You know, I spent ages debating over which author who I should write next about under my “Authors Whose Writing I Adore” section, because really, while there were many stand outs, I find every author has something special about their writing. For example: Jim Butcher and his Dresden Files series. Now really, I wasn’t that engrossed with his books to begin with, not only was the main character a guy with your you know, every day guy thoughts, I was not used to the style of writing. But really, it wasn’t bad, just different. It didn’t have the poetry of Dessen, Oliver, and Condie’s writing, and it doesn’t have that distinct flair of Heyer’s works. Also it’s not a manga, therefore there are no pictures. So I had a hard time adjusting, particularly when I read my first Dresden novel two years ago. WOW. TWO YEARS. I can hardly believe it’s been two years since I started the Dresden Files, and boy, has it grown on me.
Now, mind, I’ve only been reading the Dresden Files, so I don’t know about his others works. But I don’t think I need much convincing at this point to read other novels written by him. Really, there’s something about the Dresden books that keep me wanting me, unbelievable, right? But is it that unbelievable? Might be, except over these many, many years of my short life I’ve come to realise I’m not that picky about books, as long as they’re engaging, ridiculous page turners, and has great character development, then I’ll happily read the book. And that’s what I did with the first Dresden novel. Okay, okay, I know, I was hardly that enthusiastic about it since I read it based on a friend’s suggestion. Now, he didn’t tell me much about it, and I’m one of those kinds of people who like to know about what they’re about to read in-depth, spoilers and all, so I was two things, one, curious about what was so great about this particular series, and two, a little annoyed at the growing length of the series (particularly if I was going to read it all the way through). But still, I went and I picked up the first three books (unfortunately the copy I got from the library was a combined three book collection and since each book was about 250-300 pages long…yeah) and started reading. It took me two weeks, if I remember correctly, to finish all three, and that, was a long time for me to spend reading three books. Usually it meant that the book was bad. But it wasn’t. My main pet peeve about the whole thing was that I was the story from the first perspective of a guy and clearllllyyyy I’m a girl, so it was hard to adjust. Worse, Dresden had his moments with his girl, and I got to know everything. Really, I did not really want to know what was going on in his mind, but you know, sometimes you just can’t choose when you read books.
So yeah. That was my first encounter with Jim Butcher. Harry Dresden, a professional wizard, assisting the local police department, SI on “special” magic and supernatural cases. Nothing spectacular, nothing unspectacular. It was just a tad slow. I will say though the paper of the book that I borrowed, was so thin it was very pleasant, do you get what I mean? Like there are those books, which are like over 900 pages long but have been compressed and condensed into a book the size of maybe a 400 page book, and usually they have these really thin, thinner than paper thin books that feels really nice and smooth to touch? Well, it was like that, and that definitely added to the experience. That, and after two years or so, I decided to pick up the series again. I didn’t even bother with rereading the other books, I just went onto wikipedia and looked for the book that I was up to, and started from there.
And bam! suddenly I’m drawn so quickly into this world which I had dismissed previously as nothing too special. I’m in, dealing with the winter fairy queen, the murders and court intrigue, it was soooooo weird. Have a read of the review I wrote right after I finished reading it:
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
It’s been ages since I read the first three, yet it didn’t take me long to become comfortable with the character and the writing. If it wasn’t because my friend, the one who suggested the series in the first place again urged me to continue reading the series, I might not have picked this one up for a while. But I’m glad I did. It was an easy walk in the park that quickly turned to faeries and murder plots. I can sense the presence of the greater arc, the one that connects all the separate books. I kind of consider this a light read. It took me to realise, since I never really thought about it before. But, so far, none of the books really contain a heavy mood of a dark moment in Dresden life. Yes he gets down and depressed, but nothing particularly stressing. In fact it’s amusing, and fascinating. I want to know what happens in Dresden’s whacky world as a private detective. And from now on, I think I’ll chase it to the end, even though there are currently eleven more books that have been released and who knows how many to come.
How weird, right? It’s funny how time changes and so does your perspective. For something like reading, when you know what you enjoy and what you don’t, to find that you might actually like something that hadn’t really liked before, it’s weird. And yet it was satisfying. I wondered maybe, if it was because this book was about faerie. I do like good faerie books with a good mythology (i.e. The Iron Fey series and the Faeriewalker series). But then again, the books to come were not just about faerie but vamps and werewolves and imaginary parts of Dresden’s head, so I couldn’t exactly say it was because of that. At the same time, Dresden’s girl was out the picture, Susan became a vamp, so she had to go learn to be a vamp by the end of the third book. So maybe that was why? I don’t know. Either way, I’m fully enjoying myself now!
There’s something about Jim Butcher’s writing, even though it’s not poetic and flowery, not poetic and intense, not poetic and well-written, Butcher is well-written in another way. He writes so well, you can’t tell he writes that well until you’re already sucked into his writing, immersed in his plots wanting to know more, and drowning in Dresden’s many, many, many conflicts. Yet at the same time, his writing is very casual, very easy to read, so there’s no need to squint eyes and read every word to understand the story.
What’s more, Dresden’s character is very witty! So Butcher, I feel is a master at creating character. Yet, again, this is only based on the Dresden Files, since I haven’t read his other books. But that wit…oh is it delectable:
“This map,” Bob said, “is pretty cool. I’d have thought you would have shown it off to someone by now.”
“Nah,” I said. “Tiny model of the city down here in my basement laboratory. Sort of projects more of a that evil, psychotoic, Lex Luthor vibe than I’d like.”
“Bah,” Bob said. “None of the evil geniuses I ever worked for could have have handled something like this.” He paused. “Though some of the psychotics could have, I guess.”
“If that’s meant to be flattering, you need some practice.” (Proven Guilty
(Dresden FIles #7, p. 48)
See? Isn’t it great? Lol. Check out more quotes from one of the books (unfortunately it is very time consuming to take note of all the amusing quotes in the book because really, the whole book is just witty) HERE. I’m looking forward to finally catching up to the latest book!
- Interview with Jim Butcher, author of The Dresden Files (burgesstaylor7911.wordpress.com)
- Harry Dresden-Wizard: A review of Storm Front by Jim Butcher (shelftonightstand.wordpress.com)
- Malin’s #CBR5 Review #119: Death Masks by Jim Butcher (cannonballread5.wordpress.com)
- Returning to the Dresden Universe – Cold Days in Audio (teepee12.com)
- Fool Moon by Jim Butcher – Book Review (edraby.wordpress.com)
- Review: “Grave Peril” by Jim Butcher (knitewrites.wordpress.com)
- Review: “Summer Knight” by Jim Butcher (knitewrites.wordpress.com)
- Review: “Blood Rites” by Jim Butcher (knitewrites.wordpress.com)
- Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher (jawahlblog.wordpress.com)
- Emily S. Whitten, Jim Butcher and The Dresden Files (comicmix.com)