Monday, December 28, 2009

Spotlight on Series: The Dresden Files

Alternate title: "Yes, please, I have way too much time on my hands so I'd be delighted to read a series of 11 books that's showing no signs of slowing down."

Storm Front (The Dresden Files, Book 1)
A year or so ago I happened to catch a few episodes of "The Dresden Files" on a marathon. It was a SciFi original series that, unfortunately, only lasted one season before it was cancelled. Flash forward to January of this year - I was going through my TiVo Season Passes and lamenting that SciFi couldn't even play reruns of the show for my enjoyment, when I ambled over to IMDB to learn more (I have the unfortunate habit of looking up any movie or TV show I watch for interesting facts). Turns out, the series was based on a series of books by Jim Butcher.

I immediately bought the first one, Storm Front, and downloaded it to my Sony Reader. By May, I had read the entire series (including the latest book, which was released that month). And that was trying to stretch it out as long as I possibly could. I'm not sure what made this series so deliciously awesome, but I'll try and put my finger on it.

Fool Moon (The Dresden Files, Book 2)The main character, Harry Dresden, is a wizard for hire in the city of Chicago. This is modern day Chicago though, so don't expect everyone to believe he's a wizard. You might be thinking, gee, this sounds an awful lot like a recent young adult series that took over the entire world, and you'd be slightly right. The Dresden Files is a Harry Potter for grownups. Yup, evil forces are always trying to take over the world and it seems like Harry Dresden is the only one who can stop them. Also like HP, you've got a great cast of mythological creatures (such as vampires, ghosts, zombies and werewolves) and other occult references. But what Harry Potter doesn't have is a millenia-old talking skull named Bob that has an addiction to cheap romance novels. That in itself should give you an idea of what you'd be expecting from this series.
Grave Peril (The Dresden Files, Book 3)
I loved the "snarkiness" of Harry Dresden, who is really just sick of dealing with all of this crap with bad guys trying to take over the world, all the while he can hardly afford to pay his rent. But when push comes to shove, he's a guy you can count on. He's constantly struggling to portray himself as a good guy (he's had some black marks against him in the past), and some of the best parts of the series are when he realizes that what he's about to do, even though he knows it's right, will push him back in bad-guy territory in the eyes of others.

I've recommended this series to many people, and almost all of those who tried it out enjoyed it as much as I did. The rest stumbled around book four, but kept with it and said that the series picks up after that. Here's the series order (links go to
#11- Turn Coat

Changes (Dresden Files, Book 12)Book #12, Changes (Dresden Files, Book 12), comes out in April 2010, and looking at the description it is sounding really good. I'm honestly not sure how I'm going to make it that far. Anyway, if I still haven't convinced you to give this series a shot, feel free to check out the TV show, which is available for free viewing on (note: the TV series was aired out of order, and the pilot was meant for later in the series. "Storm Front" was meant to be the pilot, and should be viewed first).

I really enjoyed this series, and I hope you do to! This series is available at all bookstores, and is also available in ebook from the major retailers.

Genre: Fiction - Fantasy


  1. My introduction to Harry Dresden was through the TV series as well. I only saw the first episode. It seemed like a fun premise but the execution was lacking. I'm glad that it didn't put me off reading the books, once I found out that the TV show was based on the books.

  2. You know, I have to confess that what I liked best was the guy who played Dresden. You could tell they had some issues with laying out the plots and rearranging the episode order didn't help.

  3. Yeah, but if they'd done the shows according to the books, they'd have needed a multibillion dollar budget. Can you imagine the CGI that would have been needed to animate Sue into a zombie-saur??

  4. That, hands down, had to be my favorite scene in the entire series. So cool!

  5. While I was reading it, and laughing hysterically, I kept thinking, "I hope the Director of the Field Museum never reads this, the poor person would have a heart attack."