Hhhheeee’sssss bbaackkkk. The only listed wizard in the Chicago yellow pages has returned for another adventure in this 10th installment in Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series. This book starts with Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness, calling in one of the favors that is owed to her by Harry Dresden. Just a small favor, shouldn’t be too much trouble for him. But nothing is ever easy when the Winter Queen is involved. Because when Winter starts to meddle in the affairs of the mortal world then you know that the Summer Court will soon follow.
Small Favor is a book that sucked me in completely starting from the first action packed scene with Harry at the Carpenter household only to be attacked by the Billy Goats Gruff. Yes, those same Gruffs from the children’s fairy tales……only the Gruffs aren’t quite what we have come to know from those stories. This book is an action packed, fast moving novel and is classic Harry Dresden. Lots of old faces return to help (or hinder as the case may be) Harry in his quest to fulfill the favor that he is obligated to do for Mab. I’ve read a few reviews that pan the fact that there aren’t many new faces introduced in this book. But I for one loved that fact. The characters in this book are old friends and familiar enemies. There was a nice baseline of information about many of them and this book expands upon that baseline. Letting you see more of their histories and adds some reality to the Dresden-verse.
Along the way Harry is joined by many old friends…and frenemies…in trying to avoid the agents of Summer and Winter while also battling an old enemy. An enemy who wants to bring about the apocalypse….because such ultimate battles never get old. Along the way we have many classic lines from Harry Dresden (and company) and we also gain some new information…small little tantalizing crumbs…about just what it is that makes him so special. This novel is far from perfect though. There were some scenes that I had to read a few times over because they seemed disjointed and didn’t make sense to me. Some of the plot-lines just seemed to come out of nowhere and so tended to interrupt the flow of the store. Not sure if this was intentional or perhaps it was the result of editing that some of the missing pieces of information (clues) were cut out.
Overall though this was an excellent story and a great return by Chicago’s only listed wizard. I was a little worried about book 10 after finishing 9, which I found just so-so. But this book, this is Dresden at his best….the underdog who defies all odds and manages to save the day. All hail the underdog!!