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Review of Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher

Review of Proven Guilty by Jim ButcherProven Guilty by Jim Butcher

Rating: I'M OBSESSED
Series: The Dresden Files #8
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 576
Published by: Penguin
Publication Date: May 2nd 2006
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Book Blurb: The White Council of Wizards has drafted Harry Dresden as a Warden and assigned him to look into rumors of black magic in Chicago. Malevolent entities that feed on fear are loose in the Windy City, but it’s all in a day’s work for a wizard, his faithful dog, and a talking skull named Bob.

Okay, so we all know how much Iove these books. We all know that I think it’s a highly entertaining series. We all know I think they’re funny. This book was no exception to any of those points, but it is also becoming something more.

Once again, Harry is in the middle of a bunch of crap that doesn’t look to be heading anywhere safe. The White Council is in town and Harry’s ability to handle some new responsibilities are put to the test. We get some Murphy time in this book, which is great, and we get a re-introduction to a previous character we saw once. I love how characters come and go in this series. What we think is a minor meeting could have some real importance later on. It just makes me feel more confident that Butcher is leading me on a crazy, extremely thought out story.

To start off, all the old loves were there. I was laughing right from the start. For some reason, the last book was a bit stiff to me in the very beginning. Perhaps it was because of a read I had come off of, but it didn’t flow as brilliantly for the first 10% or so. No problems with this book. The humor was still there with Harry’s voice and his outlook on situations, which had me laughing early on in this book. The action is actually well paced compared to some of his more rocket type books where it’s one thing after another, which is neither good nor bad in my opinion.

Now, here’s where I start to sit back and say hmmm. I vaguely noticed last book as I was screaming at the choices Harry was making that there may be more here than just a romping fun, entertaining read. As I reflected upon what I’ve read so far, I actually saw the study into the human condition. How far are we willing to go for the people we care about? If placed in the same situations, could I honestly say I would make a different choices? Harry is heading down a dangerous slope, and it’s getting slipperier with each book. His reasoning behind his decisions is sound, but I can’t help but dwell on his doubts. Butcher has done a brilliant job of showing us a character slowly heading in the wrong direction, and if you’re not paying attention, it’s just going to look like another round of bad luck for Harry. If you were to take out the humor and light tone of the narrative, these could actually be dark books.

Which brings me to another point. The plot thickens should be this books motto, cliche as it is. There are so many subplots woven into this story and it just keeps getting more complicated. Butcher has spread out a wide web, but it all connects beautifully. This book brought in another element. It just keeps building like a jenga tower, and as a reader you know someone’s going to remove the wrong block and all hell will break lose. It keeps you engaged and ramps up your curiosity. Brilliant.

So as you can see, I’m still in love with this series and I don’t think that will be changing anytime soon. Butcher’s got me hooked.

About Jim Butcher

Jim Butcher read his first fantasy novel when he was seven years old–
the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. By the time he turned eight,
he’d added the rest of the Narnia books, the Prydain Chronicles, every
book about Star Wars he could find, a great many Star Trek novels and
the Lord of the Rings to his count.

So he was pretty much doomed from the start.

Love of fantasy, his personal gateway drug, drew him toward a fairly
eclectic spread of interests: horseback riding (including trick riding,
stunt riding, drill riding, and competitive stunt racing), archery,
martial arts, costuming, music and theater. He played a lot of role-
playing games, a lot of fantasy-based tactical computer games, and
eventually got into live-action roleplay where players beat each other
up with boffer weapons.

So, really, he can fly his nerd flag with pretty much anyone, and
frequently does.

He took up writing to be able to produce fantasy novels with swords and
horses in them, and determinedly wrote terrible fantasy books until,
just to prove a point to his writing teacher, he decided to take every
piece of her advice; fill out outlines and worksheets, and design
stories and characters just the way she’d been telling him to do for
about three years. He was certain that once she saw what hideous art it
produced, she would be proven wrong and repent the error of her ways.
The result was the Dresden Files, which sure showed *her*.

She has not yet admitted her mistake and recanted her philosophy on
writing.

Jim has performed in dramas, musicals, and vocal groups in front of
live audiences of thousands and on TV. He has performed exhibition
riding in multiple arenas, and fallen from running horses a truly
ridiculous number of times. He was once cursed by an Amazon witch
doctor in rural Brazil, has apparently begun writing about himself in
the third person, and is hardly ever sick at sea.

He also writes books occasionally.

Jim stands accused of writing the Dresden Files and the Codex Alera.
He’s plead insanity, but the jury is still out on that one. He lives in
Missouri with his wife, romantic suspense and paranormal romance writer
Shannon K. Butcher (who is really pretty and way out of his league),
his son, and a ferocious guard dog.

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