Author: Jim Butcher
Category: Urban Fantasy
Publication Date: April 2000
Harry Dresden is a private eye wizard living in modern day Chicago that helps the police, and anyone that will pay, with investigations into the the weird and unexplained. This dark-noir style book leaps into the mystery as Dresden is called in by the police to investigate the murders of a man and a women with both of their hearts expelled out of their chest… from the inside. This sets off events and emotions that may just get our shady detective killed.
Harry Dresden is openly a wizard, his possession of supernatural abilities are no secret to the public, yet he always talks about things he can’t reveal to people about the magical world. His dark and mysterious past gives him experience and that is nice instead of the usual “new kid learns about everything” story line. Dresden has done some bad things in his past that even the reader only gets hints about and it is exciting to see where it has brought him.
Many of the side characters are a little bland and one dimensional. The clue sniffing reporter, the cop that trusts Dresden to a point but always fights for the law, and loads of people calling our main character a phony. The best side character is Dresden’s helper Bob, a spirit that lives in a skull. Dresden can’t use electronics very much because magic interferes and usually breaks them. So Bob is a very old spirit and can remember anything. He is Dresden’s very mouthy and sarcastic laptop. This character really shows Butcher’s comedic relief and it is sad Bob is in the book so little.
The Big Bad Guy was very disappointing. Without spoilers, the villain was built up as this all powerful and scary person. At the end it was a bit of a let down when he really wasn’t more than a kid who found a fun toy and loved using it. This is a LONG book series so hopefully there will be better villains in the future.
The story was fun and a great mystery. The twist were fun and the world is a cool one that mirrors our own. The magic being made from life itself was a cool way to look at it and give it an source of entry into our world. The story is made believable enough that, who knows? There are enough weird things that go on in our real world. Maybe this book is not far off from the truth?
I loved this book and it made me love Jim Butcher even more. I want these books as well know to! Geez… where am I gonna find the shelf space for 13 books and counting! Besides the bland bad guy, I loved this book and I am excited for the next.
I remember reading this books probably about 8 years or so ago and really enjoyed them but stopped only a few books into the series. I am happy to report that I still enjoyed this book, probably more than I did then, and would like to power through this gigantic series.
The first half-ish of the book is kind of slow to get off the ground. It’s not i a typical fantasy book way where the author has to take some time to do some worldbuilding or explain the magic system because the world is Chicago and the magic is fairly simple. About the time a demon blasts onto the stage though things pick up at a nearly breakneck speed and from there the book practically flies by.
I understand that Jim Butcher has commented on his own poor writing at the start of his career. If this is as bad as his writing gets then I can definitely see myself devouring the rest of this series like I did the Codex Alera.