One of the best serial novelists of our time. And he's an urban fantasy/mystery writer. Go team sci-fi!
If you're a science fiction/fantasy fan, then you know there are two Harrys. One is the ultra teen heartthrob, Harry Potter. (Kind of like Justin Bieber, only with wands.) And then there's the Harry that adults love...the inimitable Harry Dresden, the famed wizard detective of Chicago.
Now, I've heard a lot of buzz about Harry Dresden over the past few years. But the Dresden Files is a series of books, so I was reluctant to pick them up. Series take too long to read, and it often seems you, dear reader, will never get to the end. But thankfully, author Jim Butcher makes each Harry Dresden novel a standalone book. If you need to stop after book 1, you can. If you want to pick up book 5 before reading book 4, you can. I wouldn't recommend it, but you can do it.
Yet the story of Harry Dresden builds and builds, and by the time a reader gets to Ghost Story, which is book 13, you'll be glad you read the books in order.
You'll also be glad you kept reading through the entire series of books. It is amazing that Butcher can keep Harry Dresden's life and experiences interesting, even after all this time. He's created a rich, urban fantasy world in which the magical world of fairies, vampires, werewolves, and wizards overlap with the Chicago us normal humans are familiar with.
And when you think Butcher can't figure out anything more clever to amaze you with, or more dramatic to keep you reading, he pulls off another hat trick and one-ups himself. (Just wait until you read book 12, Changes, and you'll understand. After that book, I couldn't see where Butcher would go next, and then Ghost Story came along and blew me away.)
Butcher is terrific at writing scenes and drama that keep the story moving forward. It's hard to get bored reading a Dresden novel, that's for sure.
Harry himself is a great character, very endearing, especially as it seems to take him forever to realize just how powerful and therefore intimidating a wizard he can be. He's kind of a nerd too. And he's smart and sarcastic. And he'll do the crazy things others wouldn't do, precisely because he believes in taking care of other people. He's the kind of guy you'd want to hang around with.
And that's one of many reasons I keep coming back to these books as a reader. Maybe I'll get tired of Harry one day. But I doubt it. In fact, I'm now caught up and finished with Butcher's most recent Harry Dresden book (Ghost Story), and I can't wait for the next one to come out.
In other words, I'm addicted.
You will be too. The Dresden Files are a great series of books, entertaining, heartfelt, well-written, and a blast of a good time. Definitely worth your investment, and highly recommended.
Copyright (c) 2011 by Michele Chiappetta. All rights reserved.