18 February 2009

Book Review: Dead Beat

Quick Stats
Genre - urban fantasy
Length - ~500p
Author - Jim Butcher

Overview
This is my first introduction to the work of Jim Butcher (other than the sample chapters on his website), and let me just say - Merc, I can so see where you get your influences from! :D hehe. Reading this reminded me a lot of reading Merc's Hell Team series, which I think bodes well for the unpublished books ;)

But anyway. Dead Beat.

Harry Dresden's biggest problem is learning to cope with his new roommate - his vampire half-brother, Thomas - until, that is, Marva, leader of one of the vampire factions, summons Harry with a threat to his police friend, Murphy. Marva demands that Harry find for her the Word of Kemmler, or she'll frame Murphy for murder. Harry doesn't even know what the Word is, but he agrees - of course - and set out to find it. His search is interrupted by a sudden influx of necromancers into Chicago, and Harry learns that they were all students of Kemmler, a supremely evil wizard who had even the Council shaking in their shoes in his day...

First Impressions
Mm. Good, but not 'I can't put you down'. I got stuck at about chapter 3 for a bit. The characterisation is great, there's action and tension and plotline everywhere, which is great - but for me, the first few chapters lacked importance - high enough stakes. HOWEVER, once I got past these few chapters, the stakes ramped up quite significantly and it became a great book.

High Points
Great action scenes, awesome premise, gorgeous, twisty plot that keeps you guessing until the very end. Extremely well-written, and I will definitely be hunting down more in the series.

Low Points
Gore. This is the goriest book I've ever read, and if you can't deal with detailed descriptions about just exactly what it's like to be hit by putrified zombie fingers, there will be scenes you'll need to gloss over here.

Rating
Not quite a pocket book, because it didn't grab me right from the start - though granted some of that might be attributable to my mood - but very nearly a pocket book. Maybe a handbag book; close enough to read whenever you need to, but not quite as close as your pocket :D hehe.

4 comments:

Windsong said...

Urk! Thanks for the warning. It sounds fun, but I don't think I could do the putrified zombie fingers. :)

Merc said...

Nice review, Inky One!

The gore is, uh, fairly consistent in most of the books, just for the record. O:) I keep forgetting that, since it doesn't phase me, but whether black magic, zombies, ghouls or automatic weapons, yeah, there IS quite a bit of gory violence in the series. ;)

(There's also some sex scenes in a couple, but I forget exactly which books were the more steamy ones... I don't think it was overly explicit from what I remember, but just fair warning. :P Harry isn't COMPLETELY deprived of a sex life...)

Glad you liked it, though. I'm soooo impatient for TURN COAT. *whines at April being so far away*

Hehehe, and thanks for the nod--I hope it bodes well too. :D

Lady Glamis said...

Okay, great! I look forward to working on sentences again with you. :) You helped so much last time with Monarch's. :)

Inkblot said...

Glam - post a sentence in the comments for Friday's post, and we'll work on it! :)

WS - yeah, probably best to stay away then ;)

Merc - Yeah, I can't wait to get my hands on more of the books now :) yay! And yes, it really truly did remind me of Hell Team :D *fingers crossed on that account* :)

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