Jim Butcher has thirteen novels in the Dresden Files series to date. I have read them all, along with the short stories he has written with the same characters. Obviously, you don’t read an entire series unless you thoroughly enjoy them. I would give the series as a whole somewhere around 4.75 stars. The first novel, as far as first novels go, draws the reader in with enough imagery to make you forget you’re sitting comfortably with a cup of coffee away from the danger. Butcher plunges you into the Chicago Dresden loves right out of the gate.
Let me start with a little intro into our friend Harry Dresden. It doesn’t take long to fall in love with his wiseguy wit and annoying charm. He’s considered somewhat of a common thug by other wizards; his delinquent past doesn’t help their opinion of him, either. He had a run-in with dark magic as a youth that ended in his probation, and the Warden Morgan waiting to serve his head on a platter, literally, if he slips up again. Don’t let him fool you, though. Beneath his six foot – something frame and that duster he’s always sporting he’s a softy who lives by a personal set of standards that most would think was a thing of the past. He helps people the best way he knows how, for a fee of course. He’s a professional wizard. . . the only one in the phone book.
HARRY DRESDEN — WIZARD
Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations.
Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates.
No Love Potions, Endless Purses, Parties or Other Entertainment
Crimes are committed all the time, especially in Chicago. Some of these crimes have a certain vibe that makes the hair on your neck prickle. The first novel, Storm Front, introduces us to the idea that the supernatural is all around us, but most people choose not to see it. There must be a logical, rational explanation for everything. . . and when there’s not, Lieutenant Karrin Murphy of Special Investigations is given the task of coming up with one. To help rationalize the irrational, she calls on Dresden as a consultant.
This first case involves a gruesome murder of a couple with their hearts literally ripped out. Together they discover a black mage intent on using his magical malice for profit by way of “ThirdEye” a potion/drug that allows humans to see into the realm of supernatural energies, often rendering them insane. Despite encounters with some of the more unpleasant members of the paranormal community, he is able to track down this warlock and stop his final spell before more lives are lost. . . except, of course, the warlock.
The last few chapters leave a chill in the reader that forebodes of dark things to come. You’ll want to have the second book close at hand to continue the journey into what awaits our new wizard friend.