Book Series – The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

So, this isn’t really a book review because I’ve actually read 15 of these bad boys, but I am going to talk about my general experience with the series. I’ve spent the past month and a half immersed in Jim Butcher’s world, and I’m not gonna lie it feels really weird to be done with it (although not completely done with it, because even though 15 books is already a huge amount, the author’s nowhere near done writing). Here’s a look at all 15 book covers:

Needless to say, I am now obsessed with the Dresden files, and plan on spending the time until he comes out with the next book reading all the short stories I can find that are set in the Dresdenverse. In case you have no idea what I’m talking about with any of this, here’s a summary of book one:

Storm Front Summary (courtesy of Goodreads): Harry Dresden is the best at what he does. Well, technically, he’s the only at what he does. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal creativity or capability, they come to him for answers. For the “everyday” world is actually full of strange and magical things — and most of them don’t play well with humans. That’s where Harry comes in. Takes a wizard to catch a — well, whatever.

There’s just one problem. Business, to put it mildly, stinks. So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry’s seeing dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry’s name. And that’s when things start to get… interesting. Magic. It can get a guy killed.

Thoughts: Throughout the 15 books, Harry works with a host of different awesome characters, from Special Investigations cop Karrin Murphy to Knight of the Sword Michael to an actual vampire, and he battles even worse villains, from werewolves to vampires to demons and ghouls to fallen angels. A lot of the common themes are that there’s always a mystery that Harry has to figure out in a certain time period, there’s always a lot of magic being thrown around and plenty of other action scenes, and Harry gets in life-threatening danger multiple times per book.

Some of my favorite parts of each book are how many pop culture references Harry makes. The books are set in present-day Chicago, the only difference is the existence of the supernatural. Harry loves Star Wars, and references everything from Aladdin to Monty Python to Terry Pratchett. Also, Harry’s major personality point is how sarcastic he is. He constantly has a quip, and he’ll mouth off to anyone from his best friend to a freaking god.

My favorite book in the series (I know, this could cause a ton of arguments, but here goes) is Death Masks. I couldn’t exactly tell you why, either, I just like that one the best. My favorite character, besides Dresden, though, is Molly Carpenter. But really, I think Jim Butcher does a better job than pretty much any author of introducing a ton of side characters and making you love every single one of them. Some complaints I do have about the series are that the overall storyline doesn’t seem to move very much, despite the passage of time. The first books are all very similar in terms of sequence of events, and while I was starting to get tired of that, I do like those better than the books after Changes. (Changes was a huge turning point for the series.) I could talk about the Dresden Files all day, but hopefully my rambling has intrigued you and now you’re going to go check them out! (Cause you totally should, they’re awesome.)

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2 Comments

  1. As an avid reader and collector of books, I have explored many different genres, writing styles, and marketing schemes. Harry Dresden is in a class by himself. With every new book, I fall deeper into the universe Butcher has created. I’m pretty sure I’m in love with Molly Carpenter (don’t tell my wife). I’ve never seen a writer who is capable of keeping so many secrets for so long while managing to keep the reader interested. I want to know all the answers!

    • Exactly! It infuriates me that every time he poses new questions, he waits at least two books before answering them. But I keep coming back for more. Also, if you haven’t read his short stories about Harry, there’s a ton more on the side characters in there, including Molly, which was awesome! They’re compiled in Side Jobs.

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