Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publication Date: January 1st 2006
Length: 15 hours and 8 minutes
Description from Goodreads:
Paranormal investigations are Harry Dresden’s business and Chicago is his beat, as he tries to bring law and order to a world of wizards and monsters that exists alongside everyday life. And though most inhabitants of the Windy City don’t believe in magic, the Special Investigations Department of the Chicago PD knows better.
Karrin Murphy is the head of S. I. and Harry’s good friend. So when a killer vampire threatens to destroy Murphy’s reputation unless Harry does her bidding, he has no choice. The vampire wants the Word of Kemmler (whatever that is) and all the power that comes with it. Now, Harry is in a race against time—and six merciless necromancers—to find the Word before Chicago experiences a Halloween night to wake the dead…
Oh boy, so many thoughts. Dead Beat was my favorite book in the series so far in terms of plot, but unfortunately I think it’s going to be my last, at least for a while.
I don’t even know what rating to give this book. Compared to the other books in the series, it’s definitely my favorite, but it still suffered from the same problem as the other books: Harry Dresden is sexist and kind of a pig and doesn’t seem to be improving throughout the series.
I absolutely love the narration that James Marsters does for the audiobooks, which is why I started listening in the first place, but I just can’t deal with Harry Dresden anymore.
I’ve always been put off by Harry’s blatant sexism/chauvinism, but I kind of just dealt with it and pushed my feelings aside, hoping that the character would grow and see women as his equal, rather than just a pile of boobs. There are a lot of female characters in this series that Harry does respect and look up to, but there are just as many that he only describes by their breast size.
There’s literally a part in this book where a woman is in danger of getting killed and Harry says something along the lines of how it would be a tragedy to lose such a great pair of boobs.
I was kind of fine when his views towards women were only chivalrous in nature. As a woman, it was kind of insulting that he was always harping on about how women needed saving, but I got over that. Harry is the type of character that wants to help everybody, anyway, and it’s not like he was only overprotective of women. There are plenty of male characters who he responds to in that way. But when he’s just valuing a character’s worth based on how attractive they are, I’m out.
Let me just clarify, I don’t think the author is sexist. Harry is constantly calling himself out on his outdated views of women. Plus, there are a lot of strong female characters in the series. But does that make it better? Probably not. Plus, it gets harder and harder to rally behind a character who does not seem to have grown much, even though this is the seventh book in the series.
At first, I thought it was an interesting character flaw and was excited to see him grow, but that hasn’t really happened, in my opinion. His thoughts in this book felt no different than the way he felt in the first book.
So while I really loved this series for a while, I think it’s time to say goodbye, or at least take a break. The one thing that is making me not give up on them completely is that Harry never acts on his feelings. He never really outwardly treats women differently.
It’s one thing to think something bad, but to act on those thoughts is completely different. So, no, I don’t think Harry is a bad person. I’m just annoyed with him right now. Maybe in a different mindset I will revisit the series, but for now, I’m saying goodbye to Harry Dresden.