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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Fantasy (2020)
When the Supernatural nations of the world meet up to negotiate an end to ongoing hostilities, Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, joins the White Council's security team to make sure the talks stay civil. But can he succeed, when dark political manipulations threaten the very existence of Chicago--and all he holds dear?

348 pages, Kindle Edition

First published July 14, 2020

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About the author

Jim Butcher

277 books46.8k followers
Jim Butcher is the author of the Dresden Files, the Codex Alera, and a new steampunk series, the Cinder Spires. His resume includes a laundry list of skills which were useful a couple of centuries ago, and he plays guitar quite badly. An avid gamer, he plays tabletop games in varying systems, a variety of video games on PC and console, and LARPs whenever he can make time for it. Jim currently resides mostly inside his own head, but his head can generally be found in his home town of Independence, Missouri.

Jim goes by the moniker Longshot in a number of online locales. He came by this name in the early 1990′s when he decided he would become a published author. Usually only 3 in 1000 who make such an attempt actually manage to become published; of those, only 1 in 10 make enough money to call it a living. The sale of a second series was the breakthrough that let him beat the long odds against attaining a career as a novelist.

All the same, he refuses to change his nickname.

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5 stars
18,738 (43%)
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3 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,062 reviews
Profile Image for Eric Allen.
Author 3 books732 followers
November 18, 2020
2.5 stars.

TL;DR is that this book is kinda meh. It picks up at the end, but that doesn't really save it from mediocrity. This book feels like one of Butcher's Dresden novellas or short stories stretched out into full novel length, but lacking enough substance to be interesting once lengthened.

It's been about 7 years since the previous book in the series, and I haven't reread any of the other books in the series during that time. I may need to go back and read some of them, or at least look up a character and event list. 7 years is a long time and the book keeps referencing events and characters that I either outright do not remember, or only vaguely remember.

Also, the previous book was just a really fun, really entertaining adventure. A return to form for the series. And a really great sendoff for my favorite Dresden sidekick. In comparison, this book is kind of really dull, which is a bit disappointing after how long it's been since the previous book, and just how good that previous book was. It's not bad, I was just hoping for a bit more fun, and a bit less moping around.

The book has some really frustrating moments in it, due to Dresden actively choosing not to communicate. I get that the author was saving it for the big confrontation at the end, but I spent half the book yelling, "JUST TELL HIM!!!" at the pages.

At its core, this book is, pretty much the same story type as Skin Game. It's a heist. But where Skin Game did everything right, this one seemed really half-hearted. Not to mention that using the exact same type of story twice in a row didn't help with the boredom aspect for me. It's not a terrible book. I just felt that it was really dull until about the last fifty pages or so. I think this is the second book in the series, after Ghost Story, that I really just don't care for. But, I mean, if only 1 book in 8 is not all that great, that's still a pretty good ratio. Big things do happen in this book, mostly at the end, but it's not presented in a very interesting way. It kind of just feels like Butcher was dragging his feet, and maybe a little burnt out on writing Dresden. I understand that he went through quite a bit of misfortune in the time between this book and the previous one, and I wish him the best, but I still don't like this book as much as others in the series. Hopefully the next book this fall will be a bit more fun and exciting. Given what happens at the end of this book, it looks to be a pretty good book. Hopefully Butcher managed to get out of his funk for it.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 6 books3,962 followers
March 28, 2020
My dear friends, I just finished reading Peace Talks.

Yes, I finally read a book that I (and approximately 1k other reviewers) have been so vocal about wanting ever since Skin Game.

If I was going to be super precise about the actual waiting time, I'd say it's a TON. For those who like to challenge themselves with a little basic math, the last Dresden novel came out in May of 2014.

And so, when I got an ARC for this, I spit out my soup in surprise and started screaming.

You understand. It's just one of those things.

But now that I've read Peace Talks, I'm afraid to actually SAY that I've read Peace Talks.


Because you FANS ARE NUTS. I feel like I'm starting a war! I can hear you getting your guns out and your magical weapons and all your supernatural hoards and you're COMING FOR ME because I got it early and read it early and now I feel like my only recourse is to run and hide on Demonreach!

Of course, if you weren't coming for me with hate-filled eyes, I might tell you that the book was AWESOME and Mr. Jim Butcher pulled off something SWEET AS HELL in the new novel. I could tell you that nothing is lost, nothing is ignored, and all things serve a purpose.

You remember the book where the Council and all the other baddies stood to face the wall that kept the Outsiders on the other side, and you read the scene with wonder and a crazy feeling that things were ABSOLUTELY NOT GOING TO GO WELL?

That feeling has survived quite nicely in this book.

And you know what? Mr. Jim Butcher is spoiling us.

Look to October this year for BOOK 17! That's right. Battle Ground

The crap is going to hit the fan.

Please don't hurt me, fellow fanboys and fangirls! But even if you do, I think it was worth it. The book was great. :) Peace, friends!
Profile Image for Petrik.
673 reviews42.7k followers
February 5, 2021
I have a Booktube channel now! Subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/petrikleo

Stunning finish and setup for the next installment, but I’m not sure whether this should’ve been divided into two books or not.

Some of you who follow my on Goodreads or Booktube most likely would know that this year, for me, is the year of reading The Dresden Files. Unlike many fans of the series, I didn’t spend six years waiting for Peace Talks, the long-awaited sixteenth book in the series, to come out. I did find the fans’ enthusiasm when the release date of this book was first announced to be very pleasing, and the hype erupted further when Butcher and his publishers announced that the seventeenth book in the series is, indeed, also being published this year. Now, I have no idea whether if I’ll enjoy this book more if I’ve waited that long or not; I read the entire series for the first time this year, after all. However, I certainly enjoyed many aspects of Peace Talks.

“Fear is a prison. But when you combine it with secrets, it becomes especially toxic, vicious. It puts us all into solitary, unable to hear one another clearly.”

If it weren’t obvious enough from the title yet, both Peace Talks and Battle Ground are clearly one big book divided into two volumes. I need to finish Battle Ground first before I finalized my thoughts on whether this is a good idea or not, but for now, I will say that there were a few moments in this book where the pacing suffers a bit. For example, there was one long action-packed chapter that could’ve been taken out completely, and the book most likely would become better for it. Also, I want to say that I’m not a huge fan of Harry’s extraordinary horniness that comes from using his new power; it made him want to bang every single girl he met. Honestly, it gets incredibly boring reading about this uncontrollable lust repeatedly; four books in a row now, and it seems like it will continue for more. So yeah, structural issues and the repetitive horniness aside, I highly enjoyed reading Peace Talks.

“But there's a deeper meaning to home. Something simpler, more primal. It's where you eat the best food because other predators can't take it from you very easily there. It's where you can your mate are the most intimate. Its where your raise your children, safe against a world that can be horrible things to them. It's where you sleep, safe. It's where you relax. It's where you dream. Home is where you embrace the present and plan the future. It's where the books are. And more than anything else, it's where you build the world that you want.”

As you can probably guess, there’s a limitation to the things I could say here. This is, after all, the sixteenth book in the series. I will, however, repeat myself and say that I truly loved the focus on family and making the hard choices in the name of it. This isn’t a new thing in The Dresden Files; family and love have always been some of the most evident running themes of the series. But I think the difficulty of the decisions that Harry has to do here and the impact it brings are one of the most pivotal in the series so far. Tough decisions have to be made, simple as that. Without giving any spoilers, the last 20% of this book was purely insane and cataclysmic. I am very excited to be jumping into Battle Ground immediately after the emotional confrontation and turn of events that occurred at the end of Peace Talks. Forces are gathering, and although the appearance of the new villain was quite sudden, I loved the world-ending scale story that the series is heading towards. This could truly be the most deadly enemy that Harry and co have to battle so far, and I’m so looking forward to reading about it.

“The pain we feel in life always grows. When we’re little, little pains hurt us. When we get bigger, we learn to handle more and more pain and carry on regardless.”

The setup in Peace Talks for Battle Ground has been done superbly, and as I mentioned, whether I’ll agree with the structural decision to turn it into two volumes or not remains to be seen. It’s crazy that currently there’s only one more published book in the series for me to read. The series has become so much more destructive and larger-in-scope than the first five books, and I hope the events of this book means Butcher is really working towards ending the series with a bang soon. Onward to Battle Ground!

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Profile Image for Robert Brown.
38 reviews
April 15, 2015
Butcher risks declining interest in the Dresden Files. He's got such an interesting "world," with huge potential stories and story-lines that he's setup, and an interested fan-base. However, with the snail's pace publishing of the "adult" version of the Files, Butcher is risking a growing disinterest as readers turn to other authors/books that are a bit more proliferate. Certainly, I find my interest in the next book to be fading as time moves on: it is not something I'm burning to buy as soon as it is released. I barely was interested in Skin Game and didn't find the story as riveting or interesting as previous stories. Since Ghost Story, I've found this apathy to be growing. You're going to lose readers Butcher....
Profile Image for Luffy.
867 reviews716 followers
August 1, 2020
Unsalvageable. I'm tempted to tell Jim Butcher to go screw himself, because he sure screwed his faithful. What's more, most of his fans are rating this book, praising it to the heavens.

There was an overemphasis on Mouse, the dog, and mention of a threesome, twice. If that kind of events happened in the author's life, then spice it up a little before serving it.

I know Butcher is a terrific writer, and I can see myself giving 5 stars to Battle Ground, but my personal opinion on this garbage book is that hype is a real thing that can reel in the gullible, the famished, the naive, and the fanatic.
Profile Image for Serack.
24 reviews24 followers
Currently reading
October 13, 2015
Edited 9/23/15
Jim said at yesterday's reddit AMA that the manuscript is due January 1st. Generally a 4 month turnaround is necessary after that, 6 preferable. Penguin has managed to bring that down to as low as 1 month, but that is unlikely. (Props to "Priscellie" for most of the above info).

Here is Jim's 50 word summary of what Peace Talks is about:

"The various supernatural powers are gathering together in Chicago to kind of hash things out in the wake of the Red Court’s destruction and all the chaos in the world. So basically they will all sit around a campfire and tell stories and sing kumbayah and everything will be fine."

Jim announced on twitter that the first line is

Edit(12/30/2014): At the 2014 Dragoncon Jim said that Peace Talks will take place about 3 months after the events of Skin Game (in the middle of Summer) and Harry will be "living with his daughter" and trying to be a dad when the events happen.

The name makes me think that Listens to Wind (LtW) will be rather central (remember the foreshadowing of LtW doing some mentoring for Harry back in Turn Coat?), but Jim has said that Molly will have some exposition.

I moved everything about other future DF books into my Mirror Mirror review. This includes information about much more than just Mirror Mirror.
141 reviews2 followers
July 16, 2020
tl;dr Weakest book in the series since at least Fool Moon. Reads more like a jumbled mess of three separate prologues generously padded with filler than a complete story in its own right.

What a massive let down. I found the last few entries in the series disappointing but still serviceable. This was so much worse. It has all the weaknesses of the Dresden series cranked up to eleven while most of the things I love about it are missing and it is a frustrating mix of a clip show filler episode and a teaser trailer to boot. Do yourself a favor and at the very least don't touch this book until you know part 2 is worth it. Most likely a few page summary would be a much better way to experience this installment.

I guess I'll start with the good since there is so little of it. Not everything here is terrible, in fact there are many bits and pieces of what make the series good scattered throughout. A clever joke here, a cool character interaction there, a full set of action scenes of... acceptable quality, even some really cool emotional scenes that we've been building up to for a while. You will get to see some things that readers have been waiting for for a long time and because of the buildup from previous installments, they will land pretty well. The issue is not just that these pieces of goodness are outnumbered by boring or pointless scenes but that they don't fit together into any kind of coherent story. Harry living with his daughter is adorable but Harry and Karrin together has been built up almost since the beginning of the series but

Now onto the things that were real problems for me in this book.

Firstly, this used to be a series about a detective/investigator. It is a staple of the series that in each book there is a mystery and Harry works to solve it. Well, there is a "central" mystery in this book too- for no apparent reason, Thomas tried to assassinate the leader of the svartalves who are Harry's friends and landlords. It is the obvious setup to investigate what the hell happened and why Thomas tried to do this except... no, that just never happens. Instead Harry does absolutely nothing for the first two thirds of the book except aimlessly drift from one unrelated scene to the next then suddenly in the final third we get a much smaller scale and less interesting heist than we did last book. I've never seen Harry Dresden be this passive and unfocused.

Secondly, the constant sexualization of nearly all women in the story has reached exhausting levels. Harry is dating Murphy, hitting on Lara, making out with Molly, being repeatedly propositioned by Valkyries, checking out the body of nearly every woman he sees and so on. Good old Harry, right? Well, there are two separate scenes where Harry (a man in his 50s at this point) is checking out "the curves" on minors who have been in the series since they were preschoolers. Stop ogling your 10-year-old daughter's 15-year-old babysitter, you creep. At least those two questionable moments are mercifully brief but just about the only scenes where Harry isn't checking out some woman is when he is alone with his grandfather. The one that made me burst out laughing was when the villain made her big entrance- a bunch of people just got shot in front of him, there are a number of hated enemies and a massive dangerous toad creature then a ten-foot-tall figure in a black robe makes an appearance and what does Harry focus on? How he got a glimpse of a feminine and perfectly proportioned foot under the robe.

Thirdly, I really wish Butters and his bevy of werewolf girlfriends would just go away. I realize this is just personal preference but this character made the transition from annoying to unbearable last book and in this one Jim just doubles down on everything I hate about Butters. Ideally, he would just go off on a mysterious Knight mission and never be heard from again.

Fourthly, there are just too many characters which means they don't get enough to do. This varies in scope from Ivy whose presence is just mentioned in a single throwaway reference to Murphy who spends several scenes fighting to participate in the heist only to in the end be a glorified getaway driver. Even Harry and Lara, the ostensible driving forces of the story, suffer from this. Lara starts out calling in three major favors from Mab, presumably to pull off some plan at the Peace Talks but we never learn what that might have been as she gets swept up into just reacting to events. Harry is similarly unnaturally passive as he just reacts to things happening to him and I honestly can't figure out why- until the very end, there is nothing that makes the pressure or stakes in this book that much higher than normal for the series so why is he suddenly so defeatist and passive?

So I initially described the "book" as a mix between a cheap clip show episode and a teaser trailer. The former aspect is because we meet a whole bunch of characters that do nothing but make an appearance and tease parts of the series one could have missed.

* "Hey, did you read the Bigfoot stories? Well, here's a character from them that just hangs out around I guess. To find out why he and Harry are friends, go read those. He *looks* like he'll be important later but sure does absolutely nothing in this book."
* "Hey, did you read Heorot? Well, if you want to know why einherjar hate Bigfoot, go read that. It sure has zero bearing on this story though despite a triple setup as if it will."
* "Hey, did you read AAAA Wizardry? Well, here are some character from there. We will initially pretend they are important but they will immediately fade into the background."
* "Hey, did you read Curses? Well... I mean it really really doesn't matter but we still spend a whole page referencing it."
* "Hey, do you want to know why Ramirez is using a cane and in pain? Well, it doesn't matter to this story but have you read..."

Don't get me wrong, building on characters and developing them over multiple books is perhaps my favorite aspect of the series but this is not that. None of these characters are developed here, they don't get to have relevance to this story. Just as one example, the Archive appears for about two paragraphs. Just long enough for Harry to disgustingly ogle her and reference one of her short stories obliquely. Then she disappears without either of them acknowledging each other.

The feels-like-a-prologue part is that absolutely nothing gets resolved in this book. We get a setup for a police investigation, family showdown, two separate unrelated trials, an Outsider summoner, supernatural invasion, a mission requiring Knights and a bunch more things. So there is a whole mess of things going down but each of them takes up 5-10 pages of setup and then becomes irrelevant for the rest of the book or maybe gets one more short scene to indicate the author hasn't completely forgotten about it. Now we are in a situation where this book doesn't have any resolution at the end but the next one has too many things to juggle so its almost guaranteed to be an absolute mess.
Profile Image for Sheyla ✎.
1,813 reviews474 followers
July 21, 2020


Six years I waited for Harry to come back. SIX YEARS!!!!

Was it worth the wait? For me? ABSOLUTELY. I loved every second of it. There's intrigue galore, amazing characterization. Awesome dialogue.

Peace Talks made me happy in all kinds of ways. I got my fix of some Thomas, Molly, Michael, Maggie, Mouse, Lara Raith, Marcone, Waldo, Mab, Justine, you name it, it was there. Best, I was listening to James Marsters for almost all of the book. He is just superb as Harry and the other forty or so characters he renders his voice for this series.

In addition, if you had read the short stories, you'll be happily surprised to reacquaint yourself with so many other characters from those.

As always, Harry is having all kinds of trouble. He's tired, running on little sleep and food and trying to save the world. Or this case Chicago and some very important people to him. Yet, Harry is becoming smarter and trying to do things logically, without burning down the building which shows some major growth on his part.

For people who like Karin and Dresden together, they are going to be happy. Me being a #MollyTeam or even a #LaraTeam, it didn't make me happy but it didn't make me mad either. I guess I still hold a grudge for Karrin shooting Harry so many moons ago but if Harry is happy with her so be it.

After finishing Peace Talks, I started thinking of so many things that could go wrong since this book doesn't have all the answers. Luckily, I don't have to wait long for Battle Ground.

I believe if you are a reader who's saying there was not enough action in this book, the next one is going to have too much. The question is who are we going to lose. It terrifies me. I don't want it to be any of my favorites (which is like 20!)

On a side note, I'm super concerned about Ramirez. I don't trust him anymore. Be careful, Molly.

Peace Talks sets such a masterful way for Battle Ground. Frenemies must come together to protect it all or die trying and Harry Dresden is going to be in the middle of it all with the baddies from all sides gunning for him. Watch out!

Cliffhanger: YES! A big one!

5/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by ACE via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Profile Image for Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller.
724 reviews1,202 followers
July 7, 2020
[4.5/5 stars] Peace Talks was everything I hoped it would be and more. Totally worth the wait! ^_^ Especially because we’re getting TWO Dresden novels this year (Battle Ground is currently slated for release September 29th!).

The last few Dresden novels have been hit or miss. Ghost Story and Cold Days were by-far my least favorite books in the series. I briefly considered abandoning it, but then Skin Game (possibly the best of the series – PARKOUR!!) came along and fuego! – total re-ignition. I didn’t know what to expect after so much time between books, but luckily Peace Talks was more of all the things that make this series great: good characters, funny dialogue, supernatural politics, lots of magic, and stakes that keep getting higher and higher. It’s a relief because I wasn’t sure I liked the direction the story has been heading in the last few books. Butcher jumped the shark at some point and I was afraid it was going to get too far from the original essence of the story while dealing with the multidimensional shit. It didn’t. Instead it struck a nice balance between the familiar and the new concepts.

The book did take a bit of time for gentle reintroductions to the characters, but it wasn’t distracting. Frankly I could’ve used more reminders on the differences between the white court, the red court, the winter court, the summer court, etc. I’ve got most of it straight, but still get lost on occasion with anything to do with the fae. That’s more of an attention span thing though – early on in the series, all the evil beings sounded and acted the same so I never bothered to get them straight. Now I’m paying for being lazy because they’ve stuck around. Anyway, Peace Talks wasn’t as action-packed as Skin game, but it more than made up for it with political intrigue and plot-advancements between key characters. There were definitely a few “omg!” moments. The story arc didn’t feel as robust as some of his other books, but that’s probably why we’re getting another novel this year. I’m ready for that one to knock me on my ass.

Really, the only thing that would’ve made my reading experience of Peace Talks better is James Marsters crooning to me on the audio version. Other than that, it was awesome!

Recommendations: Dresden continues to be an absolute joy to read, and seems to embrace its flaws to the point where it wouldn’t be a satisfying Dresden novel without them (they’re not so much flaws anymore as trademark Dresden-isms). If you haven’t read this series yet and are even mildly interested in the genre, it’s a great pick (give it until at least book 4). Oh! And if you haven’t had a chance to read the novellas yet, now would be a good time to pick up the Bigfoot ones before diving into Peace Talks. ;)

I’d like to thank Berkley Publishing Group, Netgalley, and Jim Butcher for providing an early review copy of Peace Talks – you made my year!

Via The Obsessive Bookseller at www.NikiHawkes.com

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Profile Image for Ashley.
2,647 reviews1,691 followers
July 22, 2020
Update 7/20/20: No fifth star here, folks. What we've got here is a part one of two situation. This is basically the first book in a duology inside the series proper, with Battle Ground being part two. We now know why the surprise second book! And I can't fully judge this one until I see how (most of) it turns out. Luckily September 29th isn't that far away.

I had to step away from this one for a bit to try and see what Butcher was going for, since it's such a huge change of format for him. All previous Dresden Files books have contained a full story arc, wherein the temporary bad guy or crisis is resolved or defeated, but that is not the arc this book employs at all, and it's jarring, and depending on how you feel about waiting two months for another book to finish up the main conflict, may make or break the book for you. A good way to explain is like those special two-parters you sometimes get on TV shows, where the first episode sets up the conflict, and part two resolves it. Because I spent last weekend finally finishing Picard, I will use an example from that show as well as Star Trek: TNG. Think "The Best of Both Worlds, Part I," which finished up season three of that show with an unprecedented cliffhanger (beware thirty year old spoilers): , and fans had to wait for season four to premiere to find out what happened. Or for a less extreme and possibly more applicable example, the finale of Picard which aired two weeks apart.

That's what you get when you are reading this book. If waiting sounds terrible, it may or may not be a good idea for you to wait until Battle Ground is published on 9/29, so you can just go straight to the conclusion from the end of this one.

But, this book also does have its own arc, and it's run in parallel between two very surprising characters: Lara Raith and Ebenezar McCoy. I'm going to get into mondo-spoiler territory while talking about this, but for non-spoiler purposes, Harry's relationship with both of them takes on a different flavor, and indicates further that Butcher is moving the series closer and closer to his eventual endgame, and that he is more and more interested in changing the status quo and allowing not only Harry to grow emotionally, but other characters as well.

I didn't actually plan to write an enormous analysis of this book and its characters arcs. It just sort of sat in my brain, and came out while I was thinking what to type. Ultimately, I think this book was successful, if you don't judge it by the metrics you are used to judging a Dresden Files book by. It does a good job of setting up conflicts, breaking things and putting them back together in new ways, and I'm very curious to see what is put back together by the end of Battle Ground, and what is still broken.

Some miscellaneous thoughts:

*I'm not the only who noticed that Harry is worse than usual this book in his noticing of women sexually, but he seems to be trying to get it under control, which makes me think it's the Winter Mantle more than anything, bringing out Harry's worst impulses and trying to get him to give in to it. We'll see.
*Molly isn't in this one as much (hoping for way more in Battle Ground) but when she is here, it's significant. In particular, her emotional crisis when Harry confronts her about not having told her family she's the Winter Lady.
*I'm a little worried about Murphy, to be honest. She and Harry have made so much progress as a couple, and they really seem to have hit their stride, on their way to an emotionally stable and supportive romantic partnership. Do not kill Murphy, Butcher! Or, at least not permanently!
*Some really cool stuff with the knights. I have theories about that third sword.
*Thomas :(
*The fucking White Council still doesn't trust Harry, despite all he's done for them. I wonder how much of that is fear and idiocy, and how much is Black Council interference.
*Some very interesting worldbuilding, re: Harry slipped in here!
*There's a new character called Freydis, and I basically love her. There's a moment involving a "romance novel" she writes, and she's so proud of herself I just wanted to hug her from affection in that moment.

[4.5 stars]

Update 7/24/19:



I love typing that.

— Jim Butcher (@longshotauthor) July 22, 2019


- - -

That title is ironic, right?

[insert pause here]

Hahahahahaha, who am I kidding. Of course it is.
Profile Image for Hannah Greendale.
703 reviews3,274 followers
August 19, 2020
It's officially time to retire from this series. The sexism is relentless. It's especially prevalent in the audio book where sudden shifts in inflection, volume, and tone indicate late edits to the book that had to be recorded separately. Most of them concern the perfection of a woman's skin, the curve of her body, the way she draws the eye as she walks across the room, her sensual voice, or the way she sends Harry into a fit of lust. These edits in no way enhance the narrative, but they do reveal Butcher's unceasing dependency on objectification. Every female character in a Dresden Files book is defined by her beauty and sex appeal; Butcher can fathom no other way to represent women.

Sixteen books into the series, a significant number of pages are dedicated to reintroducing characters and their full history with Harry. Further, Peace Talks is the first in a duology, meaning it's largely dedicated to setup and offers no real payoff.

The Dresden Files have outstayed their welcome.
Profile Image for Anne.
3,917 reviews69.3k followers
April 21, 2021
This one ends on a wee bit of a cliffhanger.


So what leads up to this, you ask?
Well, the bottom line is that if you've read one book from the Dresden Files, you've read them all.
1) Something has gone terribly wrong and Harry is at the center of it.
2) Bad guys are coming at him from every angle and there seems to be no way out for our intrepid hero.
3) His friends & family are in danger and he's going to have to do something crazy to save them.
4) Oh, and there's some secret that would make everyone understand why he's acting so sketchy but he's got to keep it hidden because of plot.
So. There you go.


This was my 1st Dresden audiobook and I quite liked the narrator, James Marsters.
Recommended for fans of Harry & Co.
Profile Image for Mike's Book Reviews.
139 reviews5,685 followers
August 13, 2020
Video Non-Spoiler Review Here: https://youtu.be/Un2nwszbcSA
Video Spoiler Review Here: https://youtu.be/D_MrMqtF3jc

Read from an ARC courtesy of Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review.

Over 6 years after the release of Skin Game, Peace Talks has arrived; did it live up to the hype? Well I was one of the lucky ones who binged this entire series in 6 months and then got to read it literally the day after finishing Skin Game, so I wouldn't take my opinion on that answer as gospel. But as a fan of the series now, I'll say this; I left satisfied while still hungry for more.

It’s a Dresden Files book. I feel like one thing you can count on is every adventure is going to be a good time. This is no different. I had the same levels of fun I always have in an adventure with Harry, numerous brilliant pop culture references, and a few twists along the way I couldn’t have predicted at all.

Butcher’s writing is just as strong as it has ever been and I’d argue his romantic dialogue is maybe the best it has ever been here. The growing tensions between certain characters don’t feel forced or rushed at all. And in typical Butcher fashion, it’s things you can see progressing to a not so fun ending between those characters and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.

In many Dresden books, you feel like Butcher is always going to throw a new layer at you about Outsiders or Nemesis or the Denarians, but he’ll also throw some minor or temporary foes that he gets to get a W against. I’ll say the new threat in this book…they’re here to stay.

I guess if there’s a not so good in this book it’s two things, but I don’t really see them as a problem yet. First, this is a short book. Like, Storm Front short. Many of you are going to finish this in one or two sittings. Second, I don’t think there are a ton of “answers” in this one. A lot of the long running theories and speculation aren’t going to be resolved here. So if you’re hoping for that, you may be disappointed. However, I don’t find either of these a negative since this is only half of the story Butcher intended to tell us. Battleground comes out in 75 days. So I feel like that one is a wait and see.

If you’re here I don’t really think you’ll need a sales pitch from me on why you should read it. I think Jim has put together a part 1 of a 2-part television midseason finale here. You’re going to be satisfied, but left wanting more...in a good way. Let the countdown to Battle Ground begin.
Profile Image for Michelle.
147 reviews235 followers
August 7, 2020
Dear Jim,

Thank you for making 2020 a little better. I would hug you but that will be breaking CDC guidelines, so I'll just wish you well!

Bob's Avid Fan
Profile Image for Emma.
972 reviews975 followers
July 13, 2020
4.5 stars

Peace Talks picks up right after Skin Game, quickly setting up the first in a whole new set of challenges. Considering this instalment follows the best book in the series by far and a seriously long break, there were a lot of expectations to live up to. Butcher’s answer is to offer the typical Dresden novel with a few significant twists. It takes some skill to produce something that feels the same AND different, cosy and surprising. I read the whole book straight through, loving every minute back Harry’s Chicago. As far as I’m concerned, the only real issues were structural. This instalment feels like half of a whole. Whether it’s true or not that Butcher wrote one book and then split it into two for publication, that’s the way it comes across, and it does explain why we have the second part coming in September. Even knowing it was likely to have a cliffhanger ending didn’t stop me from feeling that weird disassociation you get from an abrupt ending, that sense of incompleteness, and I’m betting some people are going to be really disappointed by that. There is more than enough action and tension to keep the story moving forward, but everything that happens here is part of the build up to what’s clearly going to be an epic battle in er.. Battle Ground. Clue is definitely in the name, right?! Peace Talks is the book that sets out the problems, Battle Ground will demolish them, one way or another.

Nevertheless, this is not wasted time. There’s a giant dollop of much needed character development in Peace Talks, told via intense and impactful scenes that furnish long running favourites with new dimensions to both their character and backstory. Some are pretty stunning in their ramifications, clearly significant to the next book and beyond. The focus here is undoubtedly on relationships, especially between family, both blood and found, with some getting a fundamental reshaping. These personal issues are interwoven with the larger political and diplomatic nightmare that is the Peace Talks. It’s the kind of shitshow Harry in which so often finds himself but the stakes here are world shattering. The potential consequences hang over the book like a dark cloud, amping up the seriousness and desperation of Harry’s situation. Even though he maintains his classic wry commentary and silly jokes, there’s still a noticeable difference in attitude. Shit Harry, maybe you’ve finally grown up. It’s taken you a hell of a lot of time, but it could change everything. Despite all the throw downs and big wins, Harry hasn’t often felt like much more than an unenthusiastic participant, dragged in to various fights, succeeding as much by luck as by judgement. Until now. Oh, he’s still being manipulated by bigger players, but there’s a new certainty to him. This book shows that he’s made some decisions about about what and who really matter to him and what he’s prepared to risk for them. He’s also more thoughtful, or perhaps more able to see what his actions look like from the outside. This new perspective provides the opportunity for a fascinating exploration of what Harry expects from himself, and what we expect from him as a result. Grown up Harry is much more dangerous, and that opens up a whole new world of possibilities.

It’s a fun read and a great set up for Battle Ground in September.

ARC via Netgalley
Profile Image for Jilly.
1,838 reviews6,160 followers
September 2, 2020
It's been years since the last book in this series was published. I had basically written it off because the author was writing another series and seemed to just dump Harry Dresden and then ghost him.

Which we know Harry has been there/done that with the ghosting thing.

So, I was honestly surprised that it happened. And, it took me around 1/4 of the book to just remember all of the details that were going on before the series was like a Han Solo decoration to Jabba for years. There was a lot of dust gathered.

Yeah, afraid I was going to have to go back and read 15 books to figure out wtf was going on.

In this one, we have a peace summit that is scheduled for all of the supernatural powers that be. Harry is involved up to his neck, and he's trying to help someone from a death sentence which involves a heist of sorts.

Look, it's as complicated as that hedge in The Shining. Speaking of which, there is a hedge maze. You can't be a creepy supernatural without a hedge maze. Duh.

Stupid magical mazes!

It's too hard to review this, and I'm not one for trying too hard, so ... if you liked the series, you will like the book. Except it ended in a cliffhanger. I'm just saying, the next book better come out before this damned year kills us all.
Profile Image for Chad.
7,682 reviews869 followers
July 16, 2020
Boy, it's been a long time since I've got to sit down with Harry Dresden and his loyal friends. Thankfully, this was like meeting up with old friends you haven't seen in years. Within minutes, it was like no time had passed at all. A lot has changed in The Dresden Files over the years. I love how each book builds off one another and Butcher revisits old foes, frenemies, and plotlines, sometimes years later. Reading these books is such a rewarding experience.

I'm not going to say much about the plot of the book. We're 16 books in, so at this point, you either like these books or you don't. This feels like it may have been one large book that was split into two, especially since book 17, Battle Ground comes out in September. That being said, it's still great. It just that the book ends in the middle of the larger story presented and it looks like the s#!t is really hitting the fan this time. God, I can't wait until September now!

Received a review copy from Ace Books and Edelweiss. All thoughts are my own and in no way influenced by the aforementioned.
Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,217 reviews2,049 followers
August 1, 2020
I wish I had known when I started this book that it is really part 1 and part 2 is coming out in September. I kept worrying all the way through about how all the drama could possibly be resolved in so few pages. Because there was lots of drama. And not enough pages.

There was a lot of political maneuvering and lots of overly talented magical people glaring at each other with steely eyes. And then there was Harry, Karrin, Butters, Michael, Molly, Thomas and all the rest playing their parts and all being generally wonderful.

I did not do any rereading to prepare for this book even though the last one came out six years ago. There is no need. The Dresden Files seem to stand alone in my memory and I am always able to pick up where the last book left off. So exciting we do not have to wait long for the next one.
Profile Image for Krista D..
Author 71 books299 followers
August 12, 2020
(deleted because of stalker assholes)
Profile Image for Steven.
1,063 reviews383 followers
July 14, 2020
Super extra special thanks to Netgalley and Berkley for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

Christmas is coming early this year, everyone. TWO DRESDEN FILES books after years of waiting. Step aside, George Martin. Feel ashamed, Patrick Rothfuss. Jim Butcher has you beat. He went through a dry spell with quite a bit of personal turmoil and came out the other side writing a book so long it had to be split into two. Take notes, authors.

This one was fantastic after the long wait. We jump back into Harry's life, which of course is still cray cray, and it's like coming home.

Of course, Jim Butcher can't let things stay quiet for long. Soon, allies are in trouble, he's got Winter Knight duties, family decides now's the perfect time to add issues, the Council is being its typical self, and a bunch of supernaturals are in town for a peace talk convention that, let's be honest, we all know is bound to go wrong.

If you haven't read the side anthologies, read them before you pick this one up. You'll be happy you did - you'll recognize a character or two and you'll understand what's going on with Ramirez a little better.

Of course, since this was one book that ended up split into two, the ending is semi-cliffhangerish (yeah, I made up a word). Thank Queen Mab we only have a short wait until September for the next bit.

Highly recommended series, but start from the beginning and don't jump in here!
Profile Image for Hyzenthlay.
205 reviews
Want to read
January 21, 2020
Now that I've read Skin Game (and Jim's confirmed that this one will be more about Molly as Winter Lady ) I'm even more looking forward to this one.

What I'm not looking forward to? The constant bitching that it's going to be "A WHOLE YEAR" til this one comes out.

Stop being that asshole that whines about how long it takes an author to write a book. They get rushed, the story suffers.

Just shut up.

Skin Game's not even out yet, and I'm trying to keep my TBR non-existent, but still.

[eta] Clock the date this was originally posted and my most recent comment. I sincerely do not care how angry you are that it has been four years. Read something else.
Profile Image for Spencer Orey.
539 reviews123 followers
August 10, 2020
Definitely more of a part 1 of 2 than a complete book in itself. I'm glad the next one is coming out so soon so we can see what happens.
5 reviews
July 15, 2020
Can't wait for this book.

My first thought when I heard the title was "Knowing Harry Dresden, why isn't it called 'Piece Talks'?"

Worth the wait. Bring on Battle Gounds! Oh look, my rating didn't change.
Profile Image for Kari Mcmanus.
1 review
Want to read
March 17, 2019

Why’s Peace Talks Taking So Long?
(An explanation, so you can stop emailing complaints to the feedback box, which doesn’t reach Jim, and mainly just frustrates the folks running this site.) Personal problems/life events spanning the past several years are what gummed up the works.
Got divorced, with all the fallout that comes from that.
His dog died, who was “the brains of the operation” as Jim tells it.
Got engaged, then remarried.
Moved to another state to live with his fiancee, now wife.
Lived in an apartment with no private writing space for years longer than intended because the contractor building his new house blew the deadline by a couple years at least.
That last bit made it especially hard for him to get traction on Peace Talks. Thankfully, the house is finally finished and Jim is back at work, under the guidance of his new canine buddy Bru and his wife’s four majestic cats.

As of March 12th, 2019, the current draft of the novel is up to chapter 49. Progress!
Profile Image for Mike (the Paladin).
3,145 reviews1,811 followers
August 14, 2020
Well crap.

How many times have I expressed my displeasure with cliffhangers????? How many times!?

Yep we end sort of right in the middle of "stuff" and while I realize the next book is scheduled for release next month...it's still...troubling.

Other than that however (and of course I must mention after such a long wait [it's like Jim Butcher thinks he deserves a life or something]) this is still Harry. I must admit that it took just a little longer for me to "fall in with" the rhythm of this volume but once I did we still get Harry's trade make ability to say just the wrong thing at just the wrong time to turn what may have been a problem into a catastrophe. Things haven't really quieted down much in harry's world and Chicago again seems to (somehow) have become the center of world shaking events.

NOW, I'm going to say a couple of things under a "spoiler warning". If you don't want to read a spoiler then please don't click the spoiler warning...okay?

Okay long story short (and I know it's too late for that if you read the spoiler) still 5 stars still a great read and still highly recommended.

Oh and if like me you've been getting the audio versions of the books James Marsters does another superb job. To me his voice is now Harry's voice even when I read the print versions Harry sounds the same. Mr. Marsters has him to a "T".
Profile Image for Lisa Wolf.
1,619 reviews176 followers
August 10, 2020
A decent plot and plenty of quippiness, as always -- but the entire book feels like set-up for whatever comes next. Like, maybe Jim Butcher wrote one long book, and then decided to break it in half, so we get Peace Talks now and Battle Ground next month? So long as the pay-off is good, I guess I'm okay with that, but Peace Talks on its own feels only half-done.
Profile Image for Alex Nieves.
174 reviews651 followers
January 11, 2022
I guess I'm lucky by not having to wait 6 years for the release of Peace Talks. It wasn't the craziest or most bombastic Dresden book to date but I enjoyed the hell out of it. It's obviously build up and setup for Battle Ground but that's fine with me. I enjoyed the intimate character moments of this one and the relationship building that we get throughout. There's still great Dresden Files action and Battle Ground is gonna be insane.
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