I am skipping past the rest of the Discworld re-read (and a bunch of other things) to get to some books while they are still reasonably fresh. First up is my marathon Dresden Files read: from the second book, Fool Moon, all the way to the most recent, Cold Days.
Some of you are now giving your screens weird looks and asking, “Kate, why on Earth did you read all of these? They are so not your thing.” I know this because Chad did the exact same thing, only in person. All I can say is, beware of reading fanfic for sources you haven’t read/watched! You’d think I’d have known better after I ended up watching all but one episode of Stargate Atlantis, but then I managed to avoid watching any of Merlin and Teen Wolf, so I thought I was safe. . . . until I found myself wanting some context for the stories I was reading, and a lot of my friends read them so I’d be able to participate in those conversations, and they didn’t sound very demanding so they’d probably go fast . . .
Anyway. For a while this worked reasonably well. I was bulling through them at high speed, so I can’t even match events to titles for most of them. I do remember that Fool Moon is pretty bad, with a distinct air of “I have suffered for my research into every single possible kind of werewolf, and now so must you.” But Harry’s horrible “don’t tell women potentially life-saving information because chivalry!” thing does go away pretty early—hilariously, his subconscious literally manifests to yell at him about it—and he does grow up some in other ways, too (I can’t remember which book it is, but there’s a bit where he thinks that once he would have tried to blow a door up, and now he’s going to use magic to remove its hinges). While I was aware that there were some unpleasant things going on, I could mostly skate over them while watching magical pyrotechnics and Harry getting the shit beat out of him and admiring Harry’s friends and acquaintances (who generally deserve a better protagonist than him).
And then Changes happened, and all the things I was skating over and had been glad to leave behind came crashing down, only worse. Women as a fuel for Harry’s manpain; Harry’s impulsiveness and self-destructiveness; and all the Madonna/whore, sex-negative, Puritan rape culture stuff the books have going (Exhibit A: the White Court). Ghost Story was okay, kind of disjointed and rather anti-climatic in some senses, but Cold Days was a ball of do-not-want. It was all the things I did not like about Changes, plus way, way too much of Harry finding it so difficult not to rape and murder all the time—I wanted to reach through the page and say, “Here, have your goddamn cookie, already”—and then an ending that promises even more ickiness in store next time.
So if you’re in the mood for some fast-paced snarky urban fantasy, well, you should read Midnight Riot. But if you must read these, stop with whatever book is before Changes. Me, I will probably rely on other people’s reports to see what happens; I suppose it’s possible Butcher might get out of the current situation in some interesting way, but then again, the endgame of the series is apparently “a 3-book apocalyptic trilogy”, and I’m not sure I want to see Harry in an apocalypse. On the other hand, I’d originally misread that as post-apocalyptic, which I definitely do not want, so it could be worse.