Peace Talks (Dresden Files) IS FINALLY HERE! (spoilers)

As of today Peace Talks is out! I’ve got my copy and I’m up to chapter 7. Um… we should probably have some sort of spoiler policy on this for the first, um, week or two? Month? Have a thread with spoilers and one without?


Huh, only been 6 years.

Cold Days was the last I read, I have had Skin Game since it came out, but haven’t had a chance to read it. Thought I was further behind.

Mr. Butcher went through some epic crap in real life, hence the hiatus. I don’t know all the details, I don’t want or need to know the details, but I’m OK with the man getting his personal life sorted out.

Personally, as much as I’m always ready for another novel by him, I’d rather have a hiatus followed by a good book then have him cranking out rushed crap to meet an arbitrary deadline.

Kind of happy I got the chance to tell him that face-to-face. Also to thank him in person for all the entertainment and enjoyment I’ve gotten from his work. We should all thank the creative types a bit more often than we do, because they don’t have to keep trying to make us happy. There are easier ways to make a living thank in the arts.

Oh, and definitely read Skin Game.

Was up SUPER late last night reading. Got through chapter 12. Will keep is spoiler free for now, but I’ll have to say…this is one sticky situation. Started out kinda sweet, didn’t last.

Seconded…some really important shit there.

>snort< Yes, by that chapter you’ll need hip waders for some of sticky goop.

Some nice references to prior events and books, but it’s not required that you’ve actually read all of them to follow the plot.

This is one of my, very minor, nitpicks about these books. Jim (likely his editors) always insist on shoehorning the necessary exposition about every character and their relationships into the first several chapters when we revisit them. I get it, it makes it so you can supposedly read and enjoy book 16 without reading the previous ones, but honestly I could do with out reading another Thomas bio.

Just got my copy! Hope he still writes the same.

I finished it today. Good stuff! Not his best, and definitely only half a book (to be finished in BATTLE GROUND in September) but an enjoyable read. As usual, Harry’s up to his ass in (magical) alligators. :slight_smile:

Gah. I was afraid of this. It’s like 175 pages shorter than Cold Days. Oh well, we got books this year, I’ll take it.

Still don’t have my copy. I’d like to suggest blurred spoilers, while labeling the chapter and/or subject spoiled. If it’s the whole book, simply say SPOILERS ALL.

This way, folks can talk about OMYGOD, did you read what happened in chapter 15 yet!?Spoilers go here.

And not have to wait until the end of the book.

You say that like it’s a bad thing. Granted, I managed to devour it in just one day (well, I am on vacation so reading is pretty much what I did all day yesterday) but longer is not always better.

Overall, my two main impressions are:

Wow, a LOT of characters and callbacks.

Also, although Dresden has grown enormously in power we get to see how underpowered he is compared to some other folks in the Dresdenverse. Experience counts, and compared to a lot of the supernatural players Dresden is barely out of diapers.

This book could have been named “battleground” for the amount of destruction left behind, I expect the next book, which we’re set up for with a cliffhanger, is going to involve epic battles like what took down the Red Court or led to Dresden riding a T. rex into battle. But maybe more so.

Finished it yesterday. I could tell by the amount of book remaining that it was going to read like Part 1 of a 2-part story. I kind of expected that, given that we’re getting a second book in September. I’d rather it be this way than one over-long book.

A few thoughts (and hopefully I figured out the new spoilers):

I wasn’t crazy about how rage-filled and borderline-unhinged Ebenezer was. I get it, and certainly conflict between he and Harry was coming, but that aspect of the story felt underdeveloped. Granted, we don’t know a ton about Ebenezer’s history, but he’s always been in Harry’s corner. His obsessive hatred of the White Court is understandable, but the way it manifested felt a bit out of left-field.

I, too, enjoyed Harry being the underpowered “youngster” in the larger group of characters. I think it’s a good idea to periodically reset the power scales in the stories. Harry was getting a little too powerful sometimes to make the stakes interesting.

I had no idea what Harry had planned for “helping” Thomas. Creative solution, but I wonder how Thomas will feel about it when he is eventually released. It was clearly not a pleasant experience getting processed into his cell.

We’re all pretty sure that Thomas was either under some kind of compulsion to attack Etri, or that there is some larger game afoot there, right? It makes no sense otherwise, based on what we’ve seen of him previously. OTOH, wasn’t there some foreshadow-y discussion of betrayal early in the book? Thomas going full-on White Court predator/badass would be a nice gut-punch.

I think it’s pretty clear that Harry being, “Starborn,” is going to have something to do with defeating a freaking TITAN, yes? That seemed like a pretty obvious Chekov’s gun.

I loved having River Shoulders around. He is one of my favorite secondary (tertiary?) characters.

Only two months for the conclusion to this story. I hope it won’t be a couple of years until the next book.

About Ebenezer’s part in the chaos:

It was emphasized that Ebenezer’s feelings were irrational. Fact is, though, that part of the reason Ebenezer was getting so pissed was that his parenting was being questioned, Harry pretty directly blamed Ebenezer’s poor parenting for contributing to his daughter’s death, and Harry was completely disregarding Ebenezer’s viewpoint. Combined with concern that Harry himself is turning into a monster and dropping a bombshell that Thomas was also Ebenezer’s grandson - which also reveals that Margaret was having sex with a lust vampire - and it’s believable to me that Ebenezer was going a little crazy. Combine that with being the Blackstaff and… well, it’s a good thing that Harry was anticipating murderous rage.

And, darn it, the spoiler tags stopped working for me so I’ll not continue my post.

Well, I finished it. I’m disappointed. I was afraid I would be.

Overall opinion of the book(no spoilers):
It lacks the satisfying conclusion all other books in the series have had - with the possible exception of Changes, but even that was fairly well wrapped-up. This just kind of stops.

Did a quick look at the r/Dresdenfiles sub on Reddit, which has a lot of traffic, and it looks like I’m not alone. I think it suffered from focus. Butcher said he had a lot of trouble with it, and split what he had tried to make one book, into two books. I could have done without. . .

ALL spoilers below:

the ‘corner hounds’ scene. It went on beyond my interest in it, and I don’t think it added much to the story. I hate hordes of faceless goons, but I recognize that could just be me. I lost interest and wanted to move past it to see Harry acting on something, instead of things happening to Harry. It was chapter eleven and shit was still piling up, with him having done nothing of his own accord but console Justine. That may be the real problem I had: I was getting antsy for Harry to DO SOMETHING instead of run around and react.

In past stories, sometimes I’d wish there was more time for the characters to interact. I didn’t wish for that here, because I felt like they did too much of that to little effect. Even so, with all that talking, we STILL didn’t get Thomas’s motivation before the book ended. I feel like we were owed at least that much. Harry talked to more people, with less result, deeper into this book than previously. There was a fair bit with Michael and the Knights, but not much happened there to push the plot forward. “You guys hang out, we’ll catch you again in Battle Ground.” was all that came of that.

Is it just me, or do we know a whole lot more about Butters’ sex life than is necessary? What going on there anyway? Short, nerdy, mid-40’s man goes around like Batman with little magic gadgets, gets a hot girlfriend 20 years younger than him, then he gets a lightsaber :smiley:, then he trains and gets badass, then he has a polyamorous relationship with two hot women 20 years younger than him. . . what is the definition of a, “Mary-Sue” again?

Maybe there was too much happening for one book. Thomas and Justine having a baby, Eb causing trouble with Thomas AND Maggie, the wardens giving Harry grief, the White Council voting on Harry, Murphy & Harry under investigation again, Murphy and Harry having sex for the first time, the Peace Talks, Thomas attempting to assassinate the Svartalf leader, Harry losing his home, Mab making Harry perform two favors for Lara Raith, Outsiders, a previously-unknown Titan attacking. . .did I miss anything?

I’ll think on it some, and reread it again in the next few days. I think this one got away from Butcher. It lacks a certain. . .economy, I guess. . .that characterized previous books. He usually does a lot with little, and I didn’t see that here. Hopefully, Battle Ground will bring satisfying closure to this, and he can get back on track with the next book.

Error in Peace Talks. Not really much of a spoiler, but I’ll spoiler it anyway:

Harry mentions a few times in Peace Talks that he’s never been to the BFS building before, except when he was a spirit, but he was there in the flesh at the end of Skin Game, to pay they blood money they own Marcone, and to pretty much be a dick to everyone there.

I am pointedly not reading this thread, because I won’t have my copy for a few days. My recommendation would be to keep unspoilered discussion to the recent anticipation thread, and to leave this one for spoilers. Once folks have decided, please reply to me so that I can either read this thread, or edit “(Spoilers)” into the title.

My vote would be for this thread to be “full spoilers” - either you’ve read the book or don’t mind hearing them

It’s your thread, yours is the vote that counts.

I am willing to accept input from others, but if everyone else is agreed let’s go full spoilers. I’ll wait a day, if there are no objections I’ll ask to make it official.