May 12, 2008

Dresden, Files not China

I’m feeling much better than I have in almost a week 🙂 Give me a couple more days (or weeks …) and I should hopefully be completely back to normal.

While I was sick, I finished reading the (currently) last book in the Dresden Files series. It made me wonder why I had never talked about the books here because the more I read from this absorbing series by Jim Butcher, the more I like it 🙂 And now that I’ve reached the end of the series, I can’t wait for the rest of the books in the series to make their appearance. With 20+ projected books in the series, and only 10 written so far, there’s a long time to go before I can complete the series, and the anticipation is killing me 😀

I didn’t even know of Jim Butcher or his books till I picked up the DVD boxed set for the Sci-Fi channel series by the same name. At that time, I found the similarities between a wizard named Harry living amongst normal humans who are oblivious to the existence of magic, and another young wizard named Harry living amongst muggles, a bit too comical. The show wasn’t all that great and was too full of inconsistencies and plot holes to make it very appealing. However, the show did its job in getting me to read the books …

I read the first book and liked it. The second book wasn’t so good, in my opinion but this was mostly because the plot for the second book was given away by an episode of the TV series. I liked how the book handled werewolves much better than the clichés the TV series used but I couldn’t enjoy the book fully. By the time I read the third book, my interest was back. The fourth book, I was hooked! And since then I’ve been rushing through one book after another, always eager to find out what happens next.

The best thing about the Dresden Files is how intricately they are plotted. While each book is a story in its own right, it also advances a much bigger, overall story arc. This wasn’t as evident in the early books but now into the middle of the series with book ten, it is well-and firmly established that these things are all leading up to what we hope will be a very satisfying culmination.

The other thing I’ve noticed is that each and every book seems to pit Harry against bigger and more stronger opponents than before. It’s almost as if Harry is being trained to go up against the biggest opponent you can think of in the final book and these are simply to get him trained both mentally and physically to meet that challenge.

And of course, Harry’s friends are a topic unto itself. Each character has been fleshed out and expanded upon over the course of several books. Some of them have started out as really negative characters who have over the course of time have become much more morally ambiguous. Others have always been what they started out as but have still managed to show different facets as the journey progressed. And that probably is the biggest reason for enjoying the books – the journey itself, the things you learn about people (and about yourself) as you read these books.

If you’re into fantasy or crime noir (or both), the Dresden Files will prove to be well worth the read if you stick with it past book four or five 🙂