This is a long novella at 3 hours 22 minutes. I slow the reading down by 10% anyway, which made it as long as many books now called “full” books. It was a real treat while waiting for the next major Harry Dresden novel.
The book is narrated by Jim Butcher. A lot of people whined because Butcher isn’t the usual narrator. I thought he did a fine job of narrating the book. His sense of who the characters are is brilliant — as you would expect. After all, he created the characters. They live in his mind. Butcher’s voice is good. His pacing is excellent. He doesn’t overact nor is he flat. He’s an excellent narrator and I wouldn’t object if he narrated all his books.
A lot of people didn’t think the book was “up to Butcher’s usual standards.” I disagree. When last we saw Harry Dresden, he was depressed. He finally had a woman in his life who was his equal and who loved him as much as he loved her — and then, she died. He was drowning in misery. He needed something to snap him out of his gloom. This was a small case, a legal matter with magical sidebars. It got him out of his cave and back into the world. He needed that. We all needed that.
By the end of the story, Harry’s not quite fully himself — yet — but you can see he will be. A spark was lit. Harry woke up from his morass of grief and came alive. He was Harry again. Not the full Harry Dresden, but you know he’ll get there in plenty of time for the next book.
I not only thought the book was up to Jim Butcher’s high standards, but was a good book all by itself. Shorter than I’d have liked, but Jim Butcher’s books are never long enough for me, regardless of length. Just to make sure I liked the book as much as I thought, I listened to it once, listened to another book, then went back and listened to it again. I think I liked it better the second time.
The book is much less expensive if you buy it through Amazon rather than Audible. About $20 less and well worth the money. I give this one a solid five stars. I hope there’s another book soon, even if it’s another novella. My Harry Dresden habit needs feeding!