and not think about them. An excellent read for sure, it has everything that I crave in a good book: mystery, action, suspense, magic, feelings, wit and inner turmoil, all wrapped up together. This is definitely a series for the paranormal/supernatural/sci-fi/fantasy lovers out there who love a good book. High recommendation!...more info
  • Butcher keeps getting better
    Being a fan through the late 80's till now of Glen Cook's Garret novels, Alan Dean Foster's complete works and also being a scholar of Raymond Chandler's Marlowe, Doyle's Holmes, Hammet and Spade, the progression of the two genres of Detective Noir and Fantasy has now come to perfect fruition in Jim Butcher's Dresden books.

    What enamored me originally was watching Bogart say to Bacall such classic lines like :

    "Vivian: I don't like your manners!

    Marlowe: I'm not crazy about yours. I didn't ask to see you.
    And I don't mind you ritzing me or drinking your lunch out of a bottle. I don't mind you showing me your legs. They're very swell legs and it's a pleasure to make their acquaintance. And I don't mind if you don't like my manners. They're pretty bad. I grieve over them during the long winter evenings."

    Right from Chandler's typewriter.

    I thought there could never be a more perfect example of the 'smart-a**/verbage fisticuffs' than Chandler expressed through Marlowe, Spillane talking through Hammer, Cook through Garret, until I read Butcher's Harry Dresden.

    Now, being only on the fringes of 'character role play', i.e the dungeons and dragons role playing games that my generation of people who now run the Tech business(sweet revenge/irony), Butcher has embraced that and has created the most original and complete person on a page, Wizard Harry Dresden, since the classics stated above. He encapsulates so many genres and characters, without imitating any that preceded him, it almost feels like Hammer, Marlowe and Holmes evolved, through Butcher's mind, into the next greatest sleuth and magical person. With the current mood and methods of sci-fi/fantasy authors over the last 3 decades, and given the innovations of science, technology, religion and pure imagination, Butcher's Harry Dresden embodies and captures all of it. Maybe most importantly, the rebellious, snide, moral, human, flawed, character of Dresden. He always comes back to the basics of ethics,family, and most

    Mr. Butcher through this series of novels seems to have bridged the gap between old school noir, and new age fantasy, and is sooooo much fun to read, and I hope his future works can take us further into the world of Harry Dresden,and especially...Chicago.
    ...more info
  • What a ride!
    I have only read "Storm Front" before this. I liked it better. There are so many villians in this book and Harry is threatened in so many ways and injured in so many ways, it almost becomes laughable. The ending is good and exciting, even though I knew pretty much what was coming about chapter 3. The book is starting to have the "Da Vinci Code" syndrome: a cliffhanger at the end of every chapter. He is not as bad as Brown yet, but he is definitely headed in that direction. The friendship of Harry and Butters is pretty cool. The magic becomes convenient for plot devices. The humor is still there in spots.

    The series is good. I was just slightly disappointed in this one. ...more info
  • One of the Best
    This is one of my favorite books of the series. It has spectacular action set pieces, moments of true horror, memorable antagonists, and more....more info
  • LOVE harry dresden
    I love harry. He is sarcastic and loving at the same time.
    Believeable plot and story,.
    Make you wish you could call him up and get him to work on a case for you.
    ...more info
  • Every Dresden book is a winner
    I've read all the Dresden series but I had missed this one. This series is my favorite to fall asleep reading... of course sometimes I can't go to sleep for another hour until I've found out how he escapes the impossible foe. This book is as good as all the rest, but it does have zombies. I hate zombies. But the book was really good....more info
  • great book
    i'm 1/2 way into the this book and am really enjoying it. loved the first 6 dresden books. great style of fantasy writing, great plots, and endearing characters (even some of the ones that aren't human!). each dresden book builds upon the other but can also be picked up out of order and still be totally enjoyed! book arrived in a timely manner and in mint condition....more info
  • Polka will never die!!!
    Ok, so actually, I'd give this book 4.5 stars, but dang it you can't do half stars, so I rounded UP!
    Butcher deserves so much praise for this book! It was great!
    From vampires, fairy kings bent on destruction, necromancers, also bent on destruction, and a long dead tryanasous rex roaming Chicago, this book has something for everyone.
    And as Butters would say, and does, Polka will never die!...more info
  • Harry and friends - in hardback, no less!
    First off, congrats to Jim Butcher for getting a hardback deal! That seems to be a sign that you've "made it" in the publishing world; witness the crossover from PB to HB by such authors as Charlaine Harris (the Southern Vampire series), Mary Janice Davidson (the Betsy Taylor, Queen of the Vampires series), and of course, Laurell K Hamilton (the Anita Blake series).

    OK, there are enough previous reviews that give a basic plotline, so I'm not going to rehash it here. I thought this was a very good, strong entry into the Harry Dresden series. Harry is as his tortured best in this book, seeking to do "the right thing" and realizing that his world is no longer black and white, but shades and shades of gray. His torment over the help offered by Lasciel,the fallen angel, his agony over being offered a Warden's cloak, and his protection of the coroner Butters were wonderful character plot elements that really deepened Harry as a character. (Speaking of Butters, has anyone else wondered if he was patterned on the South Park character?)

    Watching Harry agonize over his increasing power was especially great. Here's basically the same plot-point that's been used in the Anita Blake books ad-nauseum, but used to a much better effect. And best of all, Harry didn't have to have sex multiple times with multiple partners while trying to determine how and when to use his new powers! I'm hoping that Harry will keep using his forces for good and not go over to the darkside. But hey, that's always a distinct possibility. I think that's why I like him so much - he knows his potential and it scares the bejeezus out of him.

    The only downside to this book was the absence of Murphy. Yes, I know, she's in the beginning and the end of the book. But she's not there fighting by Harry's side, which to me means she's an absent character. However, I'm hoping that the reason for her absence and the way she acted when she saw him again are leading up to something in the next book. While a romance would certainly complicate Harry's life, it makes sense to me that he'd be attracted to one of his dearest friends. And let's face it, he's in desperate need of some affection!...more info
  • Wonderful characters! Lots of action.
    I love this series, love the character of Harry Dresden and all his friends. This was an action filled book and carried on the series very well. The audio books read by James Marsters are very well done also. I've listened to the first four he read. This book continues the war between the White Council and the Red Court of vampires. You find out more about the White Council and it's members. Harry is developing more in each book. Highly recommend this book and the whole series. It's one of my favorite series of books. My favorite book so far in the series is probably Summer Knight....more info
  • Really excellent, the best one yet IMHO.
    I thoroughly enjoyed this installment of the Dresden files. While most of the former characters only have minor roles in this book, I did not think it detracted from the story at all. It's a solid book, great plot and Harry continues to mature and grow. You learn more about Bob's past; Mouse becomes impressive and Medical Examiner Butters gets some spine. There are also some interesting details revealed about Harry's injured hand and his ability to heal. Without spoiling anything, the big finale with Sue, the T-Rex is very cool, as is the Erlking. Jim Butcher once again takes us along on a rollicking good tale with Wizard Dresden....more info
  • Best in series
    Harry Dresden, Wizard-for-Hire and self-assigned protector of Chicago, gets called upon by an old foe and blackmailed into hunting down an old relic. The only catch is that there are three other necromancers also fighting with Harry for control of the object, and whomever gets it will have access to harness the power of undeath. Can Harry track down the artifact and stop doomsday?...more info
  • Worth reading!
    These books are great! If you love science fiction you will love these books. The author is funny, witty and holds your interest from cover to cover. I ordered the complete set and read through it in a week! I hope they bring the television series back to SciFi. It is more entertaining a series that SciFi brought back, Dr. Who, or as I call it "the doctor's non habit forming sleep remedy"! I'm going to reread them soon since I enjoyed them so much! I'm sure there were things I missed on the first go around. I'm also looking forward to the next book in the series....more info
  • Wild Ride
    This is a great story. I especially like the character Butters in this book, as he is really just an average guy, and he finds out some stuff about himself. All the Dresden File books are exciting, and the ending to this one is literally a really wild ride. Anyone who likes action with a sense of humor will really enjoy these stories. ...more info
  • Thoroughly enjoyed it
    I read the first three in the series and then jumped to this one. Regardless of missing a lot of meat along the way, I was still able to fumble through this book. There was a lot of action and I was happy to see that the character, Harry, grew from the first few books. Granted, he's still growing and making mistakes, but he seems to be thinking things through more. One major complaint I have about the book is a screw up in printing. My copy seemed to have been missing about 10 pages in the center of the book. Instead of the missing pages, 10 pages repeated itself. How disappointed I was. I never did get to find out how the meeting with Queen Mab went. Thus, I gave it four stars instead of five....more info
  • Entertaining but predictable light fare
    I have read all of the Dresden files books to date, and will probably read the rest, too. I am far too lazy to rate all of them - so I'll settle for just this one. This series is not terribly original, intelligent or believable. It is however, very entertaining. It's the mental equivalent of popcorn - not too filling, heavy, or time consuming. I should also note that I read these books despite the authors annoying "About" blurb; come on, this sounds like every insecure, wannabe D&D nerd I've ever met......more info
  • Life is killing me
    One of these days, Jim Butcher is going to write a Dresden Files novel that is just Harry Dresden and his various supernatural pals just hanging out and talking about all of the fascinating concepts and theories that make this series so compelling. Dead Beat is NOT that book. I know that pretty much all of the Dresden novels to date have been fast paced thrillers, but Dead Beat is one chaotic event after another that literally leaves you gasping for breath by the time you reach the finish.

    Essentially, the main focus of Dead Beat is that the disciples of a legendary necromancer have converged on Chicago (Chicago's rate of magical catastrophes has to be on par with New York's rate of superhero slugfests) to complete a dark ritual that will leave the victor with godlike powers. Naturally our man Harry gets involved (via a relatively weak premise involving blackmail that seems a bit too reminiscent of Summer Knight's opening), quickly making enemies on all sides, along with some very unlikely allies.

    Dead Beat has all of the usual elements that make the Dresden Files so much fun, including monsters, vampires, fallen angels, animated corpses by the score, and the usual breakneck race to the finish. There's also a fair amount of character development and introspection in this book, which is a nice surprise. Harry is a very compelling character, but he always seems to be just a hair away from the stereotypical comic book protagonist. Butcher is slowly evolving Harry into a deeper, more three-dimensional character.

    For all of his obsessions with geek culture references and Harry's wardrobe, Butcher has really stepped up his game with each Dresden novel, and Dead Beat is no exception. It has everything you've come to love about these books and quite a bit more. I thought the ending tied things up a bit too nicely, but all told Dead Beat was another satisfying entry in the Dresden Files series....more info
  • Harry Dresden- Love That Wizard!
    I was nerver really much into this type of book, till my good friend read one and recommended them. She liked them so much I read one and enjoyed the story line so well, I got the idea to buy her the set so I could borrow them to read! The set came in perfect conditon, quick deliver and on time for my friends birthday. Will check you out for future purchases!

    Happy New Year!...more info
  • excellent episode in an excellent series
    This was another entertaining read by Butcher. It is refreshing that the Dresden Files, while sequential and progressive, do not require the reader to have read all of the prior volumes. I picked up volume 5 at an airport store and later purchased the rest. All of the books stand on their own as fine and original fiction: sort of a blend between an old style Sam Spade who-dun-it and and adult Harry Potter. If you are reading this review to decide whether to purchase the book, rather than because you already read it and want to see who agrees with your opinion, I suggest you buy it, or the first volume, and see if you like it. Most fans of the fantasy genre in general will enjoy it immensly, and will probably end up buying all seven volumes (and another coming out next year).
    Keep in mind it is a novel. Read it for entertainment value. It's not a research project and shouldn't be evaluated as such. Since I am not an insufferable know-it-all, I won't go into detail about how it is possible to "cock" the trigger of certain types of firearms, or whether McCarthy was paraniod (yes to both). In each case, those issues do not, or at least should not, change the fact that this is a highly entertaining novel. ...more info
  • Details, details
    I am giving this five stars, because as books go, it deserves it, but it is not the best Harry Dresden novel. Others reviewers have addressed major aspects of this book. It is definitely an action packed book with interesting characters and an exciting plot. I wanted to address some fine points that often go unappreciated in books.

    Firstly, Jim Butcher is very good with unifying a plot. A "dream" (or possibly magical encounter) occurs early in the book. It seems the only point of it is an excuse for a very elaborate pun. (Which you would not get if you were not familiar with "Jaberwocky.") However, this sets up two later scenes. One is a reference to the thing that is punned upon and the other is scene where Harry is comforted about the possible repercussions of a death curse. This is just a minor example of the kind of unity that Jim Butcher is capable of. Most published authors get the major things right. Jim Butcher is also good with the details.

    Secondly, this novel creates some beautiful visual images. Like many people, I started reading the Harry Dresden novels after seeing the TV series. The TV series is good, but it is really a different world. But I defy anyone to read the action packed battle at the end without "seeing" incredible visual images. The ScFi channel doesn't have the budget to do what the novel does. ...more info
  • Days of the Dead
    Dead Beat (2005) is the seventh urban fantasy novel in the Dresden Files series, following Blood Rites. In the previous volume, Harry burned his hand rescuing children from the Black Court vampires. He also discovered that paintball guns work well against the Black Court when loaded with holy water.

    Lara Raith discovered the results of the curse on her father and Thomas learned that Justine is not dead. Jake decided to go into Feng Shui consulting while he took care of Emma's kids. Harry named the puppy "Mouse" and wondered why Thomas had bought large breed Puppy Chow.

    In this novel, Thomas is living with Harry in the basement apartment. Thomas is frustrated because he cannot find a permanent job and Harry is frustrated because he cannot find a permanent girlfriend. Mister and Mouse are frustrated because they don't get fed on time and they are both oversized enough to really need the food.

    It doesn't help that Thomas has women coming into the apartment when he should be running errands for his brother. Maybe Thomas and his lovers have a great time, but they do trash the place. Even the books are pulled out and scattered on the floor. And Thomas doesn't clean up behind himself.

    After Thomas bares his soul and leaves in a huff, Harry takes Mouse out for a walk and Murphy pulls up just as he returns. Karrin is going on a vacation -- the first one in forever -- to Hawaii with Kincaid and wants Harry to water her plants. Harry tries to talk her out of doing anything with Kincaid, but doesn't try that hard since Karrin is not his girlfriend. Later, he wonders if Murphy had wanted him to try a little harder.

    After pocketing the keys to her house, Harry goes inside the apartment and heats up some soup. Sitting down to eat, Harry checks his mail and finds one envelope with only his name and address on it. He checks it out for magical spells and, finding nothing harmful, opens it and slides out two photos and a note.

    The photos show Murphy blasting some vampire minions with a shotgun. Harry knows that the public will only see human shaped bodies in the photos. The note threatens to send copies to Murphy's bosses if Harry doesn't appear at a specified time and place. The note offers a truce for the parley and is signed "Mavra". Dresden has little choice in the matter.

    At the meeting, Mavra demands that Harry find a book -- The Word of Kemmler -- or the photos get mailed. Mavra has also taken precautions to ensure that the photos will be mailed if Harry destroys her. Harry still doesn't see any way out of this mess.

    In this story, Harry gradually finds out more about Kemmler and his books -- at least two earlier works had been self-published -- and he soon discovers that Kemmler had been the most dangerous necromancer suppressed by the White Council. They had finally terminated Kemmler himself and several apprentices, but they hadn't gotten them all. Now the last work of Kemmler has suddenly reappeared and Harry soon runs into three separate necromancers looking for the book.

    The first necromancer encountered is Grevane, who raids the Forensic Institute -- commonly called the morgue -- looking for something. The security guard is the first through the door into the examining room, his throat cut from ear to ear. Then Grevane and two other zombies enter and face Butters, the medical examiner. Harry intervenes to save Butters and they barely escape from the dead men. Harry takes Butters home to his warded apartment.

    Later, Harry meets Shiela -- a clerk at Bock Ordered Books -- and buys a copy of a rare book that he needs for his research. When he steps out of the bookstore, two hooded figures are waiting for him. They both know who he is, but the taller one introduces himself as Cowl and calls the shorter one Kumori. Dresden drops a Toyota on Cowl, but only the local pack of werewolves saves him from the more powerful wizard.

    When he later returns to the bookstore, the front windows have been replaced with plywood. Bock asks him to never return, but Shiela asks him for a date. Then the third necromancer -- Corpsetaker -- comes into the store asking about the buyer of the rare book and Harry steps out to confront her. She almost snares him with her mind magic, but he gets away with a little help from John Marcone.

    This story has Harry facing three necromancers who are each much stronger than him. Moreover, he doesn't know what they want and how they expect to get it. Obviously, The Word of Kemmler is important, but so is the other book. He desperately needs more information.

    Harry spends some time explaining the facts of the preternatural world to Butters. At first, Butters is skeptical, but too much is happening around him to deny the facts. Harry also divulges various White Council secrets and even shows Butters how to power a magical circle.

    Harry also has several frank discussions with the shadow of Lasciel dwelling within his mind. Naturally, Dresden knows that the fallen angel is trying to seduce him to the dark side, but she is so convincing. He is definitely NOT going to dig up the blackened denarius in the cellar, but maybe they can work out a compromise to help protect his friends and neighbors.

    Highly recommended for Butcher fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of magical powers, dinosaur skeletons, and other exotica.

    -Arthur W. Jordin...more info
  • Not bad, but doesn't do much for me
    I can't really fault this book much. It's not terrible, but in th end, it just kind of left me empty. I think that's because it hits a couple of my pet peeves.

    First of all, our hero is constantly being saved. Literally, his life is saved three times in this book. Whenever he runs into a bad guy, he has a short fight, is about to be killed, and then someone comes along and pulls his fat out of the fire. I don't need my hero to be invincible, but after a while, it just sucked all the suspense out of any conflict. Because having the hero overmatched constantly and then getting a last minute reprieve becomes too predictable.

    Secondly, as part of a series, I felt too much time was wasted with characters and events from previous books. I know a lot of readers like this, so I can't be too hard about this, but for me a book should stand on its own. This one does not.

    Thirdly, this is the sixth book in the series I believe and yet, every villain Harry runs across is more powerful than any other he's run across. This reminds me of Dragonball Z, where in every story arc introduces a new villain who is more powerful than the last unbelievably powerful bad guy. I don't mind challenges for our hero, but it becomes absurd to a point. If Harry is such a powerful wizard, he could at least run across bad guys just a little more powerful than him instead of outclassing him to the point of no contest.

    There were some good points of course. I liked the action scenes, even if they all do end with hero getting smacked around like a chump. And I enjoyed some of the characterization. But, still, at times the writing seemed stilted and uneven. Often the dialogue didn't seem geniune, but rehearsed. And the book just went on too long for me, which isn't a fair complaint since it's not that long for a modern novel.

    Still, didn't do much for me. Sorry, Dresden fans. Count me out....more info
  • Over-the-top Dresden
    If you are a fan of the Dresden Files TV series and are considering checking into the print series, do yourself a favor and start at the beginning. This book is seventh in the series, preceded by, in order:

    Storm Front Storm Front (The Dresden Files, Book 1)
    Fool Moon Fool Moon (The Dresden Files, Book 2)
    Grave Peril Grave Peril (The Dresden Files, Book 3)
    Summer Knight Summer Knight (The Dresden Files, Book 4)
    Death Masks Death Masks (The Dresden Files, Book 5)
    Blood Rites Blood Rites (The Dresden Files, Book 6)

    Also, the reality in the books is a little different than the TV series, and you won't enjoy the books if you get hung up on the TV canon. My advice is kick back and enjoy the ride. Unlike many series authors, Jim Butcher has sustained the quality and appeal of the series throughout.

    The Dresden Files are noir detective novels in the classic vein, with a loner, wiseass private eye narrator in this case based in Chicago. Harry Dresden has an edgy relationship with the police, and between his PI practice and police consulting, is barely able to make ends meet. The twist is that the detective is also a wizard capable of calling fire and, on a good day, repelling bullets.

    The writer's challenge is to provide his detective with challenges that he can't solve with a wave of his wand. These tend to be ever-increasing supernatural foes, people problems, and vexing situations that combine the two.

    "Dead Beat" is not the strongest book in the series. Instead of starting with a case assignment, Harry gets a compulsory invitation from black vampire queen Mavra. Mavra shows Harry that she has magical leverage over his police buddy Murphy. Harry must do what she says or Murphy is Mavra's. Mavra wants a magical text called "The Word of Kemmler". Of course, there are other strong dark magic forces that want the text too. Harry is pushed to his limits and beyond, juggling his need to protect Murphy from the vampire, his other friends from the influence of the dark forces, to stay within the constraints of white magic, and hopefully preserve his life. Since there is a sequel, it's not a spoiler to say he succeeds, but of course at a cost.

    "Dead Beat" is like one of those movies that substitutes explosions for writing. What makes the Dresden Files more appealing than other vampire/magic/urban fantasy tales is Harry himself and his spirited relationship with Murphy. Murphy is off-scene in "Dead Beat", which diminshes its charm. Instead, Harry is paired with his half-brother Thomas, but Thomas doesn't have Murphy's strong motivations, so he's not as vivid a character. He's handsome, he's a slob, he can't keep a job, he's kind of depressed - we know this about him but other than one (very good) scene, he doesn't come to life. So Harry is surrounded by a bunch of secondary characters that have accreted over the course of the series, who are interesting but not strong enough to carry the book with Harry.

    If you've made it this far in the series, of course you will read "Dead Beat", and you will enjoy it, but you won't find it as nourishing as, say "Blood Rites". But, cheer up, there are more instalments ahead and reason to hope....more info
  • Dresden Contiues to Rock
    Okay, Don't read this review. No seriously. skip it.

    Dispite everyone telling me that one Dresden book or another is so very much better than this one, it was my favorite to date (I just finished Small Favor) So sue me, hate me, whatever.

    Yeah it was pradictable, but the bit with Sue was genius. I think that the people who are stuck on the fact Murphy isn't co-staring needs to get over it a little. By taking Murphy out of the book, Jim was able to build some of the other players and help develop them into the flesh-and-blood people they could be. I loved that Jim finally fleshed out Butters now, I still hope to see more of him. With hindsight it is easy to see that this book is important for building the relationship between Hary and Thomas. It also gives Thomas a bit of backstory to build on later. Evil Bob. Whoa. That rocked too. Mouse is still my hero.

    I loved this book....more info
  • Deathly Hallows
    Poor Harry Dresden, the guy just can't seem to catch a break. Another birthday rolls around for Harry, and, as usual, the Big Bad is in town to make sure it is as unhappy as possible.

    Mavra returns, you knew she wasn't reeeaaallly dead, demanding Harry procure the Word of Kemmler for her, or else she's gonna send pictures of Murphy blasting a Reinfeld, who looks very human, to the Police. Unfortunately for Harry, Murphy is off in Hawaii with Kincaid! so she is of no help.

    No time to be jealous for Harry though, as it turns out Kemmler was one bad dude. He may be gone, but he left behind some apprentices who are just as eager as Harry to get a hold of The Word. Bad News: Harry has no idea what or where it is. Good News: neither do they.

    Dead Beat is a wild-ride through Dresden's Chicago, with Mouse, Butters, The Alphas, Thomas and Bob the Skull in tow (there is some actual juicy back-story about Bob as well). It is somewhat surprising how fun the book is without so many of the familiar faces around. Butcher trumps that problem by making all the new characters in the book really good in their own right.

    Two of my favorite characters are (properly) introduced in Dead Beat: Cowl and Mouse. While Mouse had his first appearance in Blood Rites, this is the first book he is old enough to go out on missions with Harry, and let me tell ya, he is one awesome dog!

    Cowl is one of three Necromancers Harry confronts in the book, and I feel he is the best villain in the series. Unlike previous threats, Cowl seems certain, intelligent and sane! His Magic is also a rival to a Senior Council member, and he talks as if he is ex-Council. An enigma wrapped in a Mystery, that is Cowl. Why does he speak ill of Kemmler, as if unassociated, but still have rivalry with the other Kemmlerites, Grevane and Corpsetaker? How is so powerful a Wizard such an unknown? What does he mean when he talks about Bianca's party?

    Good questions, add them to the growing list of unanswered questions as the Dresdenverse continues to expand. However, the fact that you ask them, and want to know the answers so badly, really goes to show how compelling Dead Beat is. While it may not answer those questions, it does have some serious movement in the War and stunning news about how it is going.

    More new characters that make their mark are:

    Ramirez- A young Warden of the White Council.

    Luccio- The Captain of the Wardens.

    Lasciel- The Denarian that has taken up residence in Harry's head.

    All make solid debuts in Dead Beat and will become key supporting characters in later books.

    Other books in the series are arguably better than Dead Beat, but I would contend that none of them are more fun! I mean come on, how do you beat riding a T-Rex into battle??? It really does not get any better than that, action-wise.

    This is how I would sum up the 7th book in the Dresden Files: hella fun.

    373 HC pages. 5 out of 5 stars
    ...more info
  • One of Jims Best (so far)
    I'm in the process of reading all of the Dresden Files books by Jim Butcher, and have just finished Dead Beat. So far Harry has dealt with demons, Faries, vampires, with relative success, but now he is up against the undead, and almost meets his match. Ever since his war with the Vampires of the red court, Harry has been receiving more and more heat from the white council. The turn of events on the final chapter are not to be believed. A must read book for all of Jim Butcher's fans out there. Hey out there in TV land, please bring out season 2 of the Dresden Files. There are more than enough plots in these books for several seasons....more info
  • Butcher does it again!
    "Dead Beat" was great, I mean all the Dresden novels are great but "Dead Beat" is the best novel in the series since "Summer Knight." As usual for a Dresden novel, I couldn't put it down and finished it within a week. But I don't think I have to sell this novel, If you like Harry Dresden you have probably already read it....more info
  • Dead Beat is Dead Best!
    Jim Butcher pulls out all the stops on his maniacally wild imagination in this installment of the Dresden Files. This is absolutely my favorite Dresden book. I don't know how Butcher can ever top this one, but I'm willing to read every line of every new book he writes while he tries. ...more info
  • An excellent book
    Wow this is one of the best of a great series by Jim Butcher. In this book not only does Harry's character grow and becomes more interesting the character Waldo Butters grows tremendously as well. I couldn't put the book down once I started reading....more info
  • A grown up Harry Dresden??
    I'm sure a lot of people will disagree with me, but I actually think this may be the best of the Harry Dresden books so far. Harry in this book is facing up to some serious issues: He's looking at the consequences of past arrogance; he's looking at serious questions of the temptations and corruption of power; he's looking at relationships and what they mean to him (friends, family, love); he's facing some serious questions of his own mortality and what it means to really put others before himself. To me, the book has less of the "explanatory" phases of prior books and does a good job of moving the story along with lagging very much at all in any particular place.

    All in all, a very good book....more info
  • A magical romp through Chicago
    This is the latest dresden file that I have read, and it seems to me that Butcher's work just keeps getting better and better.
    Without giving too much away, this tale of magic and intrigue amongst the wizards had me hooked from the beginning, and I took every opportunity to finish it; between the faeries, necromancers, wizard's council, vampires, mob bosses, fallen angels, and polka, i couldn't put it down. Butcher manages to weave together the complexities of all the elements for a grand finale that i couldn't put down until it was finished.

    I look forward both to reading his next work and to the beginning of the Television series on SciFi. Harry's Tall Dark and Wizarding ways are so entertaining that I can never wait for the next book. ...more info
  • Butcher at his best
    Everything's going great, except for recruiting by the wizards law enforcers, being blackmailed by a vampire, and a bunch of Necromancers hanging around Chicago looking for the Word just before Halloween Night. What could go wrong? Oh yeah, the Hunt.
    Jim Butcher has a natural talent for storytelling, and this novel is definitely one of his best. The humour is remarkably subtle in just the right places. The best thing in the entire series - riding atop a dead T. Rex skeleton....more info
  • Harry is slowly moving into his own via a darkening path
    "Dead Beat" is another strong effort by Jim Butcher in "The Dresden Files" series. The writing is crisp, thoughtful and a pleasure to read.

    The book is a fairly fast read with enjoyable character development, nice action sequences, good description with more character development for Harry.

    The story line revolves around a contrived sitution using Mavra to pull Harry into the plot but using potential blackmail pictures of Murphy during attack on Mavra's hideout during the previous book. Harry will not let anything happen to Murphy, so he is on the case. The story bring necromancers into Chicago looking for a particular book.

    Several prior plotlines are connected though background action resultings in devestation of the White Counsel and wizard kind.

    Harry is forced to admit that he is tempted by the Denarian, Lasciel, who has left a copy of herself in Harry. The Denarian's power is clearly demonstrated to Harry; to a reader, you can see the inevitable slide that Harry will take. It is going to be a fun ride!

    Characters: 5 stars
    Story: 4 stars
    Action: 5 stars
    Writing: 4 stars

    I am giving this 5 stars based on my overall impression of the book. Harry has started to stop doing so many obviously stupid things which get himself in danger.

    Good quotations: "Polka will never die!"...more info
  • Beware of Inner Demons
    Necromancy is one of the crimes for which the White Council will destroy a wizard. While it is technically not black magic, its effect on the wizard's ethics and outlook are so great that it might as well be. Unfortunately, that doesn't stop some very talented people from following the dark path to unimaginable power. So it is no surprise that Harry Dresden, practicing wizard should run afoul of those who draw their power from the dead. After all, Harry has a real knack for getting in trouble and nearly ending the world.

    This time Mavra the vampire behind the Black Court tricks Harry into a hunt for the last book written by Kemmler, the very worst of the black wizards. Kemmler was destroyed by the White Council, but his students escaped to continue his plans. Now Mavra wants in on the secrets and by threatening to ruin detective Karrin Murphy, forces Harry to cooperated in the hunt. No one realizes just how bad the situation really is until Harry discovers he is fighting with a whole platoon of deadly necromancers and half the dead of Chicago.

    The resulting tale is classic Harry Dresden, the wizard who has no sense of self preservation. Harry is one of those few characters who know very well they are about to make a deadly mistake and, by dint of careful planning, manage to make it any way. Even with the help of a talking skull, a vampire brother, and a puppy the size of a water buffalo, Harry bounces from one wizardly confrontation to another, none of which leave him entirely in one piece. Harry is supposed to be a pretty good mage with a wand, but this time everyone has him outclassed.

    Even though the story is the magical equivalent of a Korean fight film, and the plot is predictable, Dead Beat still displays Jim Butcher's ability to snatch victory from Harry's defeats. The wizard has learnt from his mistakes, even if he still insists in making them. The end result is that the interior monologue manages to stay interesting. The addition of brother Thomas , Butters the cowardly medical examiner, and Lasciel the fallen cutie round out the story neatly, making this another enjoyable tour of Chicago's 'otherworld.'...more info
  • Not his best one of the series.
    Good book. Great twists in the plot. Harry is gaining strength and his opponents are getting tougher to dispatch making for some interesting battles. I wish he could have fleshed out the bad guys a little more it would have been nice to know more about Cowl and Komuri....more info
  • Wow, Jim...
    Just read Dead Beat (Book 7 of the Dresden Files). Gotta say that I loved it. Harry's adventures just keep getting better and better. For a fantasy novel with 400 plus pages, all jam-packed with action, blackmailing vampires, power-hungry necromancers, ferocious zombies, and other nefarious wizardly going-on's - this was one fast and furious read.

    From the first, Harry has been a great character (when will he finally see his due and get that television series, eh?). Brutally cynical and funny as hell, he makes an entertaining narrator. Nice, too, the way the set-up was handled, layering more needling questions into Harry and Murphy's complex relationship, even though I would've liked to have seen more of her here. Harry's brother, Thomas the vampire, is intriguing. Cowardly mortician and Polka-enthusiast Butters had me laughing out loud (Polka will NEVER die!).

    The plot was seamless, right from the opening confrontation with Vampire Queen Marva and her demand that Harry find the Word Of Kemmler for her, to Harry being offered a job with the Wardens; the story had layers and layers of juicy tidbits, each new revelation racheting up the tension all the way to an absolute beauty of a finale, with Harry re-animating the bones of a long-dead Tyrannosaurus Rex and riding to the rescue of Chicago from the group of evil Necromancers.

    Once again, Jim, I can't wait for the next installment. Keep 'em coming...


    KR...more info
  • Dead Beat (The Dresden Files, Book 7)
    All the Harry Dresden books have been great so far and the fact that I began reading this one around Halloween (which is when the book takes place) was wonderful....more info
  • Would Someone PLEASE Teach This Writer How to Do Research?
    Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series has always, to me, been remarkable for two things: (1) a wonderfully sympathetic, compelling main character, (2) a writer amazingly sloppy in his research. Over time you'd think the second element would get better. It hasn't.

    I noted in my review of the first Harry Dresden novel, Storm Front, that Butcher was weak on his knowledge of guns. I've made my living writing articles for gun magazines since 1992. When you're a specialist in the area of guns, reading some popular fiction can be absolute torture. Not that I expect a novelist to know the actual bore diameter of the .44 Magnum (it's .429" in case you were wondering) but if the main character carries a gun, as does Harry Dresden, surely it's not too much to expect SOME basic knowledge of same on the writer's part. Apparently it can be. Thus in Dead Beat we're treated to this sentence as Harry holds an opponent at gunpoint: "I pointed it at him and thumbed back the trigger."

    Jesus wept. This is the second time in the series Butcher's had a character thumb cock a revolver's trigger. I would've thought, after the first time, someone would have clued him in. I guess not. Okay, here it is, Jim (I'll try not to get too technical): the little thingy you pull on to fire the gun is called a trigger. The little thingy you pull back to thumb cock the gun is called a hammer. The sentence should read, "I pointed it at him and thumbed back the hammer."

    We won't even get into the fact that thumb cocking a revolver when holding someone at gunpoint is incredibly stupid since it makes the piece entirely too prone to accidental discharge under stress, thus leading to shooting to death someone you didn't intend to. It's the mark of an unsafe, untrained bozo. I realize that for a writer who doesn't even know what the parts on a gun are called that's a bit esoteric. Jim, take a gun class, go shooting, read a book, TALK to someone who actually owns a gun. SOMETHING.

    So I gritted my teeth and read on. Then I hit this little gem: referring to the White Council, Harry says, "But they're so paranoid that next to them, Joe McCarthy looks like a friendly puppy." At which point, seven books into the series, I quit reading, not just this book, but the Harry Dresden novels forevermore. Has Jim Butcher ever heard the words "Venona Project"? You really should have, if you're going to have an opinion on Joseph McCarthy. Finally declassified in 1995, it's the government code name given to decryption of Soviet secret messages to agents within the US government. The contents of the Venona Project prove that Joseph McCarthy wasn't paranoid, he KNEW beyond a shadow of a doubt the US government was riddled with Soviet agents.

    Imagine for a moment you're alive in the late 1940s/early 1950s. Just a few years before, your country finished participating in a world war against a military machine led by genocidal madmen. Then in the aftermath you realize one of your former allies is worse than your world war opponents ever dreamed of; they are in the process of murdering - literally - hundreds of millions of people. (That's no exaggeration; the estimated death toll from the Soviet Communist regime, of those killed in wars of conquest, sent to death camps, dragged out of their homes in the middle of the night never to be seen again, and so forth is 200 million human souls. This may well be a conservative estimate.) It seems a month doesn't go by without word of another country being invaded and crushed by the Soviets. This same government has sworn the United States' destruction. Imagine you are shown incontrovertible proof that many in your own government, all the way up to the president's closest friends and advisors, are spies in the employ of the Soviets. Please understand, believing this was truly the case is not a matter of politics, not a matter of conservative or liberal. It's a documented fact.

    Let's add to the equation that you are a United States senator. You're one of the few people on earth who might actually be able to do something about this situation. What do you do? Well, if you're most people you do nothing, because you'd probably be scared to death. If you're Joseph McCarthy, you sacrifice your career, your health, eventually your very life to blow the whistle. You succeed in saving your country though the stress of doing it kills you. You're a martyr, an honest to God, real-life, true blue hero. All so that, decades later, some fantasy writer too lazy to do his research can take cheap shots at you in one of his books.

    I've been reading the Harry Dresden series for years. I was never quite able to make up my mind about it. The books varied in quality from bad (Fool Moon) to really quite good (Summer Knight). So I bided my time and kept reading, waiting for the one book that would tip me over into either fully committing to the series or dropping it. With Dead Beat I've made my decision. I'm through with this series. This level of ignorance on display just isn't very fun....more info
  • Harry gets darker and more complicated
    While the first couple of Dresden books were very light, I was intrigued by the end of the third book (Grave Peril), where the ending was not tidy like the previous two books, and quite hooked by the end of the fifth (Death Masks). Harry's life gets more complicated in Dead Beat as Jim Butcher continues to explore the effects of power on Harry. Add to that some inventive and very cool plot twists (I actually exclaimed 'cool' aloud at one point), well-drawn new characters and the usual nail-biting finish, and this becomes a great addition to the series. I'm looking forward to the next ones!...more info
  • The best Dresden so far!!
    Each Harry Dresden book seems to get better and better. The beginning couple of books from the series were very good, the next couple were even better, and the next really great. When I brought Dead Beat home, I was looking forward to reading it, and was pleasantly surprised to find that the story surpassed even my high expectations. I couldn't put this book down.
    Harry is becoming a real person, fascinatingly complex and likeable. Our increasing familiarity with his fellow characters and his growing capabilites and problems make us really care for him, make his character seem real.
    Jim Butcher just keeps getting better and better at this! Outrageous fun, and thrills galore. I can hardly wait to read the next ones! Thanks, Jim Butcher. Please keep them coming!...more info
  • A family affair
    My teenage son and I have taken on reading of the Dresden Files as a summer reading project. Its a quick read and appeals to our interest in the supernatural. Dead Beat shows Jim Butcher maturing as a writer and really finding his stride in this series. So far, this is the best one in the lot. Its a good transition for children moving out of the youth genre into more adult material. Though there are a few racy scenes and some interesting language, its no more than what the kids are exposed to in other media these days. If you enjoyed Harry Potter and Eragon as a youth, you'll enjoy Harry Dresden as an adult....more info
  • Slow start leads to a rip-roaring climax
    Dresden is one of my favorite characters, and I was thrilled to see a new book. He's blackmailed into helping the Red Court vampires get "The Word of Kemmler," a book that everyone else in Chicago suddenly wants. The person who gets it will obtain the secrets to ultimate power and become a god on Earth.

    This book starts slow as all the players jockey in their search for "The Word of Kemmler," but when Dresden decides he's had enough of everybody taking potshots at him, the book really takes off. The climax is truly unforgettable! (And very much in the Dresden tradition of giant scorpions and tree monsters from past books. Incredibly fun!)

    If there is any true fault to the book, it's that Dresden seems to take more damage in the few days of this book than Bruce Willis took in the "Die Hard" movies. He's beat up, stabbed, and tortured, and that's all within the first 2/3 of the novel -- yet he keeps getting back up and trudging onward. At a couple points, I found myself wondering when he'd lose his shoes and walk over shards of glass. But if you look past his virtual indestructability this time around, he's still the same wise-cracking, heroic Dresden, and he's always a blast to be around....more info
  • My favorite book from The Dresden Files
    First off, I confess to a literary sin- I did not begin reading this series with book 1! I saw Dead Beat on a library shelf and decided to give it a try. This book totally hooked me, I immediately set out to read all of the books (this time starting with book 1). I didn't have a problem understanding the characters and the world without having read the background, which I think is rather rare in a series. In comparison to the rest of the series, this book stands out as unique to me because of the element of necromancy that was conceived in a more interesting fashion than in any other fantasy books I've read. I'm also a fan of Laurell K. Hamilton, but in her books Anita's necromancy just comes naturally as an extension of herself. The magic in Butcher's books takes a lot more effort, willpower and knowledge to achieve. It comes off as more realistic, if I can use such an adjective for a fantasy book! This book also has my favorite fight scene from the series, which I will not reveal because it would be a major spoiler. I'm so lucky to have randomly picked up this book. It was wonderful and Butcher just keeps getting better!...more info
  • Excellent if deaply weird
    Lots of fun as Harry has to battle a bunch of Necromancers and gets further entangled in White Council business. Quite a bit of humor as well; Sue and the Polka Suit were particularly funny. The characters get better with each book and Harry grows better and better. Nicely done plot with good twists....more info
  • An amazing novel
    Dead Beat is the novel that got me excited about the Dresden Files again. Blood Rites was a downer and I was finished with this series. But someone gave me a copy of Dead Beat and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The characters in this novel were magnificent. The three necromancers and the Erkling and drama from Mab kept the excitement rolling in this novel. I felt this novel had lots of action and was a great story that could stand alone outside the series.

    This novel begins with a meeting with Mavra, where Harry is forced to recover a book of spells for her. However, this book is also being pursued by three necromancers, all more powerful than Harry. The necromancers are seeking to summon the Erkling, and to harnass his power. Which ever of them harnass this power, would be like a god. The ending with Sue had me laughing for a while. This novel is great and I highly recommend it if you have enjoyed the series so far....more info