The Dresden Files Series (Books, not TV)

Hey y’all, couldn’t find a thread on this so I hope y’all don’t mind if I create one.

Is anyone else a fan of this excellent series of books? The 12th book, “Changes”, just came out, and so far I’m loving it.

If you’re not familiar with the Dresden Files, check out Wikipedia or the official website.

Series was good when I had ten of them to read in a row. Ever since I ran out my lead and I’ve been going year by year I have a hard time remembering where I left off. My copy should show up from SFBC whenever they decide they feel like sending it to me, so we’ll see if I’m as confused at the start of this one as I was last time.

Wait, you mean that now you have to read 'em year over year, you don’t like 'em as much or something? Confused am I.

I’ve read the Dresden Files up to the current one and I’ve read all but the last two of the Codex Alera books.

They’re fun but don’t have a lot of substance and I’m usually content to wait for the paperback versions. I prefer Harry Dresden to the Alera gang as I feel that Butcher’s writing style lends itself to a more focused narrative and Dresden is a better venue for that.

The TV show was a lot of fun. I wish they’d done more of those.

Yes. Because I have to remember things like, “Who’s this guy?” and “Wait, Molly has a boyfriend?” and “What happened to the demo…oh, right.” I’m used to being an old man and buying entire series at once and reading them and being done with them. This “remembering” thing that I’m supposed to do from one chapter to the next is awkward and difficult. I’m still having a hard time remembering whether or not Thomas and Harry have made nice again and if the whole Jesus Power thing that he was doing at one point in one of the stories (the one with The Forsaken? That’s their name, right?) was ever accounted for and whether he’s given away that damn sword yet.

I’m weird. Still looking forward to it, though. Probably won’t get it until a couple of weeks from now because SFBC is weird that way, though, so I imagine I won’t be hanging around the thread anyway, because even though I’m one of those horrible people who will read the last page of a novel when he’s halfway through, I hate being spoiled in most circumstances.

Gabe, yeah, I couldn’t get into Alera either, but I adore Dresden. Yeah, they’re not deep books at all, but they’re a ton of fun. I also wish the show would’ve gone on. Damned SyFy.

Brian, I hear ya, I think Butcher tries to recount things in the narrative in case you forgot, but I find it’s easier to read the previous book right before the next one comes out, if that helps.

About halfway through (“Changes” that is) and really enjoying it. I love how disciplined Butcher is with his supporting cast. There are so many great characters that it has to be tempting to use them every single book but I appreciate that he has no problem putting them on the backburner for a book or three to keep them from getting stale from overuse.

Heh, I’m like that too. It’s funny but when I read the first ten back-to-back I was kind of getting over Butcher’s repetition of introducing existing characters and some of the back story bits. But now that it’s a year between books I really appreciate it. Hell, I didn’t realize when reading “Turn Coat” that Peabody had actually been around since Book 4 or so. It’s actually a series that I’m looking forward to re-reading at some point because Butcher does a really nice job at sprinkling on these bits of the macro-story in relatively unobtrusive ways.

'm still having a hard time remembering whether or not Thomas and Harry have made nice again

That was the end of the last book so at the start of Changes they are still sorta on the outs.

and if the whole Jesus Power thing that he was doing at one point in one of the stories (the one with The Forsaken? That’s their name, right?) was ever accounted for and whether he’s given away that damn sword yet.

He still has both swords and the thing with Uriel has yet to be dealt with.

Re: Uriel, I will say that Dresden fans owe it to check out his short story “The Warrior” (collected in the “Mean Streets” anthology and hopefully will be part of the all Dresden short story collection “Side Jobs” out later this year). Harry and Uriel have a scene at the end that is IMO one of the best Butcher has ever done. Plus, it’s a great story that looks at how Michael Carpenter deals with the events at the end of “Small Favor”.

The show lost a lot of the charm of the books and while it was decent, I certainly can’t blame anyone for it getting canceled. Half the fun of the Dresden books is the internal monologue.

Still waiting on them to finish recording the audiobook versions of everything. James Masters reads them amazingly well. Unfortunately they are only up to book 5…

It’s a shame the show didn’t work out better because the books seem tailor made for them. Really, Dresden has always reminded me of a Joss Whedon show in novel form.

The show was…different. Even Butcher admits that. To its credit, the show was what got me to start the books in the first place, and it had its own charm, but it was on the wrong network. I can’t imagine why the producers didn’t pitch it for cross-network transition to USA. I mean, it’s a show about a magic detective. It would have gone great with their stable in the past, which was, respectively, a show about an obsessive-compulsive detective, a show about a psychic detective, and there might have been a show about a fake psychic detective at that point, but I don’t remember precisely.

They actually skipped a few books to make it current, so I believe books 9-11 are available in audio form, with “Changes” are coming out next week.

Kevin, I loooooooooved “The Warrior”, as they did a great job of continuing the Michael storyline after his accident.

I enjoyed the overall thread of Butcher’s writing but his supporting characters are much more interesting and fun that his main characters. The main characters are too perfect/powerful to be compelling.

I think it’s hard to do a series of this length without falling into that trap. However I think he has done a good job of avoiding it with Harry and a large part of it is because the opponents are getting even stronger. Yes he is “leveling up” but for the most part I think it’s relatively organic in the sense that a lot of it seems to come out through preparation and planning on Harry’s part. The fundamentals of Harry’s spell repertoire haven’t changed a whole lot since the early books but he has learned to use them in some pretty creative ways.

I like Harry’s development too. He was really kind of an ass for the middle books (5-9 and not coincidentally the ones with Laschiel) but he seems to be more inclusive recently. He values his friends’ contributions and is much quicker to ask for their help and he makes less of an effort of protecting them for their own good after seeing how that often doesn’t work out well.

Without spoiling things I do get the sense from what I’ve read of “Changes” so far that Butcher is setting Harry up for a rude awakening.

I’m maybe eight chapters in, and I’m agreeing with you, but say no more. ;)

Ah well that would explain why the Wikipedia release dates confused me so much. Still I’m going to wait and listen to them in order, no sense in doing it any other way really.

Oh yeah, totally. I listened to all of 'em, but that’s because I’ve read all the books. I can’t wait for the audio book to “Blood Rites”, book number six and my favorite in the series.

I read I think the first 5 or so, they’re pretty much the typical urban fantasy series, except written more for dudes than chicks. They’re alright, nice light popcorn books.

I read the first bunch very quickly, was pretty lukewarm on the whole thing. Then I switched to the audio versions. After that I was in.

It seems like the writing has also improved since the early books, especially around 6 or 7, but for me the audio versions made the difference and it’s hard to separate the two since I switched to audio partway through. James Marsters is a great reader. There are all sorts of lines that never played in my head that totally work when he reads them.

Butcher wrote the first book while he was in college – the bastard – so yeah, the first couple of books were a bit shoddy, but they’ve definitely improved since then.

And yeah, Marsters is fantaaaaaaastic with the audio books. The way he does different voices, inflections, and actually ACTS out what’s going on, rather than just reading it blandly, is wonderful.