Saturday, September 21, 2013

Book Summary: Cold Days (Dresden Files, Book 14), By Jim Butcher - Spoilers

Cold Days (Dresden Files, Book 14)
By: Jim Butcher
ISBN: 0451464400
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The following book summary and all of the book summaries featured here contain spoilers. To read a content based review that does not include spoilers see my Cold Days book review or my Dresden Files Series Review.

Cold Days Plot Summary

After "dying" in Changes and coming back in Ghost Story, Harry Dresden wakes up in Arctis Tor where Mab (Winter Fairy Queen) puts him through a life and death rehabilitation  / training ending on Halloween (his birthday).

Harry and Sarissa (his personal nurse / rehab trainer) attend a birthday party put on by Mab for Harry. Harry converses with several V.I.P.s (The Erlking, Kringle / Santa Clause and Eldest Brother Gruff) and Maeve tries to get Harry killed a few times. Ultimately, Harry and the Redcap fight, Sarissa helps and Harry ends up kicking some Fairy butt on Mab's behalf (while using his winter powers). Mab sends Maeve away and orders Harry to kill her (Though Harry doesn't know why). 

Harry talks briefly with Sarissa (also Mab's human BFF) then uses a way to go directly to Chicago. Mab has closed all other ways out of Fairy for the next couple hours. Cat Sith supplies a car and Harry goes straight to Waldo Butter's house to procure Bob the Skull. Not wanting to put Butters in danger by association, he breaks into the apartment. Andi (Waldo's wolf shape-shifter girlfriend) attacks him, but stops when she realizes who he is. Harry leaves with Bob.

While conferring with Bob, Harry is attacked by a bomb and then swarmed by a host of tiny fairies (the fairies are led by a little fairy Harry nicknames Captain Hook). The fairies nearly get the best of Harry, but Molly Carpenter arrives and scares them off.

Molly takes Harry to her place where they fix up Toot Toot and Harry. Molly tells Harry that she thinks Demonreach (the island Harry is connected to) is going to explode over the next few days and take half the Midwest with it. They meet up with a very surprised Thomas (Harry's vampire half-brother) at the boat and the three of them hurry to Demonreach.

The island's Genius Loci informs Harry that:

- Someone is doing / going to do a ritual to ensure that the island explode.
- The island is really a high security prison full of bad guys so scary that the worst monsters Harry's ever faced are the least dangerous inmates.
- There's a parasite in Harry's head that will ultimately kill him if he doesn't find a way to remove it.

On the way back to the mainland Harry, Molly and Thomas are attacked by and escape from the red cap and his flunkies. Back on the mainland Thomas updates Harry on the way life has changed since Harry destroyed the red court vampires (Changes, Book 12).

The Summer Knight (Fix) swings by and tells Harry to get out of town by noon or else then leaves.

Harry, Molly, and Thomas head to Thomas' Apartment where Harry phones Vadderung demanding a meeting and dispatches Cat Sith to request an audience on his behalf with the Summer Lady. They head to McAnally's for the meeting with Vadderung. Vadderung tells Harry that the ritual will most likely take place that day on or near the island. Vadderung leaves and Harry sends Molly off to gather Toot Toot and his host of fairies.

Thomas warns Harry that as the Winter Knight he is now a predator and is unintentionally looking at Molly as prey. An Outsider attacks McAnally's trying to get Harry and they (Harry, Thomas and Bartender Mac) just barely repel it. The outsider knew Mac, but Mac refuses to tell Harry anything helpful. 

Cat Sith reports that the Summer Lady (Lily) will meet with Harry. Harry goes to the meeting, leaving Thomas and Cat Sith lurking nearby just in case. Lily informs Harry that there is a mental disease infecting beings of all kinds (humans, fairies, vampires, etc) that causes them to behave outside of the normal. Maeve joins them and says that Mab is infected and planning a type of Armageddon via the island. If Harry doesn't kill Mab - lots of people die. If he does kill Mab - Maeve becomes winter queen and his boss. Yikes

As Harry's leaving, the Redcap (working for Maeve) attacks with help from some tiny fairies and captain hook. Harry escapes with Thomas and Murphy (who came to the rescue), leaving Catsyth to play with the redcap and his goons.

On the way back to Molly's, Harry realizes that Captain Hook is stuck to his sleeve. Back at Molly's Harry gets fixed up again and speaks with Murphy who refuses to return the swords and demands that Harry not keep Bob. Captain Hook turns out to be a female fairy named Lacuna and provides no useful information.

Butters says that the para-net has reported increased boat activity that day.

Toot Toot's little people are sent to check out possible ritual sites while Murphy and Thomas go to get back up teams ready to tackle ritual sites (Harry assumes there will be more than one).

Molly stays at the apartment to man the phone while Harry leaves to meet with Titania (Summer Queen). Titania will not help Harry because she hates him for killing her daughter Aurora (the late Summer Lady who was infected and Harry had to kill in Book 4, Summer Knight). However she does tell him that the infection has a name - Nemisis.

Still needing information, Harry goes to his grave plot and summons Mother Winter. Mother Winter tells Harry that Mab has spent to much time among humans. Mother Summer takes Harry the outer limits of Fairy and shows him that our world is under siege from Outsiders and Mab / Winter exists to protect the human world from the Outsiders. The Summer Queen is meant to protect humans from Mab. The Gatekeeper is there making sure that Nemisis doesn't sneak through into Fairie. The Gatekeeper tells Harry that there has always been Outsiders trying to break through and offers to clear Harry's name with the White Council.

Harry returns to Molly's. The Redcap sends Sarissa to Molly's with tokens from the four friends the Redcap has kidnapped (Mac, Andi, Butters & Justine). Harry and Molly go pick up Mouse (Harry's dog) and hurry to the rescue. Harry is shot with a dart, but they all escape.

Murphy and Thomas meet up with everyone at Molly's. The dart that hit Harry was covered in some kind of anticoagulant so the small wound continues to bleed. Toot Toot's people reported the ritual sites near the banks of Lake Michigan and Harry has Murphy and Thomas send their people to destroy the ritual preparations. Harry talks with Murphy about his worries about seeing his daughter (Maggie) because she might remember him killing her mother (Changes, Book 12). The conversation helps Harry to realize that Mab wants Maeve killed because Maeve is infected, but she can't bear to do it herself. Harry, Murphy, Molly, Thomas, Justine, Mac, Sarissa and Mouse head to the boat. Harry doesn't entirely trust Mac and Sarissa because they won't tell him what they know - so he takes them with him. Once they reach the Marina Molly gives Harry a new leather coat.

At the boat Harry hears the Erlking and the Wild Hunt coming. He sends everyone onto the boat and tries to run, but finds his car booby trapped and the dart wound is leaving a trail for the Erlking to follow. Murphy comes to the rescue and they use her motorcycle to run from the hunt. The hunt overtakes them, Harry wounds Kringle and the Erlking before taking over the hunt. Harry points the hunt towards the island and they run over the lake to find the island under attack. Outsiders are pushing rafts carrying the ritual towards the beach. With the assistance of the hunt they take out the Outsiders. *insert extensive action scenes* Harry and Murphy kiss.

Molly, Thomas, Mouse and the others arrive in time to smash a regrouping of outsiders. Harry and everyone runs to the top of the hill where the Summer and Winter ladies have raised a magic circle and are trying to destroy Demonreach. Harry makes it through the circle because of his connection with the island. After reasoning, fighting and then more reasoning with Fix, both knights try to take out Maeve. Maeve gets the upper hand, Harry's crew finds a way through the circle and joins the brawl, but the struggle doesn't last long. Everyone but Molly (who is under a vale) is captured.

Maeve reveals that Sarissa is her sister and Mab is planning to have Sarissa take her place. Harry uses the circle to summon Mab. Maeve kills Lily and the summer mantle goes into Sarissa. Mab tries to talk Maeve into letting her cure her, but Maeve won't hear it and believes Mab can't risk killing her without another vessel for the mantle on hand. Mab frees Murphy's hands, Murphy shoots and kills Maeve and the winter mantle goes into Molly.

Angry that Mab did this to Molly, Harry threatens Mab, and says she had better treat Molly gently. Mab leaves with Fix and the new Summer and Winter ladies.

Harry and Murphy discuss the possibility of a relationship but Murphy wants time to figure out if that's the route she wants to take. Thomas leaves with the others and Harry stays on the island.

Dresden Files (Series Review)
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