Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Dresden Files

Its late, I finished the newest Dresden File book about two days ago, and I feel like talking about the Series as a whole. So I guess I will.

The first three books of the Dresden Files were written by Jim Butcher while he was taking a few creative writing classes. He then sold the first three as a set. They got his foot in the door. None of the three is particularly stellar. But... they get the ball rolling. Each is better then the last.

There are 16 books in the Dresden universe as of the release of Skin Game. I figure there are at least five more in Butcher's head based on arc. I've been reading since I first discovered them shortly after the original three were released. I've heard them called formulaic and that's probably not unfair - but Butcher has a formula that just keeps you turning pages. And that, is the sign of a good book.

So what is the Dresden Files? Its the story of Chicago's only practicing Professional Wizard - and his world. He's in the phone book - no he doesn't do love potions, but true to most urban fantasy all those things that go bump in the night really are real. Dresden has a long arc and to describe it here would be to ruin its path for new readers. Suffice to say he starts out a practicing neophyte and becomes a badass in his own right, while making allies and lots and lots of enemies along the way.

Butcher does a fair job with Christianity in my opinion - honestly some of his best characters are staunchly Christian. The further into the books you get the more interaction with Christianity Dresden has. Harry Dresden is *not* a believer - he's a wizard after all - but Butcher's portrayal of Christianity is overall positive which can be somewhat uncommon in Urban Fantasy.

The series runs full steam with few stumbles until Ghost Story - which is book fourteen. Ghost story is a transition story - and transitions can be difficult. Butcher had to rewrite a rather large chunk of the book, from all reports and reading it - its clear to see where this happened and it tends to make the story just... not quite right. However, Book fifteen picked up the faltering series and put it back on the rails and got the engine re-connected to the train... and Skin Game takes that train and sends it straight into overdrive.

I've been a Dresdenite from day one. I didn't pick up Cold Days immediately on release because of Ghost Story. I did pick up Skin Game on Release.

Butcher is back on track - and I'm looking forward to see where this train is going.

All Aboard!