Review: Summer Knight, Jim Butcher

Summer Knight
Summer Knight by Jim Butcher

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“I was scared. Not in that half-pleasant adrenaline charged way, but quietly scared. …It’s a rational sort of fear that puts a lawn chair down in the front of your thoughts and brings a cooler of drinks along with it.”

There’s an image to start a story.

Harry’s not in good shape at the start of this book. Considering the end of the last book, he shouldn’t be. It’s nice to have the sense of continuity. Many authors would just give their main character some recup time and move on to the next adventure. Not here. We get Harry in the midst of crisis, obsession, assassination attempts, and generally being on everyone’s bad side.

We learn even more about Harry too. His story is more complex. The trouble he’s in is deeper. There’s war brewing — on two fronts. Truths are revealed. Alliances made. It’s actually the biggest trouble Harry’s been in. And the consequences are bigger, with potential to affect the whole mortal world.

Harry’s character is summed up well towards the end when the Gatekeeper tells him he’s accomplished his task, he can stop. But he doesn’t, though he desperately wants to, “because I’m an idiot. And there are people in trouble.” Harry puts others before himself every time. Not in a saintly, holier-than-thou way. Reluctantly, with regrets at times, with dread often. But he does it because it’s the only way he can live with himself. And when he wins, it’s just barely, and always at a price.

I’m getting the sense there’s a larger tale going on, being revealed in small doses, with hints and insinuations at times, more overtly at other times. We learn about his mother a little bit each book, and it’s becoming clear there’s more to that story than even Harry knows. There was a huge revelation in this book I won’t mention to avoid spoiling anyone. But I can now see how there are over a dozen books and counting. Along with the crisis du jour, there’s trouble brewing in the background, secrets threatening to rise to the surface.

I can’t wait.

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