By: Corey Lack
Summer Knight is the fourth book in the Dresden Files book and it is my least favorite story of the series. The things I liked about the previous books are there, but a few things weren’t done as well in this book as in the previous stories.
The first aspect of the story that didn’t turn out as well as in the previous books is the introduction of the new characters. When the changelings were first introduced, it was done in more or less the same as when Billy and the Alphas were introduced, but it was done in a less threatening fashion. Rather than showing immediately that they were a formidable foe, like when the reader learned off the bat that the Alphas were werewolves, the reader first saw the changelings as only as a group of people being suspicious. Additionally, my problems with the changelings came about as a result of them being less developed that the Alphas. The reader saw them for less time and they just weren’t as entertaining as a nerdy group of werewolves.
The second part of the story that seemed to fall short was the plot, specifically the threat that Harry needs to stop. He needs to stop a war between the Summer and Winter Courts of the Fae because if he doesn’t, it’ll cause an immense environmental disaster. The threat just doesn’t seem as terrifying as, say, a werewolf that can’t be hurt tearing through Chicago or a sorcerer killing people with magic. Compared to those actual physical threats, the potential environmental disaster just seemed like a step down.
Finally, there’s the introduction of the other characters including Queen Mab of the Winter Court of the Fae and Harry’s first love, Elaine. The aforementioned pair, Mab especially, were the only ones that were introduced and had any sort of development. Mab’s introduction made quite the impression when she instantly showed her power over Harry by making him literally stab himself with just a thought. I’ve already discussed my issues with the changelings, but also many Fae were introduced in the story and they just seemed forgettable. Most only appeared two or three times through the story and didn’t leave nearly enough of an impression. Even the ones that turned out to be the villains of the story didn’t seem very threatening.
All in all, it seemed like this story fell a bit short when compared to the previous three books. Personally, the story seemed more like a build-up to a much bigger threat than as a story on its own. If it didn’t introduce a couple characters that will clearly play a bigger part later, I’d have recommended skipping this story entirely.