Thoughts on Jim Butcher’s Cold Days

I’ve been sitting in front of a blank page for the last 15 minutes, trying to gather my thoughts so that I can tell them to you.

I’m failing.

Throughout the first 70% of this book I was…not loving it.  Which made me sad, because if I don’t love the newest Dresden Files and say when I put it down “No.  THIS ONE is my new favourite!” I kind of don’t even know who I am anymore.

But I didn’t love it.  I loved certain aspects of it, and there were characters coming back that I loved and new characters that made me smile and…THINGS happening that were kind of awesome, but -

I don’t know.  After the first 4 or 5 chapters, it felt like it just kind of meandered along at breakneck speed for the majority of the book.  I am not even sure how that’s possible, but it felt both rushed and draggy at the same time.

I guess what I’m saying is that the middle of the book felt like it needed to go through another round or two of re-writes.  Were I betaing this book, I’d have had ALL THE NOTES in the margins with lines through things that didn’t belong and demanding more details here and there.  But I’m not Mr Butcher’s beta reader, so…yeah.

I’ll probably enjoy it more upon subsequent re-reads and when I think back on it after the next one comes out, I’ll like it EVEN MORE, but for now, I’m just a little disappointed that I can’t give it five stars and rave about it.

Also, the end (which I did love)?  Totally called it at the beginning of the book but I couldn’t TELL ANYONE because none of the rest of you were reading it yet, jerks.

Can we stop pressuring our favourite authors to write faster?  I don’t want to ever feel like I’m giving a series I love a pity half star again just so it doesn’t bring my average for the series as a whole down.

Honestly, 3 stars, but with the pity half 3.5.  Rounding up to 4.

Oh, and I hate this cover.

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16 thoughts on “Thoughts on Jim Butcher’s Cold Days

  1. I find that with authors/series that I really enjoy, I will do one of two things. I will either judge the books more leniently (pity stars if you want to call it that) because I love the collective work so much, or I will judge them more harshly because I KNOW the author can do better.

    The Dresden Files is one of those series I want to read but haven’t gotten around to yet.

    • Well, I’d still recommend the series as a whole. I was just underwhelmed with this particular installment. I really loved the one before this, but a lot of long time fans didn’t – so…you know. I may not be the best judge.

  2. “Can we stop pressuring our favourite authors to write faster?”

    What she said. Your description of your feelings after reading the book remind me of how I felt after reading certain Harry Potter novels (and Naamah’s Legacy, but I think that had different problems).

    • Agreed – the pressure to WRITE FASTER NAAAAAAAAAAO can be good in the case of authors who take a decade to write something, but for series authors who already work at a pretty good clip? I find it makes things rushed and not so great. :/

      • Right. I mean, I admit to feeling frustration with GRRM regarding FIVE YEARS between AFfC and ADwD when HE SAID it was already written and would be out NEXT YEAR, but for the most part…

        Like, with this book, everyone was bitching because it came out 16 months after Ghost Story instead of a year. COME ON! That is not such a big deal, and he really only finished writing it in July. I think it would have benefited from a few more months of editing and re-writes, instead of being RUSHED TO PRESS.

  3. I read the first 4 chapters on Jim Butcher’s website, and I am eager to get my copy in the mail. Yes, I have been checking since Tuesday. It will be interesting to see what I think with your review in the back of my head.

    Totally agree about not pressuring our fave authors to hurry up the next book (looking at you Patrick Rothfuss, take all the awesome time you need).

  4. As a guy from Northern Wisconsin who has family in Chicago I think the cover perfectly captured the feeling of winter in the Midwest. And with the cold, muted light framing Harry, it makes him look pretty bad-ass. The shotgun helps too.

    • And you’re entitled to your opinion. No one is going to change their opinion of anything just because I didn’t care for it.

      I think Proven Guilty, Summer Knight and Turn Coat all have stronger covers, though. But again, that’s just one woman’s opinion.

  5. Pingback: An Open Letter to Asshole Fans (including myself) | snobbery

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