I was feeling a bit lost after finishing Mike Carey‘s Felix Castor series. I wandered sad and alone through the empty halls of literature until Harry Dresden tapped me on the shoulder and invited me into the world created for him by author Jim Butcher.
As I read my way through the entire series,13 books to date with at least one more on the way, I felt I’d found a perfect combination of great gumshoe, mystery, and magic.
Everything I enjoy most in fun reading is in this series. Harry is a wise-ass, joke cracking, funny guy, reminding me a little of Spenser, And Harry is smart … sometimes too smart for his own good.
Harry is an amazing and very powerful magician who takes on challenges that should kill him and sometimes almost do. He’s sentimental, foolhardy, prone to give the benefit of a doubt and end up paying heavily for so doing. He’s loyal to a fault and hates following rules.
He’ll protect his loved ones at the cost of his own life and soul and if you want someone on your side, Harry’s your guy.
He believes magic is wonderful, but should be used only for good, and in a pinch, a high-caliber gun is a pretty good alternative. Magic takes time and energy, so keep your pistols loaded and bring artillery.
For nearly a year, Harry Dresden.He has kept me happily entertained.
Although not my absolutely favorite fantasy series (Kim Harrison’s Rachel Morgan series holds that honor), it is in my top five. I have enjoyed every single one of these books.
The current last one — Ghost Story — is quite different than previous ones … and for a while, I felt like I’d wandered into the wrong series. But Butcher is a fine writer and skillfully brings you back to the Harry you know and love, albeit a more subdued, thoughtful … as well as sadder and wiser … version of himself. The end caught me by surprise, though really, when I thought about it, it shouldn’t have. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but I will say that the end was perhaps both inevitable and highly appropriate. I just didn’t see it coming.
Butcher left room to continue the series and apparently, the next book should be available within a few months. Yay..
This is a great series. It’s fun, there’s violence, crazy monsters, complex characters who are evil, but rarely entirely so, and good characters who have flaws. The landscape comprises many shades of grey — with some notable exceptions. There are a few totally evil characters and some nearly perfect good guys.
Harry Dresden is well-intentioned, but far from perfect. He travels a long way from one end of the series to the other.
All things come to an end, but I would be glad for a bit more time to hang with Harry Dresden.
I have read most of the Harry Dresden books as audiobooks, but a few, because I didn’t care for the narrator, on my Kindle. They are all available as paperbacks, Kindle, and audio, so you can take you pick and read them in whatever format you prefer … or whatever is convenient.
Following is a list of the entire series in order. You do not have to read them in order, though it does make it easier to follow. I didn’t start with the first book, but after that, I went back and started from the beginning.
Harry grows and changes a great deal from the first book onward. He’s barely a kid when it starts, but he is far from a child by this book where he finally has to confront his mortality and make a serious choice about his values, and his soul.
Harry is human and though he can control magic, is not immortal or invulnerable. He can die. He can be seriously injured. He makes mistakes. Quite a few of them, actually and he does his best to fix what can be fixed. His friends, lovers, and the whole array of human and non-human characters that are part of his world are fully developed and with each book, you find out more about them and understand them better.
The series is mostly good magical fun, but there are serious and thoughtful areas concerning the nature of good and evil and the choices we must make. It is never black and white. It is within the gray areas that Harry operates most of the time and his choices are inevitably complicated. It makes him and the stories more interesting, but it also makes his life much harder.
Book 1: The Dresden Files – Storm Front
Book 2: The Dresden Files – Fool Moon
Book 3: The Dresden Files – Grave Peril
Book 4: The Dresden Files – Summer Knight
Book 5: The Dresden Files – Death Masks
Book 6: The Dresden Files – Blood Rites
Book 7: The Dresden Files – Dead Beat
Book 8: The Dresden Files – Proven Guilty
Book 9: The Dresden Files – White Night
Book 10: The Dresden Files – Small Favor
Book 11: The Dresden Files – Turn Coat
Book 12: The Dresden Files – Changes
Book 13: The Dresden Files – Ghost Story