Archive for Jim Butcher

Summer Knight by Jim Butcher

Posted in Fiction, Lisa with tags , on July 3, 2008 by Lisa

Also posted at Books. Lists. Life.

Summer Knight is the fourth in the Dresden Files series. After it’s slow take off for me, I think this series is really picking up. It almost seems like the first one or two were warm ups and Butcher has hit his stride. Harry is much less whiny, much less needy, and his need to be a hero has acquired a little common sense.

In this installment we see Harry working for the Winter Queen to find out who killed a rival faerie. The vampires are going to war with the wizard’s White Council because of what happened in book three. Harry has been called before the Council for his part in those events, and if he can’t disarm the coming war with the vampires his career as a wizard is over. Unfortunately, the war between the Faerie is much more imminent and much more dangerous. Like the others, the action is non-stop. I’m pretty sure Harry doesn’t sleep for days.

The recurring characters are mostly good. Murphy isn’t overwhelmingly “you HAVE TO TELL ME, Harry!” The werewolves are back and in good form. Lea is great. Bob isn’t in it nearly enough. The person from Harry’s past was good, but I don’t know that I like the idea of bringing them in just for this storyline. Almost made it TOO easy to make Harry get involved by throwing them into it. Overall, I think this was the best one yet.

On a related note, series books are almost impossibly hard to review. There’s not a lot you can say without giving away the plot to the previous books. I almost hesitate to even mention the plot summary off the back of the book for fear it will spoil something for someone. I find myself reading more and more series books lately, so this is getting to be more of a problem. Off the top of my head, unfinished series waiting on my shelves include: Kim Harrison, Rachel Caine, Laurell Hamilton, J. D. Robb, Charlaine Harris (ok, the last one isn’t on my shelf, yet), and Janet Evanovich (ditto), and the rest of the Dresdens. Soon this blog will turn into: “Yep, it was good.”

Storm Front by Jim Butcher

Posted in Fiction, Lisa with tags , , on February 24, 2008 by Lisa

If you’re a reader of my other blog, you know that I’m a fan of urban fantasy. The Dresden Files are a hugely popular urban fantasy series, so it only follows that I’d eventually get around to them. My husband  has read the first 6 and has been urging me to jump on the bandwagon as well.  Last year I (we) read most of Simon R. Green’s Nightside series and did enjoy them, and Mike claims the Dresden Files are even better. So last weekend I decided to give Storm Front a try.

Storm Front is the first in the series (duh.)  Harry Dresden is a licensed detective who barely does enough business to make ends meet.  Oh, and he’s a wizard. When a brutal murder is discovered, the local police bring him in to take a look and see if it could be magical.  Add in a missing husband case, a mobster, a talking skull, some fairies, and a new illegal drug and there you have it.  Dresden is a bit annoying.  Butcher is clearly trying to strike a balance of knowing it all and being uncertain of his abilities. It comes off a bit like a geeky loser. (And I mean that in the *nicest* possible way!)  The story line itself was pretty good,  believable even.  The supporting characters aren’t so memorable, but it is a long series, so I’m sure we’ll see them again and they will develop more.

If I were to compare this first Dresden file book to the first Nightside book, I’d favor this one. Something From the Nightside  takes off into a complete fantasy world, whereas this one sticks firmly in the real world- except for the magic part. My husband says this is the weakest of the series of what he’s read, and that overall it gets much better.  I’m really glad that we have the first 6 waiting for me to dip into at will.