Cover illustration by: Chris McGrath
Turn Coat by Jim Butcher
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Series: The Dresden Files (Book #11 of 25)
Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 545 pages (US Kindle edition)
Published: 4th June 2009 by Orbit (UK) & 9th March 2009 by Roc (US)
Turn Coat is one of my favorite volume in the series so far, it’s up there with Dead Beat and White Night.
We can’t always win. That’s what life is. There are moments of glory, happiness, and there are times when we will lose, faces pain, and hopefully rises up then move on from it. Turn Coat is the eleventh volume in The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, and it hammered these themes into the readers incredibly well. There has always been a rumor of a traitor in the white council, and this book narrowed the focus of the story on this as it begins with Morgan asking Harry Dresden for help because he’s accused of a murder he didn’t commit. There isn’t much to say on this review; this is the usual high standard of the series, Butcher utilizes murder-mystery whodunit storytelling with themes that evocatively put and relatable.
“There are bad things in the world. There’s no getting away from that. But that doesn’t mean nothing can be done about them. You can’t abandon life just because it’s scary, and just because sometimes you get hurt. ”
Harry Dresden may not be an encompassingly good-hearted character, but that’s what it means to be a human right? No one is perfect, after all. I do, however, found myself impressed by Harry’s decision to help Morgan. If you’ve been following the series, we know that Harry and Morgan have issues with each other; they both pretty much hated each other’s guts to the core. But Harry, despite his feelings towards Morgan, still decided to help him because he knows it’s the right thing to do, and that’s something praise-worthy; helping someone you don’t like, or hate, isn’t an easy act to do. It was so great seeing how much further Harry’s relationship with Murphy, Thomas, Molly, and of course, Mouse developed here.
“The human mind isn’t a terribly logical or consistent place. Most people, given the choice to face a hideous or terrifying truth or to conveniently avoid it, choose the convenience and peace of normality. That doesn’t make them strong or weak people, or good or bad people. It just makes them people.”
I’m being repetitive again, but yeah, as always for this series, the longevity of the action sequences hurt the pacing slightly for me. Not saying it wasn’t good, my interest and concentration just wandered easily when the action scenes in any book of the series so far went on a bit too long. Thankfully, there was only one big action sequence—usually there were two—and what came after the part with Demonreach was freaking incredible. Seriously, the last two or three chapters were filled with intensity and a new level of seriousness that was missing from the previous books.
“No one is an unjust villain in his own mind. Even – perhaps even especially – those who are the worst of us. Some of the cruelest tyrants in history were motivated by noble ideals, or made choices that they would call ‘hard but necessary steps’ for the good of their nation. We’re all the hero of our own story.”
Amid the well-written murder-mystery, Turn Coat also teaches us about the necessity of pain, hardship, and moving on in our life. Eleven books in, and it terrifies me how Butcher maintained the great quality of each book in the series since the fourth installment so consistently. I haven’t rated any books in the series with a below 4-stars rating since Summer Knight. Will there be any… CHANGES (Hahahaha!) in the next book, though? The next book in the series has often been praised as the best book of the entire series so far, and I’m very much excited to find out why.
“See, here’s the thing. Morgan was right: you can’t win them all. But that doesn’t mean that you give up. Not ever.”
Picture: Turn Coat by Vincent Chong
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