Re-reading report: the Dresden Files

Jeroen Steenbeeke  
Posted
Two months ago I finished re-reading the Demon Cycle, as part of my project of re-reading a whole bunch of books. Next on my list was The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, 15 books and counting, as well as the short story bundle Side Jobs, which I hadn't read before.

The Dresden Files is an urban fantasy series that was recommend to me a few years ago by Sebastiaan van der Pal, the owner of De Dondersteen, the one and only specialty game store in Hengelo, the Netherlands. He had just started stocking the roleplaying game set in the Dresden Files universe, and told me he loved the books. Intrigued, I got myself the Kindle Edition of Storm Front (going against Sebastiaan's advice to "buy local" at the bookstore down the street). It wasn't until I'd read Cold Days that I stopped reading (and only because Skin Game hadn't been released yet).

Up until this point, the only urban fantasy I'd read was the Word and the Void trilogy by Terry Brooks (which I can also recommend), but the Dresden files got me much more interested in the genre, leading me to books by John Conroe, Kevin Hearne, M.R. Forbes and Kim Harrison.

Anyway, about my second read-through of the Dresden Files, here are some of the observations I had while reading (with spoilers):

  • While I remembered most about Storm Front (aside from a few names of minor characters), it turns out I had forgotten most about Fool Moon
  • Michael Carpenter was introduced in Grave Peril? Somehow I thought it was later, apparently it wasn't
  • I still think the Red Court were a bunch of assholes
  • I'm much more interested in the various Summer and Winter court characters now that I know how things turn out
  • So when did Thomas starting his hairdressing joint again? This book? No. The next? No. The one after that? No. Oh finally, but wait, when did that Naagloshi show up? Oooooh now I remember.
  • Just when you thought the Red Court couldn't be bigger dicks, you read Changes. Of course, the ending solves that problem.
  • Ghost Story is still my least favorite, though the climax is pretty good
  • These Fomor guys sound a bit whimsical
  • Wait, wasn't there something about the outer gates where Harry meets the Gatekeeper? Hold on, that didn't happen until Cold Days?
  • I enjoyed Skin Game a lot more the second time, Fomor appear even more whimsical. Octokongs? Really?


Finally, I read Side Jobs, which I hadn't read before, and I can't say there was any story I disliked (perhaps the first, which had a pretty big disclaimer by Jim Butcher). It wasn't quite what I was expecting (in a good way though). The story that stayed with me most was the last one, told from Karrin Murphy's perspective, which takes place between Changes and Ghost Story. It's an exciting story with an uncertain outcome (unless you've already read Ghost Story), and pretty much cured my "these Fomor are whimsical" conclusion.

All in all, this was a good re-reading project, and I'm sorry it's over. Next up: John Conroe.