Definitely, definitely worth the wait.
Harry Dresden is back, alive and snark included. From the last book, we already know that he's got the mantle of the Winter Knight weighing down his shoulders. But here, Mab has given him a nigh impossible task - but along the way he has to prevent the destruction of the world as well. As always, right?
There are only two small annoyances I have with this book that I completely understand and probably wouldn't change anyway. The first is a small nitpicky annoyance where it seems like Butcher is trying to forcibly insert philosophy and politics into the story (i.e. gay rights). There's nothing wrong with this since all authors do it; however, the way it was done here seemed completely out of the blue and unnatural to the story. The second is just that I cannot believe that Harry could have so many one-on-one interactions with people. Such a tactic is clever since it gives us time to reestablish how characters interact and how their relationship has grown or changed. But ugh, sometimes I read the scenes and think that it's somewhat not realistic (scenes with Thomas or Karrin). Really, the bro-love went a touch too far with the continued banter every scene they were in together. ...just a touch though. It was pretty much spot on. Everything was pretty much spot on.
Dresden and romance... it was handled exceedingly well. I always get a little wary of romance in action-packed novels, but it was handled tastefully. Unfortunately, romance always means that many pages will be devoted to their interactions and their developing understanding of one another - which takes away time from other interesting characters and fascinating plot lines, but sigh I understand, I do.
Three and a half stars because I liked it a lot - rounded down for now, but if I reread it, it will be promoted to four stars.