All three of these books have the common theme of Harry being reflective of his choices, of contemplation of his part is the larger scheme of things, and self-doubt without the self-immobilization that often accompanies self-doubt.
Also in this book, ADVENTURE!
And romance! Okay, less this one, but still some of this one.
The twist at the end, the mystery of the why of the plot, is great. As is the double twist of Goodman Grey. I hope he comes back in future books.
One of the difficulties with the arc of Dresden, however, is that he keeps getting stronger. He was already in the top six wizards in terms of raw strength. With his training of Molly, he developed finesse. And with the alliance with Mab, he has the power. Where do you go from here? I don't know, but I'll keep reading. If only Butcher would keep writing them. It's been three years and he's off onto a different series.
Strongly recommended if you're a Dresden fan, this is one of the good books. I, of course, believe the series is worth reading, just get through the first couple books to really enjoy them.
“Scared that some bug-eyed freak is going to come calling and kill innocent people because they happen to be in my havoc radius.”
You always fear what you don’t know, what you don’t understand, and the first step to having understanding of something is to know what to call it.
The dead don’t need justice. That’s for those of us who are left looking down at the remains.
"I can’t figure out where I could have . . . what else I might have done . . .” I swallowed. “I’m lost. I know every step I took to get here, and I’m still lost.”
I understand this confusion. You make the best choices you can, with the information you have at the moment, and, after a while look up, not recognizing where you are or who you've become.
“That’s arrogance, Harry,” he said gently. “On a level so deep you don’t even realize it exists. And do you know why it’s there?”
“No?” I asked.
He smiled again. “Because you have set a higher standard for yourself. You think that because you have more power than others, you have to do more with it.”
“The damned don’t care, Harry. The only way to go beyond redemption is to choose to take yourself there. The only way to do it is to stop caring.”
“One ought not hire an expert and then ignore his opinion,”
“Because... fear is a terrible, insidious thing, Waldo. It taints and stains everything it touches. If you let fear start driving some of your decisions, sooner or later, it will drive them all."
I would rather have faith in the people I care about than allow my fears to change them — in my own eyes, if nowhere else.
“You need to decide which side of the road you’re going to walk on,” she said gently. “Turn aside from your fears—or grab onto them and run with them. But you need to make the call. You keep trying to walk down the middle, you’re going to get yourself torn apart.”
“It’s about knowing yourself. About understanding why you make the choices you do. Once you know that, you know where to walk, too.”
“Things are not always as bad as they seem. Sometimes, the darkness only makes it easier to see the light.”
Focus on the task at hand, Harry. Sort the rest out when you have time. Yeah, sure. But isn’t that the kind of thinking that got me into this mess in the first place?
Doesn’t matter how pretty you are. What’s important is how pretty you feel. No one feels pretty when they hear “no” often enough.
“Complicated?” she asked. She shook her head. “It isn’t complicated. You just open up and let someone in. And whatever comes after that, you face it together.”
“Lava quod est sordium!”
“You think your power is what shapes the world you walk in. But that is an illusion. Your choices shape your world. You think your power will protect you from the consequences of those choices. But you are wrong. You create your own rewards. There is a Judge. There is Justice in this world. And one day you will receive what you have earned. Choose carefully.”
“The world always thinks that the destruction of a physical vessel is victory,”
“Sometimes the bad guys win one.”
“Sometimes they seem to. But only for a time.”
“How can you know that?”
“I can’t know,” he said, his face lighting with a sudden smile. “That’s why they call it faith, Harry. You’ll see.”
Hope lets you do things you would otherwise never be able to do, gives strength when everything is darkest.
“Belief in a story,” Uriel said, “of good confronting evil, of light overcoming darkness, of love transcending hate.” He tilted his head. “Isn’t that where all faith begins?”
“Terrifying,” he said, smiling. “And for a little while . . . like being young again. Full of energy and expectation. It was amazing.”
Sometimes you realize you’re standing at a crossroads. That there are two paths stretching out ahead of you, and you have to pick one of them.