Book Review: Battle Ground by Jim Butcher


Harry has faced terrible odds before. He has a long history of fighting enemies above his weight class. The Red Court of vampires. The fallen angels of the Order of the Blackened Denarius. The Outsiders.

But this time it’s different. A being more powerful and dangerous on an order of magnitude beyond what the world has seen in a millennium is coming. And she’s bringing an army. The Last Titan has declared war on the city of Chicago, and has come to subjugate humanity, obliterating any who stand in her way.

Harry’s mission is simple but impossible: Save the city by killing a Titan. And the attempt will change Harry’s life, Chicago, and the mortal world forever.



What can I say? I’m a fan of this series, otherwise I wouldn’t have gotten this far into it. Even with some of the more…problematic issues (like Harry making cartoon eyes at hot women, or mentioning how hot they are, a lot) these books are still good fun and that’s why I read them. Still, I don’t think this is the best Dresden out there so I can’t help but feel just a twinge of disappointment at this latest installment.

Now, we knew where this story was headed going into it–it’s very much a continuation of the previous book and continues that narrative. Because this is the end of that narrative, this book is all climax, climax, climax. There’s not a lot of building up to things because most of that was done previously. I have to say, this didn’t work for me. Because this book is pretty much nothing but action and one long ass epic battle, there was no rollercoaster, everything felt steady like it was at the same level. There were a few moments here an there that sought to create some highs and lows (Harry looking back on his previous adventures–bonus points for the zombie T-rex mention, and of course, well, that one spoilery thing that upset a lot of fans) but it wasn’t enough for me to make the story feel dynamic. I think having this as a book full of the climax ultimately worked against it and made it underwhelming to me. I think it would have worked better as one narrative. Oh well.

Aside from that, let’s talk about that spoiler (in a non-spoilery way). Oh, well I can see why fans were pissed. Definitely. Although, I don’t think this incident bothered me quite as much as it did some other fans. Mostly because I kind of saw this coming. I’m not sure if it’s because I just got into Dresden a few years ago and binged them all in a row, but I think I see the direction the story is headed and so this wasn’t a surprise to me. This allows a space to be cleared for…well…other things to happen. I don’t really have many opinions on what I think is going to happen because it hasn’t happened yet so I feel neutral about it right now. *shrug*

Like I said, there were some fun moments in this! There were parts where I saw the old Harry shining through–the humor, the dialogue, etc. But it wasn’t quite enough for me. I also felt like some moments should have held more gravitas then they did. I know it’s a careful balancing act to go from silly to serious but this series is more than capable of it, not sure why that wasn’t achieved here.

While this was still a book that had it’s moments, both fun and…otherwise, it’s relentless action took it’s toll and made the pace feel dragged out to me rather than exciting. I’ll still keep reading Dresden though, at this point I’m more than invested. 3/5 stars.

13 thoughts on “Book Review: Battle Ground by Jim Butcher

  1. @lynnsbooks says:

    That’s a shame – but, this is the thing with a long series I suppose, some books just work better than others. Love that the zombie t-rex was mentioned – wasn’t that a dinosaur called Sue?
    Lynn 😀

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