Title: Small Favor: A Novel of the Dresden Files (Dresden Files #10)
Author: Jim Butcher
Narrator: James Marsters
Audiobook Length: 13 hours, 50 minutes
”No one’s tried to kill Harry Dresden for almost an entire year, and his life finally seems to be calming down. For once, the future looks fairly bright. But the past casts one hell of a long shadow.
An old bargain has placed Harry in debt to Mab, monarch of the Winter Court of the Sidhe, the Queen of Air and Darkness-and she’s calling in her marker. It’s a small favor he can’t refuse…one that will trap Harry Dresden between a nightmarish foe and an equally deadly ally, and one that will strain his skills- and loyalties-to their very limits.
It figures. Everything was going too well to last…”
Thoughts: Harry is back to save the day and does so with more snark and power than ever. In Small Favor he must fend off fallen angels (a.k.a. the Fallen) and the Summer Court before he can rest. He must once again reevaluate his moral code in order to do so, especially with Queen Mab calling in one of her favors and requiring his cooperation. The result is a fascinating exploration of duty and promise, good and evil, and the steps people will take to protect their interests.
Thinking back over the first nine books, one cannot help but appreciate the growth and maturity that Harry displays. The changes are subtle but there. His powers always were impressive but are now overtly formidable. His ability to think quickly and strategically has also grown. He still tends towards knee-jerk, emotional responses but is able to stop himself before doing anything terribly rash and unforgiveable. This character development is essential to keeping the series engaging.
One thing that has not changed is Harry’s power of sarcasm. His ability to mouth off to the most daunting of foes continues to delight and amuse readers. While this tendency of Harry’s is a sly nod to readers that they should not take the series too seriously, it also does wonders for lightening what could be a most depressing story in which the odds are stacked heavily against Harry and his friends. Most importantly, it allows a reader to judge the seriousness of the crisis du jour. Should the day come where Harry is unable to be flippant, a reader will be forced to sit up and take notice that something big is on the horizon. Given what Harry has faced to date, the prospect of that happening is terrifying.
I feel like a broken record with regards to my opinions about James Marsters as narrator for the Dresden series. Suffice it to say, I still love him and cannot imagine the series told in anyone else’s voice.
Small Favor establishes several crucial plot points for the slowly-building battle between the Black Council and the rest of the magical world. At the same time, though, Small Favor provides some moments of true hilarity. The combination of action, intrigue, and humor works so well and makes each story almost impossible to set aside for other activities. Small Favor builds upon each previous novel and propels the story forward in a way that is both satisfying and intriguing, providing enough of a cliffhanger to keep readers panting for more. It really is no wonder why the Dresden series continues to be as popular as it is.
Acknowledgments: Mine. All mine.