Alright I am going to do my best to discuss this book without spoilers. Lets start, as I always do with a book review, with the Amazon Page excerpt:
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?
So, was the wait worth it? Skin Game was the last Dresden Files book released before Peace Talks, and Skin Game came out in May 2014. That is 6 years from then till now! And honestly? The answer as a fan of the series is yes AND no.
This book is mostly setup, unfortunately. The basic premise is exactly as the excerpt describes. Dresden finds himself being drafted as part of the White Councils security team to assist with a diplomatic meeting of members of the Unseelie Accords. The Fomor, the villains who had been working behind the scenes in many of the previous books after Changes, want an end to hostilities. However, things are not what they seem as an assassination attempt a few days after the peace talks are agreed upon happens against one of the major powers in the Accords by someone Dresden has personal connections with. From there, everything starts to spiral as Dresden is given over to Lara by Mab to repay 2 favors, and he has to someone survive working for both the White Council, the White Court Vampires, and as the Winter Knight.
The book basically starts with the accelerator pushed down and never lets up, twisting and turning and driving ever forward to something. And that something is, sadly, all setup. There is no payoff for the major events in this book unfortunately.
By the end of the book major revelations about the Fomor and the power behind them are seen, as well as their plans for the world. Further, we learn a bit more (not much) about Harry and his starborn powers. We also learn a bit about Harry and his relationship with Karrin after the events of the previous books. We even learn a bit about how Butters is handling his new job and how Michael and Molly are doing, which is great!
The biggest thing for me however was the exploration of the relationship between Harry and McCoy, and how quickly it breaks down as Harry struggles to decide if he should tell McCoy about his daughter and her involvement with the White Court vampires and…the secret he hides about that. We finally get to see Harry and McCoy square off a couple of times and work together a few times as well, which is excellent.
The writing is solid as well, and the book kept me engaged from start to finish. I picked it up on release day, which at the time of writing this was yesterday, and then just kept reading till I finished it today.
But again, that ending. While the revelations and setup are nice, I hate the fact that for once, a Dresden Files book doesnt feel self contained. Every previous book up to this one has been a single narrative, with a problem and resolution contained in that book. Sure, other problems occur but they are never the focus. The major problem here? Its not resolved here. Its only partially dealt with.
Clearly, the finale and resolution will be in Battle Ground, which releases a scant 2 months after Peace Talks! Seriously, Peace Talks was 7/14 and Battle Ground is 9/29! It makes me think that originally this was one massive volume and it got split apart for brevity sake.
I heartily encourage fans to read this, but my personal opinion is maybe wait till Battle Ground is released, and pick up both and read them one after the other. I have a feeling it will come off as more satisfying. I give Peace Talks a 5/5 on Goodreads and Amazon, even with my issue at the ending. Simply because, well, all the other reveltions and things we learn are THAT DAMN WILD.