Title: Summer Knight
Author: Jim Butcher
Publisher: New American Library (New York, New York)
Book Four of the Dresden Files takes us fully into the world of Fairies and the Fairy realm. The main plot centers around the coming war between Summer and Winter as the two Queens try to take control. Harry finds himself hired by one Queen to find out who killed an important player in the war – The Summer Knight.
The plot is however far more tangled than the simple paragraph above would suggest. The fact is that so many subplots are woven together that it is truly a detective story woven with a magic story. Harry must contend with his own people, fairies and others who are all weaving a plot of trying to kill Dresden while he attempts to solve a simple murder. Nothing is simple however when magic is involved.
The charm of the novel is the humor and imagery that weaves so well together but have a realistic feel that lets you know Jim Butcher did his homework with one exception. He has a big fight scene at Wal-Mart which made me as a former employee able to see it with all the more clarity and it was really good. The one goof he made was using gasoline that he found in a can for the ‘backup generator for the freezers’. No such thing. I used to work in meat and their answer was not backup generators but to call in a freezer truck. There were no backup generators for anything at the Wal-Mart I worked for but other than that the fight scene was tremendous. He does a good job keeping it real in other ways though by pointing out the guns shots do not blast victims backwards like in the movies and etcetera.
The story is of course told from Harry Dresden’s point of view. The reader knows what he knows and so you are along for the ride as he tries to solve the mystery. This has been the great thing about all of Jim Butcher’s books with Harry Dresden. I always love this way writing a story and Jim Butcher does it far better than most.
If I have any dislike of the book it is that I am not too much into the fairies and fairy godmother stuff even if it all is twisted and is more like a house of horrors than the nice land of sugar-plum fairies most people expect. Magic is one thing and weird magic is another for me. The important thing to remember when reading this book is that fairies in Jim Butcher’s world are not about good and evil. In fact such concepts do not seem to enter into their mind.
Rating – 3.25 stars. Not as good as some of the rest of the ones in the series but some of the fight scenes are not only action packed but quite creative.