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06/05/2005 Entry: "Jim Butcher's DEAD BEAT -- Still No Romance (Linda)"

How long is the Dresden Files series going to go on? I see no end in sight as far as the story itself goes. Happily, I'm not disappointed in this. :-) DEAD BEAT, the seventh volume in the series, starts out a year after BLOOD RITES.

I'd been left wondering if a romance would occur between Harry and his friend Karrin Murphy, the head of the police department's Special Investigations. Karrin is one of the few humans who knows just what kind of monsters are running around. But a year later, no headway has been made, so no wonder Murphy has decided to go on a vacation with someone else--someone who is not very safe. Kincaid. And Harry is left to water her plants?!

It does give him a jealous jolt but then his mind is jolted back again when Murphy's career and life are threatened by Mavra, a very powerful sorceress and vampire whom he'd thought destroyed in the last book. She is willing to leave Murphy alone as long as Harry brings her "the Word of Kemmler." The trouble is, he's not the only one looking for it.

Like all of Jim Butcher's other books, there is never a dull moment in DEAD BEAT. It's full of action and surprises. And I just like Harry; his sense of humor and honor make him the perfect hero. Harry's personal life has grown with the addition of the puppy, Mouse, that has now grown huge (I'm anxious to find out just what this dog will turn into) and the addition of his half brother, Tommy, to the household. Tommy is having trouble adjusting to a normal life as he has the blood, from his father's side, of a vampire of the white court.

I'm happy--and surprised--that I'm still enjoying this series so much. One reason may be that Jim Butcher is a pro at portraying his paranormal creatures. If you think LKH has the fae characterized well in her Merry Gentry series, you should meet Butcher's Queen of Air and Darkness. The cruel, powerful, cold, alien feeling you get from her makes you hope you never meet a fae. But, alas, Harry has a close call with a romance but that's all I'll say. :-) Murphy doesn't come back til the end, so we'll have to see what happens in the next book. Unfortunately, that means there's not enough romance to be considered romantic SF, but it's still a great book! Highly recommended.--Linda

--DEAD BEAT (The Dresden Files, book 7) at Amazon

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