Harry Dresden fans - be prepared. Things are getting worse in his world. Small Favor has some twists that will punch series fans in the gut. And Harry gets the girl - sort of. If you don't know Harry Dresden's world, you could start with this book, but I don't recommend it. Go back to the beginning.
Harry is playing in the snow with Molly, his apprentice, and her family. Suddenly there is dark magic whirling around and Harry is attacked by some goat-like creatures. He defeats them and gets away, keeping Molly's family safe. When he discovers the creatures were Gruffs, he knows he's in for more trouble. Gruffs come from the faerie of Summer and the smallest come first. The bigger brothers will be along...
Someone breaks into a safe house and kidnaps Gentleman Johnnie Marcone while under his own protectors' guard. He is the head of the Chicago mob. Then Mab, the Winter faerie, comes to Harry asking a favor. He still owes her two. She wants him to rescue Marcone. Marcone was kidnapped by someone in the supernatural world instead of one of his human enemies. From there, it just keeps getting worse.
The more Harry digs into the mystery and rescue, the darker it becomes. His brother (a vampire), some angelic guardians, a young girl who knows everything that happens, bodyguards, Chicago police, and a Warden all become involved in fighting the conflict. Trips to the Underworld and the middle of Lake Michigan are intertwined with Gruffs, fairies, and demons. Meanwhile Harry is leading the battle. He has made numerous enemies over the past few years and they are starting to band together.
Every reader knows that the middle of a book is exciting and things are going to get worse before they get better. I recently learned that Jim Butcher plans for the the Dresden files to be a 20 novel arc with a trilogy after to finish them. That means we're only half way through. And even at a book a year, that's still another 13 years or so before Harry can (sort of) live happily ever after...
Small Favor grips the reader from the first pages and doesn't stop. In fact, the grip gets stronger the further into the book you are. The first person narrative tone is quick tongued and self deprecating. Thank goodness wizards heal more quickly than normal humans. Harry's nose is broken within the first few pages. That will be the least of his injuries in this novel.
These reviews are personal opinions only and in no way reflect other readers' opinions of the books discussed.
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