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Peace Talks
Dresden Files #16
by Jim Butcher
Ace, $28.00, 352pp
Published: July 2020

When the Supernatural nations of the world meet up to negotiate an end to ongoing hostilities, Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, joins the White Council's security team to make sure the talks stay civil. But can he succeed, when dark political manipulations threaten the very existence of Chicago-and all he holds dear?

Jim Butcher is one of the best read authors for a reason. His urban fantasy series is now on book 16 and it is as amazing a story as the very first novel. I've read the series from the beginning so when I say this is unexpectedly engaging, it is because in many ways this novel continues the author's trend of changes in the character and the world of Harry Dresden and while it is still as excellent and as engaging as the books have always been, it is intriguing to have a change in the character and in the series. And those changes will hopefully lead to even better stories for the next few novels.

In "Peace Talks", Harry Dresden is thrown by unexpected news from sources both new and old. And with the advent of negotiations, those events and manipulations could spell the end of the existence of Chicago and all Harry holds dear. As much as I'd like to elaborate all the interesting ways in which Jim Butcher sets up the events in the novel, I really don't want to spoil the story or the surprises for anyone else because trust me, those surprises are what make this story so absorbing.

I can elaborate on the writing, however. One of the ways that a story keeps your attention is by grabbing you by the throat and never letting go. This skill by Jim Butcher has never been in question. He absolutely gets your attention from the very first line and continues holding it throughout the novel until the very end. Some of the changes in Harry's life continue though as we get more time with Maggie, Harry's daughter. We also get some time with other notable people in Harry's life, including continuing the direct consequences of the wizard's actions from previous novels and how it impacts Murphy, Molly, and others. While consequences have always been part of the novels, they are even clearer in this novel and are one of the changes in this novel's presentation in regards to previous books. The ending is also unexpected but leads the reader to wanting to read the next book even more.

I could list so many reasons for why I love this series but I will give you a few but likely, if you've been reading the books, you're in full agreement and fully aware. One of the biggest reasons is the humor, witty and sarcastic and beautifully funny with on spot pop culture references that will make the geek in everyone cheer with delight. I also love the interactions between the characters which are described so well you can picture it as though you were in the room. Jim Butcher also has a talent with adding layers to the story that will entangle the readers in mystery and intrigue, in pulling the threads from previous books into the next and leading the reader to want those lingering questions answered. He always leaves you wanting more.

If you love urban fantasy, wizards, magic, unforgettable characters, and absolutely perfectly plotted novels, even if you don't typically like fantasy, this is the one series I completely recommend. If you haven't read the other books, I do recommend catching up but even so, it will be worth your time. This is one of the best series I've read and with the changes, it is even better. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars and stones ~~ Andrea Rittschof

For other titles by Jim Butcher click here

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