Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Working for the new Dresden Files Book

There are a number of scince fiction series that I follow, getting the new book when it comes out in hardcover and complaining bitterly about the wait time until the next book. But there has only been one series that I have used as a pick-me-up when the other books I read are bad.

Jim Butcher's Dresden files series is one that I have, until the last week, used as a special treat. Whenever I hit 4-5 bad books in a row, I would allow myself to overcome the experience by reading the next Dresden book on my bookshelf, slowly working through the adventures of the Wizard who protects Chicago from things that go bump in the night.

Well, no more. On Monday after our store Science Fiction club meeting I picked up Dead Beat, and before I went to sleep I had finished it. Yesterday I grabbed Proven Guilty and read late into the night. And tonight I am going to read White Knight. So when the new Dresden book comes out in a few weeks I will be ready.

For anyone who has missed the Dresden books, Harry Dresden is the only official Wizard living in Chicago. He consults with the police on difficult cases, fights against vampires and and ghosts and is the hero of 9 (so far) exciting page turners.

Harry is a throwback to the Arthurian ideal, fighting against the darkness because it is the right thing to do. In each of the books he overcomes almost insurmountable odds and gets for a reward only the respect of his peers.

I like the way that Butcher has magic work in his books. For those with magical power, technology fails to work reliably. So Harry constantly breaks other people's cell phones and cars, and cannot have a hot water heater in his apartment. Harry has to use his wits and allies to win his encounters, he does not just wave a wand and have everything turn out all right.

In the first book, Storm Front, Harry is called in to help investigate a murder that could only have been perfomed using magic. The police and the Mage's council both have Harry as the top suspect. And he is on a 48 hour clock to figure out an answer, or he will be judged guilty and punished by the Mage's council as a black wizard. Try this series, you'll be glad you did.



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