Turn Coat is not my one of my favorite Dresdent books. I don't dislike it, I don't dislike any of the Dresden books, but I'm not enthusiastic about this one. Of course, I'm more likely to read this one than the first two Dresden books, so it's all relevant.
What I don't like about this book is the assumptions that Dresden makes and goes all half-cocked about them, then boom "reality" returns. It's normal, I'm rooting for Dresden, I lurrrrrrve the image I have of Dresden, I'm biased towards Dresden, how can he possibly be wrong?
I'm a fan of Demonreach, though, and love that Dresden has no f'ing clue what he has done with the island (our awareness only happens by knowing the Dresden future, which is cheating, of course).
I'm less a fan of Peabody. Unsurprising there.
If you're a fan of the Dresden books, keep reading. If you're not a fan, start at book one - get through the first two books in order to understand the beauty of what Butcher has created.
There are bad things in the world. There’s no getting away from that. But that doesn’t mean nothing can be done about them. You can’t abandon life just because it’s scary, and just because sometimes you get hurt.
I had to leave messages for two, but Bill Meyers in Dallas answered on the second ring. “Howdy,” Meyers said. I’m serious. He actually answered the phone that way.
Yep, this is how I answer the phone, too.
Sometimes irony is a lot like a big old kick in the balls.
And sometimes more than sometimes.
If you can’t stop the bad thoughts from coming to visit, at least you can make fun of them while they’re hanging around.
“Do you know how to really control someone, Harry?” she asked, her voice a low purr.
I cleared my throat and rasped, “How?”
Her pale grey eyes were huge and deep. “Give them what they want. Give them what they need. Give them what no one else can give. If you can do that, they’ll come back to you again and again.”
“Sweet Dresden. I could give you peace. Imagine closing your eyes with no worries, no pain, no fears, no regrets, no appetites, and no guilt. Only quiet and darkness and stillness and my flesh against yours.”
"Some of the cruelest tyrants in history were motivated by noble ideals, or made choices that they would call ‘hard but necessary steps’ for the good of their nation. We’re all the hero of our own story.”
"As harsh an experience as it has created for you, Harry, the Laws of Magic are not about justice. The White Council is not about justice. They are about restraining power.” She smiled faintly. “And, occasionally, the Council manages to do some good by protecting mankind from supernatural threats.”
“Hell’s bells, kid. I choose to trust Anastasia Luccio because that’s what people do. You don’t ever get to know for sure what someone thinks of you. What they really feel inside.”
“Everyone dies, honey,” I said, very quietly. “Everyone. There’s no ‘if.’ There’s only ‘when.’"
“When you die, do you want to feel ashamed of what you’ve done with your life? Feel ashamed of what your life meant?”
“I promise that I’ll be beside you,” I said. “I can’t promise anything else. Only that I’ll stand beside you for as long as I can.”
“Okay,” she whispered.
“I am aware of my limits. That isn’t the same thing as liking them.”
“God. It’s got to be awful, to know that you’re capable of disregarding life so completely. Someone else’s, yours, doesn’t really matter which. To know that you’re so readily capable of taking everything away from a human being. That’s got to eat away at him.”
In stories, you read about characters running through a forest at night. It’s a load of crap. Oh, maybe it’s feasible in really ancient pine forests, where the ground is mostly clear, or in those vast oak forests where they love to shoot Robin Hood movies and adaptations of Shakespeare’s work. But if you get into the thick native brush in the U.S., you’re better off finding a big stick and breaking your own ankle than you are trying to sprint through it blind.
I said several uncouth and thoughtless things, then manned up and opened my eyes, always the hardest part of waking.
Lowering clouds of dark grey had covered the sky, and the rain looked to be a long, steady soaker—a rarity in a Chicago summer, which usually went for rough-and-tumble thunderstorms.
“Kid, groups like these guys, the ones who maim and kill and scheme and betray—they do what they do because they love power. And when you get people who love power together, they’re all holding out a gift in one hand while hiding a dagger behind their back in the other. They regard an exposed back as a justifiable provocation to stick the knife."
Twilight is a much different experience when you’re far away from the lights of a city or town. Modern civilization bathes us in light throughout the hours of darkness—lighted billboards, streetlights, headlights, airplane lights, neon decorations, the interior lights of homes and businesses, floodlights that strobe across the sky. They’re so much a part of our life that the darkness of night is barely a factor in our daily thinking anymore. We mock one another’s lack of courage with accusations of being afraid of the dark, all the while industriously making our own lights brighter, more energy efficient, cheaper, and longer-lasting. There’s power in the night. There’s terror in the darkness. Despite all our accumulated history, learning, and experience, we remember. We remember times when we were too small to reach the light switch on the wall, and when the darkness itself was enough to makes us cry out in fear.
Twilight means more than just time to call the children in from playing outside. Fading light means more than just the end of another day. Night is when terrible things emerge from their sleep and seek soft flesh and hot blood. Night is when unseen beings with no regard for what our people have built and no place in what we have deemed the natural order look in at our world from outside, and think dark and alien thoughts.
“There is the world that should be,” he growled, “and the world that is. We live in one.”
“And must create the other,” Ebenezar retorted, “if it is ever to be.”
He hunkered down and rubbed his hands in some mud and loose earth that lightly covered the rocky summit of the hill. He cupped his hands, raised them to just below his face, and inhaled through his nose, breathing in the scent of the earth. Then he rubbed his hands slowly together, the gesture somehow reminding me of a man preparing to undertake heavy routine labor.
The skinwalker snarled. “Old spirit caller. The failed guardian of a dead people. I do not fear you.”
“You picked a good fight,” Listens-to-Wind said. “Not a very smart fight. But that old ghost is as close to pure evil as you’ll ever see. Good man always stands against that.”
"He knows more than any man alive about dealing with rage over injustice and being unfairly wronged. Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s admirable that you have those kinds of feelings, and choose to do something about them. But they can do terrible things to a man, too.”
But lately I’ve started thinking that you don’t ever plan on a single path to victory. You set things up so that you’ve got more than one way to win.
“Didn’t used to be a dirty word, Hoss. It meant teacher, guide, protector, professional, expert—as well as the negative things. But it’s the nature of folks to remember the bad things and forget the good, I suppose.”