Top positive review
No Spoilers Review - Part II of Peace Talks
Reviewed in the United States on September 29, 2020
This was one of the most sweeping Dresden novels Jim Butcher has written. If it had been combined with Peace Talks as one novel, I would say it was his best book yet. I strongly recommend that you read, or reread, Peace Talks directly before reading Battle Ground. Like Changes, it builds upon all the previous novels and the Dresden universe will never be the same.
I am more convinced than ever that Peace Talks and Battle Ground were originally intended to be one novel and the publisher played games with loyal readers. Usually Butcher spends the first half of a novel building up the suspense and laying the groundwork for great action and a compelling finish. Peace Talks was an exception, with lots of building up and then an abrupt ending. Battle Ground is also an exception, it has almost no build up – it starts directly where Peace Talks ends – and is almost continuous action until a satisfyingly extended conclusion. Taken as a pair, they make for an excellent story. Neither novel does a great job standing alone. My five-star rating is for the combined story.
Battle Ground brings in many characters that have not been seen in a while. There are several surprises, but all make sense (and I only saw one of them coming and am kicking myself for not having seen another). The main plot of Peace Talks is resolved and progress is made on several other fronts. This book is highly recommended with the caveat that you first read Peace Talks.
There is also a bonus short story that takes place six months after Battle Ground ends.