Jump to content

Dresden Files (most recent thread is archived) Peace Talks is finished


Ser Scot A Ellison
 Share

Recommended Posts

4 hours ago, Lord Patrek said:

It's pretty much that.

And with half the Chicago skyline destroyed and humanity now aware that the supernatural is all too real, I can't see the series reverting to case files. The Dresden Files will take on a new dimension and there's no way that Harry can go back to being a paranormal detective after a city of millions has been decimated by monsters outof fiary tales and myths and legends. . .

Uhhh... Spoilers much?

Not that I don't expect something in that zone. But hopefully it at least manages to have an impact as opposed to just being dropped in the midst of monotonous battles. aMoL had a bunch of impactful moments that had no impact for this very reason. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

AND IT IS OUT!

My review:

Battle Ground (Dresden Files #17) by Jim Butcher Book Review

4.5/5

BATTLE GROUND by Jim Butcher is the immediate sequel, perhaps better described as second half, to the novel PEACE TALKS released earlier this year. The book was originally one enormous volume but due to the lengthy wait between previous books and the size of the final work, it was split into two. If you haven't read Peace Talks then you should probably shy away from this review as it's impossible to talk about this volume without addressing some of the plot points from its predecessor. You have been warned.

The premise of Battle Ground is that Harry Dresden has found himself at ground zero of the biggest supernatural war in centuries, if not millennium. The Last Titan, Ethniu, has returned at the head of an army of Formor that have removed themselves from the Unseelie Accords. Faced with the revelation of the supernatural to humanity and total war, the remaining Unseelie Accord nations band together for a fight that will end with one side destroyed.

The book is essentially one enormous Saving Private Ryan-esque war movie. Harry does battle with kraken, hordes of Formor goons, mutated children, Black Court vampires, and the Titan herself in his efforts to save the millions of citizens living in Chicago. Along the way, Harry will be forced to confront numerous old foes as well as deal with the fact he's burned a lot of bridges with former allies that he didn't even bother to inform he was still alive past the events of Changes.

Jim Butcher manages to establish some amazing twists in this volume as well as answer some longstanding questions about the franchise as a whole. A familiarity with Peace Talks is healthy not just because of the fact that events here are a direct sequel but there's a lot of foreshadowing in that volume for plot developments here. A number of things I guessed were foreshadowed events in Peace Talks turned out to happen in Battle Grounds. For example, we get the delightfully creepy answer to why Thomas did the horrible thing he did and I am pleased by the result.

Jim Butcher doesn't spare the cast from casualties and several characters that have been long parts of the series are struck down during this event. I was really stunned at a couple of the fallen and think they were handled with great dignity. This is one of the most devastating battles of Harry's career and I give Jim props for having the courage to go the direction he did. Military fiction with no casualties on the good guys' side isn't heroic, it's just silly.

There are a few flaws in this book, I admit. I think this really would have been better as one enormous volume because a lot of the story in Peace Talks flows directly in this volume. I also believe that there were a few "random encounters" that didn't add much to the book. I think they could have been eliminated without interrupting the narrative much. None of them are boring, though, and many of them are quite entertaining. I just felt that a superpacked Peace Talks/Battle Ground would have been a stronger story.

The politics at the end of Battle Ground also strike me as something I wish the books had gotten into. I was hoping Peace Talks would get into the subtle and not so subtle court bickerings of the Unseelie Accord Nations. Mab proves to be an expert politician in forging alliances, some including some really surprising ones, with a few shocks that I actually approve of. I also note the White Council continues to be a bunch of jerks. Their decision makes sense but also shows a fantastic lack of gratitude that is entirely consistent with their previous behavior.

In conclusion, Battle Ground is a really solid piece of writing. It is full of non-stop action from beginning to end but isn't hurt for characterization in the process. While I think the book suffered from being split from Peace Talks. Still, anyone who was disappointed on the lack of payoff in that book will be blown away by all of the results from actions taken here. If you're a fan of the books then this will surely be one of your favorites--unless one of the deaths breaks you.[/quote]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Big Spoilery Spoilers of Spoileyness

* Justine having been possessed by Nemesis since more or less the beginning of the series is tremendous and puts a lot of actions in a new light, especially given that Thomas is a member of the True Venatori. It's a baby trap situation but you have to wonder what sort of child a half-Outsider, half-White Court vampire would be.

* Harry getting exiled from the White Council was inevitable. They thought of him as a Neo-Kemmler and his defeat of Ethinu only cemented this I'm sure. The fact that Carlos blames Harry for lying to him is perhaps justified but, honestly, fuck Carlos. I'm sick of Harry's allies thinking they're entitled to every piece of information when they share nothing themselves. Carlos made his choice and I hope he chokes on it.

* Murphy's death was incredibly poignant. I'm glad that Jim made it clear she wasn't coming back either.

* I regret we didn't get to see King Corb get killed. I look forward to Harry and his next meeting. I doubt it will go the way it wants.

* Chicago deciding to pretend, collectively, this didn't happen was a good decision. BACK TO THE CASES! I like that Harry admitted it was a mistake leaving Chicago and stopping his help of the common man.

* Harry and Lara being married? Yes, please!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well reading the spoiler has pretty much annihilated all the enthusiasm I had for the series. Fuck that shit.

EDIT:So, I now read roughly the first quarter (chapters 1-10) of it. It is certainly better than PT and it is apparent that a whole lot more polish has gone into it. Still there are some irritants

Spoiler

- Harry referencing Osama bin Laden was just odd. Butcher has so far been (mostly) refraining from referencing real world political events, which really helped the series from feeling dated (that and Harry's problems with technology)

- Fuck Rudolph. I know that he would be an obstacle but having him right in the middle as the biggest battle of the series is about to begin is ridiculous. Also the random soulgaze with Rudolph's partner.

- Not really that impressed by the cameos, but nothing offensive here even if their awesomeness is a bit diminished. Ironically Harry probably has more interaction with the various supernatural players than he had in all of PT

- Still like in PT there is still a character that feels rather off and instead of Lara it is Mab. She is way too casual and friendly (at least compared to her usual self)

- I also found Toot's pizza obsession overplayed

- Why does Butcher feel the need the redescribe how Carlos' looks like?

- The fight so far was fine. What would have been at least a miniboss in previous now being cannon fodder really drives home the scale of the upcomming fight.

- Lastly Ebenezar and Harry should not be that calm when interacting with eachother considering how their last encounter went down.

 

Edited by ASOIAFrelatedusername
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/25/2020 at 6:14 AM, Gaston de Foix said:

This book is coming out on Tuesday.  Can we pause for a moment to note how stupid that is? I would like nothing more than to spend the weekend reading it.  I have waited a very long time for this book - (I know it was mostly for Peace Talks but this is really Peace Talks Vol II so...).  It would be ideal if it could be released on a Friday.  But I'll take Saturday or hell even Sunday afternoon. 

But Tuesday (which is actually midnight on Monday EST) comes at the end of the busiest workday statistically.  Either you stay up half the night reading ruining your next workday (and rushing through the book). 

Or you wait and your anticipation builds and your friends and colleagues finish it and gloat.  You can't enjoy the first virgin rush of discussion, of finishing together.  You get there slowly, and when you cross the finish line no one notices or cares.  I mean this is some cruel mindfuckery right here. 

Books always come out on Tuesday.

Yes I know there are exceptions like Harry Potter.  But otherwise publishers will always release their books on Tuesday.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, C.T. Phipps said:

The Big Spoilery Spoilers of Spoileyness

 

  Hide contents

 

* Justine having been possessed by Nemesis since more or less the beginning of the series is tremendous and puts a lot of actions in a new light, especially given that Thomas is a member of the True Venatori. It's a baby trap situation but you have to wonder what sort of child a half-Outsider, half-White Court vampire would be.

* Harry getting exiled from the White Council was inevitable. They thought of him as a Neo-Kemmler and his defeat of Ethinu only cemented this I'm sure. The fact that Carlos blames Harry for lying to him is perhaps justified but, honestly, fuck Carlos. I'm sick of Harry's allies thinking they're entitled to every piece of information when they share nothing themselves. Carlos made his choice and I hope he chokes on it.

* Murphy's death was incredibly poignant. I'm glad that Jim made it clear she wasn't coming back either.

* I regret we didn't get to see King Corb get killed. I look forward to Harry and his next meeting. I doubt it will go the way it wants.

* Chicago deciding to pretend, collectively, this didn't happen was a good decision. BACK TO THE CASES! I like that Harry admitted it was a mistake leaving Chicago and stopping his help of the common man.

* Harry and Lara being married? Yes, please!

 

 

Spoiler

1.  I agree Justine's possession by Nemesis makes some sense.  Although she was already on Demonreach in Cold Days.  A plot inconsistency.  Also why didn't she steal the eye of Balor when Harry slept? 

2.  I don't think Chicago's pretense will hold up for much longer.  I think Marcone is spot on. 

3.  So much has happened in this book that it's actually somewhat hard to process.  It is brave and bold and epic in its scope.  But I think it needed some real strong editing.  Like there's a chapter where Harry recreates the spear of Longinus.  And then nothing happens for another chapter.  Some of the ideas in play (and reveals) are genuinely cool.  But they kinda get buried.  And a lot of the book is twee.  

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well next quarter (chapter 11-22) finished and fuck you Butcher. I am genuinely upset by what happened in chapter 21 and 22 and not in a good way. But first the other stuff:

The battle for Chicago is quite nicely written and the fatique was not yet set in, although the sheer scale that the fighting has reached feels more appropriate for the climax than a books halway point. Spoilery stuff

Spoiler

- The mom,ent between  Harry and Mab in chapter 18 was nice and continued to humanize (for lack of a better term in a good way)

- Sanya's "bozhe moi" became really annyoing and together with his PT chapter moves him to close to flanderization for my liking

- Both Harry and Ebenezar showing some really impressive stuff with the wall and the quick sand was nice and yet at the same time contrasts nicely that Eb is still more much more skilled than Harry

- My Norse mythology is not the best, but I do not think that the Jotuns were connected to Muspelheim

- Reality falling apart really raises the stakes even more

And now for the suprise guest showing up in chapter 11

Spoiler

Honestly Mavra and Drakuls entrance feels like it did not need to be in this book. Yes it sets up a nice mystery about Drakul's plans regarding the "Stars and Stones", but that is yet another mystery I do not think will be answered until the BAT. The White Council apparently also knows something, but again Harry does not get the chance to find out. Listen to Wind promises to tell him later, but somehow I suspect that that is not going to happen.

What confused me at first was that Drakul was leading the blampires. We have been told that his son's founding of the Black Court was an "act of teenage rebellion", so I did not expect to be too sympathetic towards blampires, let alone regard them as his children

The callback to Blood Rites was awesome though.

And now for the big thing that happens in chapter 21 and 22.

Spoiler

Fuck Butcher for killing Murphy like that. Killed in an accident caused by fucking Rudolph. The most prominent side character in the Dresden Files and Harry's True Love gets killed almost as an afterthought by a pathetic worm. Presumably only to cause Harry further anguish and, if C.T.Phipps's last spoiler point is true, then already has already a better replacement waiting for him. Fuck you Butcher, I expected better. I did not think you where only joking about making Harry suffer as much as possible and that you were actually a better writer than this. Stuffing the most prominent side character in the frigde only to torture Harry and possibly free him up for someone better and all of that right in the middle of the book. Even Susan was treated better. And even worse, Rudolph will probably get away with it.

Honestly that killed the series for me and unless Murphy comes back in future books, I probably will not buy them.

 

Edited by ASOIAFrelatedusername
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Regarding the Big Tragedy

 

I don't think there's any actual chance of Lara Raith and Harry Dresden having an actual romance-romance. It's pretty much doomed to fail no matter what and is there solely for the drama it will create. Certainly, it's not there as a "replacement" for Harry and Murphy which I NEVER supported and never believed was Endgame. Murphy's death was well done, IMHO, and came off a massive battle against a Jotun that showed she was never going to stop fighting even when she was crippled.

Yes, she died in a tragic accident but that doesn't invalidate all of her heroism as Gard says later.

Plus, Murphy WILL be back....just not in Harry's lifetime.

Edited by C.T. Phipps
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, C.T. Phipps said:

Regarding the Big Tragedy

 

  Hide contents

I don't think there's any actual chance of Lara Raith and Harry Dresden having an actual romance-romance. It's pretty much doomed to fail no matter what and is there solely for the drama it will create. Certainly, it's not there as a "replacement" for Harry and Murphy which I NEVER supported and never believed was Endgame. Murphy's death was well done, IMHO, and came off a massive battle against a Jotun that showed she was never going to stop fighting even when she was crippled.

Yes, she died in a tragic accident but that doesn't invalidate all of her heroism as Gard said later.

 

Spoiler

There not being any chance of Larry being True Loves does not make it any better and considering how uncharacteristically friendly and open Lara was towards Harry in PT, I would not count out the possibility that Larry is actually Butcher's plan.

I also disagree. Murphy's death was shit no matter how well it was written. There was no point to it other than to cause Harry anguish. The fact that only moments before she killed a Jotun only makes it worse.

Of course it does not invalidate all of her heroism, but it still is an incredibly insulting way to go out for the series most prominent female and most prominent side character.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, ASOIAFrelatedusername said:
  Hide contents

There not being any chance of Larry being True Loves does not make it any better and considering how uncharacteristically friendly and open Lara was towards Harry in PT, I would not count out the possibility that Larry is actually Butcher's plan.

I also disagree. Murphy's death was shit no matter how well it was written. There was no point to it other than to cause Harry anguish. The fact that only moments before she killed a Jotun only makes it worse.

Of course it does not invalidate all of her heroism, but it still is an incredibly insulting way to go out for the series most prominent female and most prominent side character.

 

I don't think Murphy was fridged because the reason to kill her was to finish up her character arc. Death does not have to be something that exists purely for the survivors in fiction. In this respect, Murphy dying was something that showed the fact she was never going to gracefully retire despite her horrible injuries--which meant she was eventually going to die violently--and the horribleness of war.

As David Weber said, "military fiction where only the bad guys die is not military fiction but military pornography."

But to each their own.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, C.T. Phipps said:

 

  Hide contents

I don't think Murphy was fridged because the reason to kill her was to finish up her character arc. Death does not have to be something that exists purely for the survivors in fiction. In this respect, Murphy dying was something that showed the fact she was never going to gracefully retire despite her horrible injuries--which meant she was eventually going to die violently--and the horribleness of war.

As David Weber said, "military fiction where only the bad guys die is not military fiction but military pornography."

But to each their own.

 

Spoiler

Yeah I disagree. If Butcher wanted to finish of her character arc properly, he could have killed her in any other way. Preferably in a way that actually helped in the fight against the Formor (like Susan back in Changes).

Of course there is also no reason why could not have learned to gracefully retire and transition into a more of a support role instead of a fighting role. It could have made for some great character developement and scenes and it would have allowed Harry to finally have a normal lasting relationship. All that potential thrown away because Harry can not be happy

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Harry and Murphy were my favorite platonic relationship among men and women in fiction, followed by Mulder and Scully so you can imagine what I think of them as a couple.

Still, I don't begrudge you your feelings.

There's also plenty of other spoilers ahead I haven't mentioned.

Mythological Note

 

I like how Jim stated that Ethinu is motivated by the fact she's just a love interest and Princess in a TowerTM archetype in her original myth so her whole Godzilla rampage is her desperately overcompensating. It was a neat little acknowledgement of mythology. It also makes me wonder if she's infected by Nemesis or if Ethinu was beyond it as Nemesis is "just" a powerful Outsider and not some sort of godlike superbeing.

Well, it's a godlike superbeing but no more than the Denarians.

Edited by C.T. Phipps
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, C.T. Phipps said:
  Hide contents

Harry and Murphy were my favorite platonic relationship among men and women in fiction, followed by Mulder and Scully so you can imagine what I think of them as a couple.

Still, I don't begrudge you your feelings.

There's also plenty of other spoilers ahead I haven't mentioned.

Mythological Note

  Hide contents

I like how Jim stated that Ethinu is motivated by the fact she's just a love interest and Princess in a TowerTM archetype in her original myth so her whole Godzilla rampage is her desperately overcompensating. It was a neat little acknowledgement of mythology. It also makes me wonder if she's infected by Nemesis or if Ethinu was beyond it as Nemesis is "just" a powerful Outsider and not some sort of godlike superbeing.

Well, it's a godlike superbeing but no more than the Denarians.

Spoiler

You it would have been fine for me if their romantic relationship did not work and they decided to end it and remains friends. It would have been a nice change for one of Harry's romantic relationships not to end in tragedy.

Honestly Ethnui's motivation sounds a bit dumm.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...