Monday, April 9, 2012

Review: Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher

Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher
Book Eight in The Dresden Files
Published February 1, 2007

Review: 5/5

Cross reviewed on Goodreads.

Harry Dresden is the only wizard in the Chicago phone book. He consults from the police department on those so-called "unusual" cases. He's even been on talk shows. So there's no love lost between Harry and the White Council of Wizards, who find him a little brash and undisciplined. But now war with the vampires has thinned the ranks of wizards, and the White Council needs Harry, like it or not. He's drafted as a Warden, and assigned to look into rumors of black magic in the Windy City.

And if that wasn't enough, another problem arrives in the form of the tattooed and pierced daughter of an old friend, all grown-up and already in trouble. Her boyfriend was the only one in a room where an old man was attacked, but in spite of this, he insists he didn't do it. What looks like a supernatural assault straight out of a horror film turns out to be...well, something quite close to that, as Harry discovers that malevolent entities that feed on fear are loose in Chicago.

Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, has seen many things and fought twice as many things. However, nothing had prepared him or myself for the conclusion Dead Beat (Book Six), when Harry is promoted as a Warden of the White Council.

Throughout Proven Guilty, we find Harry battling the decision of accepting the offer and it starts off in the first chapter as well as culminates in the last chapter. I simply love full circle events of a novel that play to my love of the character. Also, huge props to Jim Butcher in this book especially for starting the opening and closing chapter with similar scenes that that reflect the change of the character in the story. Hard to do.

Anyway, onto other points in the review. In this installment, Harry becomes connected to a close friend's family: The Carpenters. Papa Carpenter (Michael), by the way, is a Knight of the Cross. Put it together. Anyway, when nasty creatures threaten the Carpenter family while Michael is away, Harry leaps to the rescue and uncovers a plot that involves monsters who consume fear to kill their victims.

The more Harry becomes involved with these monsters and keeping the Carpenters safe -- Molly, the oldest daughter in particular -- he learns that he's faced these creatures before. But not before he learns more secrets of the Carpenters that appear to be at the heart of them being targeted.

The culmination of everything results in yet another epic battle, much on the scale as the one I ranted on in my review of Dead Beat. However, what's truly interesting about this book is the full circle bit I mentioned. After the climax, I realized there was another 80 pages left in the book. Holy crap, I say to myself. How is this not over? And by no means is it over. Here, at the true climax and resolution in that 80 pages, Harry reveals yet another bold side of himself that makes him a character of many faces. It shows what he will do for a friend. While he's done similar things in previous books, it's never been done in this fashion.

Proven Guilty was yet another amazing installment of the Dresden Files, and I can only conclude that Harry becoming a Warden will lead to more adventures like this.

Next up for review:

Tricked by Kevin Hearne