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  • Cold Days

  • The Dresden Files, Book 14
  • Written by: Jim Butcher
  • Narrated by: James Marsters
  • Length: 18 hrs and 47 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (436 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Harry Dresden lives!

After being murdered by a mystery assailant, navigating his way through the realm between life and death, and being brought back to the mortal world, Harry realizes that maybe death wasn’t all that bad - because he is no longer Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard. He is now Harry Dresden, Winter Knight to Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness.

After Harry had no choice but to swear his fealty, Mab wasn’t about to let something as petty as death steal away the prize she had sought for so long. And now, her word is his command, no matter what she wants him to do, no matter where she wants him to go, and no matter who she wants him to kill. Guess which one Mab wants first?

Of course, it won’t be an ordinary, everyday assassination. Mab wants her newest minion to pull off the impossible: kill an immortal. No problem there, right? And to make matters worse, there exists a growing threat to an unfathomable source of magic that could land Harry in the sort of trouble that will make death look like a holiday.

Beset by enemies new and old, Harry must gather his friends and allies, prevent the annihilation of countless innocents, and find a way out of his eternal subservience before his newfound powers claim the only thing he has left to call his own… his soul.

©2012 Jim Butcher (P)2012 Penguin Audio

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my favorite one in the series

this book is fantastic. marsters delivers an impeccable performance, and the story revolves around a huge reveal that impacts and ties together the whole series.

1 person found this helpful

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James Marsters brings Dresden to life

Slow but so good. James brings an amazing voice to Dresden. This was my first audiobook, and not only has Audible been amazing in terms of bookmarking and keeping me in place, but I am actually preferring the audio to my book. I actually own these books in paperback, but I'm finding more and more time for the books I love because of being able to listen to them in the car/at work. I've tried other audiobooks before and so far James Marsters is the only narrator whose voice I can stand for long periods of time. #Audible1

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Exceptional!

I don't know what more I can say about this series of books except that they just keep getting better and better every time!

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Wonderful

This was my forray into audio books, and I took a gamble starting with one of my favourite series, but this was so well done I have nothing but good things to say. I have since purchased the rest of the series!

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COLD DAYS STONE COLD AWESOME

I realized part way through that I had already read some of it awhile ago. Yet, It was a great listen and I enjoyed it all over again.

Dresden's story and Chicago and all of its denizens have come a long way since the first book and this much change can be both scary and welcome at the same time.

If you couldn't imagine how the stakes could be higher than in the last book... well, there are far worse things than one's own death... and this book proves that.

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Review for Cold Days

Another great listen. Cold Days is another great addition to the Dresden Files. Humor, action and drama well balanced

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  • A reader
  • 2012-12-21

Thwarts Every Expectation - In a Good Way

This is book 14, so no introduction to the plot or summary of the series so far will either make sense to new readers or be interesting to series regulars. So, instead, it is worth asking, is Cold Days worth reading if you are already a Dresden fan? And, perhaps more importantly, does it give you hope for the continued adventures of Dresden in the future? The answers are both "hell, yes!"

Remember, we are 14 books into a series, one in which hundreds of characters have been introduced, where each book reveals bigger secrets than the last about the universe, and where every potential proverbial shark has been jumped, including the resurrection of the main character. And yet Butcher somehow, against all reason and expectation, keeps writing books that feel as if there is an overarching plot that makes sense, with real character progression, internal consistency, and a vibrant but changing world.

It is worth noting this achievement, since, to my knowledge, no fantasy or science fiction series of this length has ever pulled off a series of such consistent highs, and on a nearly yearly basis! Robert Jordan and George R. R. Martin lost steam along the way, Bujold makes each story fairly self-contained, Pratchett switches characters, and most other epic series feel a bit like the TV shows Lost or Twin Peaks - spinning out of the creators control with needless complication and wandering attention. Not the Dresden files! The action is still exciting, the humor still solid, and the characters still engaging. And, as per usual, the stakes get ever higher, while still leaving room for both mystery and future books.

The short version: the book is excellent, and the series an achievement that has managed to transcend its fantasy-noir roots. The only reason not to get it is if you haven't read the first 13.

106 people found this helpful

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  • Sharon
  • 2012-11-27

Harry's Back!

For those of you, like myself, that found Ghost Story a little lacking - Cold Days not only kicks the storyline up 3 notches, we finally see Harry back in his element. I can't enumerate the number of times that I was agog and aghast at the events unfurling and even now I've finished it I'm still stunned!

James Marsters IS Harry Dresden. No doubt in my mind and I hope that he continues narrating the series until its conclusion.

Thank you Jim Butcher for writing what I consider one of the best Urban Fantasy series in print at the moment.

59 people found this helpful

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  • Don Gilbert
  • 2012-11-28

Back to Life and as Good as Ever

Having downloaded the book a few minutes after two in the morning, the day of its release, and taking only a few hours to catch a little sleep, and do that annoying thing called work in between, I just came up for air having spent the best eighteen hours and fifty minutes that I have spent in a long time. Then, taking time only to reacquaint myself with the family again, I couldn’t wait to write this review; Kudos to those reviewers who could transcend time.
Harry’s back and he’s alive again. For those keeping up on the series he had been dead in the last book and only by the help of Mab was he able to come back to the mortal world; but now he belongs to the Queen of Winter as her white knight. Of course, this is Harry and he has every intention of defying her whenever he can.
The story begins in Artic Tor where Harry meets some new “friends,” and begins his rehab; coming back to life is not easy.
After some interesting rehab exercises, orchestrated by Mab, Harry almost feels like his old self again and then receives a surprise birthday party, thrown by some of his new winter court friends.
Having survived his birthday party Harry receives his first assignment as the new white knight.
In order to complete his assignment, and keep his island Demonreach from exploding and taking half of Chicago with it, Harry seeks out his old companions; Bob, the skull, His half-brother Thomas, Molly his apprentice, and the pizza loving faeire general Toot-Toot, to name a few.
This was a great listening experience; Jim Butcher writes a superb story and the narrator, James Marsters, is Harry Dresden and gives a fantastic performance.

57 people found this helpful

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  • Timothy
  • 2012-11-28

James Marsters is Fantastic!

While I didn't mind the last narrator, James Marsters just kicks up the enjoyment factor up a notch. I haven't slept much just listening to Cold Days. I have to agree that Dresden as a ghost wasn't as good, but Cold Days more then makes up for it.

Please Please keep James Marsters as a narrator for the rest of the series.

35 people found this helpful

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  • Nicholas
  • 2012-12-12

How do they keep getting better?!

What made the experience of listening to Cold Days the most enjoyable?

First, the story was incredible. Second, Marsters is THE VOICE for Harry Dresden, period. Butcher's style is fluid, shifting beautifully from action to dialogue to narrative introspection. Jim, I started reading the Dresden Files when the very first one was published. I've re-read them many, many times and have gone back even to listen to them all on audible. Thank you for investing so much into this story, making it more and more incredible with each new installment.

What other book might you compare Cold Days to and why?

You might disagree, but Cold Days reminds me some of the Roger Zelazny series (let's just go with the anthology titled "The Great Book of Amber".) Cold Days is perhaps an evolution of Urban Fantasy and flirts many times with the idea of a higher fantasy mentality where as "The Great Book of Amber" was more of a high fantasy flirting with concepts of urban fantasy.

What does James Marsters bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Marsters has depth for Harry's feelings and those around him. Butcher developed very deep and intricate events around equal parts dialogue, action and narrative perspective. Marsters transitions between all the elements that drive a Dresden novel rather seamlessly. After hearing Marsters's stellar performance on Book 14 after such a disappointing absence for Book 13, it's clear that he is the voice of the Dresden Files.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes. I'm not talking about it though.

Any additional comments?

Cold Days is different than the previous 13, in that there is a lot less censorship. Lot of F-bombs and more graphic sexual descriptions. I don't say these are negatives. None of it was gratuitous, but they do stand out and they give this installment of the Dresden Files a different vibe. Book 14 was rated R to me, where the other 13 were more PG-13. Again, this is not a complaint. Some people like to know these things, so I figure it's a worthy additional comment.

26 people found this helpful

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  • Professor
  • 2012-11-27

THE WIND OF "CHANGES" BROUGHT US "COLD DAYS"

HARRY FOUGHT DEMON'S AND FALLEN ANGELS,
HE EVEN HAD ONE IN HIS MIND,
HE FOUGHT VAMPIRES, GANGSTERS AND WEREWOLVES,
WITH ALL THE HELP HE COULD FIND

HE FOUGHT FAERIES, GHOSTS AND ZOMBIES,
NEVER GOING ASTRAY
HE MADE THE RED COURT EXTINCT
BY FOLLOWING HIS OWN WAY

WHILE FIGHTING THE EVIL
BAD CHOICES WERE MADE
WHEN DYING ALONE
NO ONE CAME TO HIS AID

AND WHEN HE DIED THINGS GOT REALLY SERIES :-)) !!!!

NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE AND HOW MUCH POWER YOU HAVE :-D !!!!!
AFTER BEING DEAD FOR SIX MONTHS, SUPPORTED BY SOME TREES AND QUEEN OF DARKNESS, YOU HAVE TO USE SOME TIME FOR RECUPERATION.
FOR HARRY IT WAS INTERESTING TIME BECAUSE IT ALSO WAS A TIME OF TRAINING.
THE TRAINING WAS FIERCE BUT SIMPLE (MAB WAS TRYING TO KILL HARRY WITH NEW INVENTIVE AND MORE SOPHISTICATED WAYS AND HARRY WAS TRYING TO SURVIVE)
THE RECOVERY TOOK SEVENTY-SEVEN DAYS AND SEVENTY-SEVEN ATTEMPTED MURDERS. USE YOUR IMAGINATION. MAB SURE AS HELL DID. THERE WAS EVEN A TICKING CROCODILE. :D

MAB IS TRYING TO CHANGE HARRY BIT BY BIT, TO MAKE HIM FOLLOW HER WILL , BUT AS ALWAYS HARRY HAS HIS OWN TAKE ON THIS DILEMMA, BESIDES HE HAS BIGGER PROBLEMS.

BUT OVERALL IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT HAPPENS NEXT, BECAUSE HARRY DRESDEN PROFESSIONAL WIZARD THE WINTER KNIGHT IS BACK IN BUSINESS AND HARRY'S "TRUE VOICE" RETURNED.

21 people found this helpful

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  • Richard
  • 2012-11-27

Marsters is Back

Ghost story was ok but Cold days is back to the way it should be with Marsters in the Role. He is Dresden

21 people found this helpful

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  • Ron
  • 2012-11-27

James Marsters is BACK!!!!!!! The REAL Dresden.

Thank you for listening to your audience. Book 13 Ghost Story was a Dresden impersonation at best. But you have heard us and we All get the pleasure of listening to the Real Dresden again.



If you've made it this far into the series and now that Marsters is back I know you are going to love it.

16 people found this helpful

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  • HARRISON
  • 2012-12-03

He's Baaaaaaack!

OK, so, a lot of Dresden fans that I know were disappointed in Ghost Story. An overlapping subset were disappointed in the lack of James Marsters narration in Ghost Story. In this book, both Harry and James are back in full form.
Harry Dresden is Harry Dresden, right down to the overprotecting his friends who don't need it and too dense to see what's in front of him. This book has action, combat, frenetic running in the wrong direction, little bit of romance...All the best things about this series. We also get some backstory on a couple of major characters in the series who have looked like minor characters up to now. Things are going to get really interesting for poor, tired, Harry now..... but who needs sleep anyway, right?

The narration is spot-on, just what we've come to expect in the first twelve books. Butcher's writing remains superb, and I love that in Harry's pop-culture references (always scattered through the books) he's finally worked in an homage to Terry Pratchett. Thank You, Jim!

14 people found this helpful

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  • Steven
  • 2013-01-15

Six stars out of five!

Welcome back James Marsters!

Not only is Marsters great, he IS Harry Dresden. 'Nough said about that.

I don't know of any author but Jim Butcher who can pen a 14-novel series and never make you feel that he is just churning-out another block of words for a paycheck. If anything, he gets better. 'Days' has all of the action and humor that we expect Jim, Harry, and James to deliver. I can't wait for the next installment.

11 people found this helpful