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Review: Turn Coat

Turn Coat (Dresden Files Series #11) - Jim Butcher

Warning: contains major spoilers for Small Favor and Turn Coat.


I was disappointed in Turn Coat after Small Favor, which, in my opinion, was one of the best books in the Dresden Files series. There were a number of things in this book that didn't make sense. Why didn't the skinwalker speak to Dresden in their first encounter? Why didn't Harry ask Listens-to-Wind about skinwalkers when he had the opportunity to do so in Edinburgh? (Indeed, Listens-to-Wind's response might've been useful in eliminating him as a Black Council suspect.)


Also, there's next to nothing about Michael Carpenter, which is astonishing and very unrealistic given what happened in Small Favor. One of Harry's greatest allies who nearly died in the last book is mentioned exactly once, indicating that he's crippled. No mention of Harry going to visit him to see how he's doing? No discussion of where Amoracchius is going? Heck, no suggestion about his potential for recovery?


Additionally, the twist about LaFortier's killer at the end doesn't stand up to any sort of scrutiny. If both of them were to be framed, then why have the money only sent to Morgan's account?


To me, the Black Council reveal also felt a little cheap, like Butcher had painted himself into a corner about who it couldn't be, so it ended up being someone we had no emotional investment in whatsoever and, indeed, had only encountered within this novel. As such, the person kind of sticks out.


While I was reading this one, I had the sense that Butcher wasn't as engaged or committed to writing it as he has been for many of the Dresden books, and I think I can speculate as to why: I looked back at the endcaps for the previous Dresden titles, and this is the first book that includes an Author's Note about his Codex Alera series. Obviously, if he's splitting his time between putting the wheels in motion to get that published and generating ideas about that world, he's not going to be quite as focused on Harry, which is understandable, but it was noticeable.


I've pretty much been reading this series based on the recommendations of three people, and since I'm this far into it, I suppose I'll complete it up to the current publication, but I am concerned about the quality of the Dresden books from here on out, since Butcher's attention is now divided between two series. Usually when that happens, the older product receives less of its creator's energy. We'll see.