OK - Everyone who knows me knows that I LOVE the Dresden files series. I always pre-order the new book in the series and can't wait to read it. Every other book in the series has gotten 5 stars from me. That said, I liked this book the least so far. It's not that I didn't like it, I give it 3 1/2 stars, but I didn't like it as much as I have the others. I know this book is a set up for what is to come (The War of the Wizards, as I call it) but this book was SERIOUS. Gone is the happy-go-lucky Harry Dresden and his sarcasm at the world. Yes, Harry is still sarcastic, but not as much and it seems to be a darker sarcasm. Gone is flippant Thomas, the sidekick. He is replaced by the teenage angst of Molly, the apprentice. In fact, this book did not have hardly any of the familiar, tried and true Dresden characters. Bob the skull, Thomas, Murphy, Micheal, and others are replaced by Lara Raith, the bitch on wheels head of the White Vampire Court, and the Senior Wizard Council, who Dresden has always shunned and now seems to want to be one of. Oh, and Donald Morgan, the Warden with a vengeance complex. Actually, the development of the character of Morgan was interesting, but the sappy ending to his life was disappointing. And the turn in the character of Thomas was really disappointing since in his earlier form he was my favorite character. Don't get me wrong, I know the characters have to grow, and I don't mind that, but do they have to change so much all at once?