By: Corey Lack
Cold Days, the 14th book of the Dresden Files series, introduces an enemy that Harry had been dealing with for a lot longer than the readers and the main character realize. This one also marks the official beginning of Harry’s duty as the Winter Knight and it starts out with a party during which Harry is nearly killed by Maeve, the Winter Lady, who Harry had met and greatly upset in the past. Harry managed to accomplish this with the help of his physical therapist, Sarissa, and Kris Kringle. Yes, Harry’s made friends with Santa himself. His first job given by Mab is a real simple one because that’s just the way his luck goes. The job: kill the immortal Maeve. To make matters even more difficult, Demonreach is getting close to reaching critical mass, which will result in a majority of the Midwest being leveled.
This book is unique in that it truly introduces that threat of the Outsiders to the readers. For those not familiar with them, think Lovecraftian creatures, but not as cuddly and you’ll have a general idea. It also shows that a lot of events of Harry’s life has had a tenuous connection to these horrific monsters. This book also has another rather significant change for Harry’s “grasshopper,” Molly Carpenter. The girl has gone through a lot of different changes since her first appearance in the series, from a minor character to Harry’s apprentice to the somewhat crazy Ragged Lady to her new position. This new place in life effectively changes her life in a way no one would have foreseen and this change is permanent.
Despite the plot twists that occur through the book, many great parts about this series are still prevalent. A lot of the charm that was present in the past several books is still here. The climatic conclusion of this book is definitely one to see. It may not be as entertaining as reading Harry ride a dinosaur into battle, but it’s pretty close. Also, as the book continues to build the world by having the Outsiders further developed, this one is definitely required for someone going through the series. I may come off a little biased or like a broken record by this point, but oh well. It’ll be a cold day in you-know-where when I don’t recommend a book in this series.