So, I liked that Harry’s turning over a new leaf and reexamining all the hasty decisions he has made — and that they have consequences. However, the whole angelic involvement and the increasingly larger role it is beginning to play in the series is a turn-off for me. Dresden has never been religious, so I don’t know why this element has entered the stories about him.
Besides changing Harry as we’ve known him, this book also does a great disservice to Murphy. Previously, she has been someone who does the right thing even if it kills them. A person who was always willing to give others a second chance. In this one, she seems like an overemotional woman who cannot make the right decisions because of Harry’s death. I don’t like that at all.
I never warmed up to Thomas’ character and the cringy girl-on-girl makeout scene that is unabashedly male wish fulfillment did him no favors.
It seems lazy on the author’s part that Harry doesn’t spend a second thinking about his brother just because of the memory-tamper that forms the plot in this installment. Neither does he spare much thought for his daughter, except right at the end. We get handed a lot of telling and not seeing in this book –mostly things that old-time readers already know. This IS the 13th book in the series after all. Aside from that, the plot is a huge mess. We find out Harry cannot do magic, then he can, and then something equally opposite happens again.
Butters is evolving as a character and as a Knight. It is good to see him fight on the side of good without shucking off his cowardly habit. Mort, Sir Stewart, and Father Forthill were good to read about too. But that only makes the weakness of the female characters more glaringly obvious to readers.
All in all, not a shining example if you’re looking for books in which female characters can capably tie their shoelaces!