Cold Days by Jim Butcher

Cold Days Cover

Review of audiobook version narrated by James Marsters

Cold Days (The Dresden Files #14) by Jim Butcher

Reading Level: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: November 27, 2012
Publisher: Roc
Pages: 529 pages
Source: Library
Reviewed By: Kate McMurry

Mab, the Winter Queen of the fae, has brought Harry back from the almost-dead and, after a brutal few months of physical rehab in the heart of the Winter Court, hands him his first assignment as the Winter Knight. He must kill an immortal very close to Mab whom Harry never imagined she would order anyone to assassinate. Even as he struggles to figure out how on earth this particular immortal, or any other, can be killed, he also learns the horrifying secret of Demonreach, a mysterious, uncharted island on Lake Michigan. If the island is not adequately protected from invasion by hostile forces, it has the potential to unleash a dark force that could endanger the lives of everyone on earth.

With enemies coming at him on all sides, Harry has only 24 hours to complete his assignment from Mab, while simultaneously preventing the apocalypse.

In every book of this fabulous series, Jim Butcher brilliantly portrays a complex magical world, making it accessible with compelling immediacy through the first-person point-of-view of wise-cracking, defender-of-the weak, Harry Dresden. In every book, including this one, poor Harry is perpetually outclassed by terrifyingly powerful, magical villains. But the saving grace for Harry—which is also a recurring theme throughout this series—is that he has two major, disaster-mitigating advantages: a quick wit and a good heart. His detective-honed skill of accurately analyzing the goals and motivations of criminals offers him a crucial edge in out-maneuvering the bad guys. And his compassionate willingness to put his life at risk to defend others has earned him the love and loyalty of his half-brother and his amazing coterie of friends. In their turn, they have Harry’s back as well, both to physically support and protect him, and also to help Harry maintain perspective and hold onto his sanity as his magical range massively expands due to the brand-new, heavy-duty clout he has gained from the mantle of the Winter Knight. Harry is fighting harder than ever to avoid the truism that “power corrupts.” He is determined to not become merely a mindless, evil exterminator on behalf of his new boss, the wicked fairy queen, Mab.

Harry defines one’s true family as those who will “march into hell with you,” and this is certainly true of his friends and allies. Many of these familiar faces are crucial to the plot of this story, including: his half-brother Thomas, a White Court vampire; Karen Murphy, a former cop and extremely dynamic master of martial arts and seemingly every known human weapon, from guns, to swords to explosives; Mouse, his canine best friend, an amazing, magical, Tibetan temple dog; and Toot-toot, an utterly delightful, and extremely brave, 15-inch-tall pixie warrior.

The audiobook version of Cold Days is narrated by James Marsters, an extremely gifted actor and voice talent. He is best known for playing the character Spike, a platinum-blond, British vampire, in the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off series, Angel, between 1997 and 2004.

The sound quality of this unabridged audiobook is excellent and, as always, Marsters does a superlative job on every part of the reading, including general narration and various character voices. He is fabulous at portraying every type of male and female voice, of all ages and various national and regional accents. Listening to him is a very great pleasure.

I rate this book as follows:

Hero: 5

Subcharacters: 5

Worldbuilding: 5

Action-Adventure Plot: 5

Writing: 5

Audiobook Narration: 5

Overall: 5

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