The Dresden Files Series (Books, not TV)

Yeah, if the books at stayed the same quality as the first three or four I’m not sure I would have continued and I certainly wouldn’t be buying the in hardcover on the day of release. I think Butcher really started elevating himself with Death Masks and then again with Dead Beat (which remains my personal favorite).

I’m vaguely bothered by a lot of the pop culture references though. For a guy who can’t be around electronics, Dresden is way too plugged into geek culture. I can rationalize the constant Star Wars references since they were before he manifested his talent but the more recent references like Buffy are a bit harder. But they are funny so it doesn’t really bother me much.

I always figured he watched them on someone else’s TV from a distance. ;) Or maybe read the books or comics as he is a vorascious reader.

I just finished reading Changes and I can’t decide whether I like it or not. Parts of it were fantastic, parts of it really rubbed me the wrong way. It’s clear that the author decided he was tired of writing formulaic Dresden books so he tossed the formula on the ground and jumped up and down on it.

I won’t share spoilers but Changes makes it clear that the author wanted to either take the series in a very different direction or move towards concluding it. Maybe both.

The series is supposed to 23 books IIRC. 20 “Files” and then what Butcher calls the “Apocalyptic Trilogy” to cap it off.

Damn, got to it before I could. ;)

Still no Kindle edition of that latest one.

Sigh, yeah, got a newsletter the other day about it:

Amazon and Penguin are bickering, and the Kindle edition of “Changes” has been caught up in the crossfire. Fans around the world are getting email notifications from Amazon that their “Changes” preorders have been canceled.

Jim had no say in this decision, and he’s already received an outpouring of mail from fans perplexed and angered at this chain of events. We know many of you were relying on this being available on release day, and we’re every bit as frustrated as you are. We’re confident the conflict will not be drawn out much longer, but we have no way of knowing if it will be resolved in time for the book’s Tuesday release. We have no doubt that “Changes” will be available for the Kindle at some point, but whether that’s tomorrow, next week, or next month is anyone’s guess.

We hope this doesn’t unduly inconvenience you guys, and we thank you for bearing with us in this exceptionally annoying time.

I’ve read all the books until the newest one - I’m holding off on it because I have issues with reading fiction to the detriment of doing shit that needs doing, so I’m waiting until I have more free time. That said, I did read the first four chapters of Changes on Jim Butcher’s site, so I’m sort of dying to pick it up.

I’m quite fond of them - they start off kind of meh, but as said above his style really improves to the point where I think he’s become technically great at crafting a popcorn adventure story. I’ve also read all of the Alera books, and the last two really take it to the next level.

As for Dresden and “leveling up,” Butcher’s come out and said that his intent is to not give Dresden too much more power (though the thing with the island in the last book has me skeptical), but to make him better at working with what he already has, which has definitely manifested in the most recent books.

Well, seeing as it came out yesterday, I guess it at least had you enraptured!

My son has a Spider-Man novel by a Jim Butcher but he never read it. I assume it’s the same author. Anyone know if it’s good?

I’ve not read the Spider Man novel, but I hear it’s pretty good.

I have read it, and as licensed fiction goes it’s pretty awesome.

I just started the series with my kindle (ipod version). I’ve read the first couple and quite like them, but I haven’t had much time to read them lately.

I’m actually on book 4 atm.

I got the first three in a 3-in-1 from SciFi BC and a buddy had the latest four for me, which was cool. Then I stumbled on the fact that the local library has the entire series in paper back, which was an unexpected surprise, so I’ll be able to read all but the newest book (out soon?) for about $20!

They are really, really fun to read. Just the right amount of heroic camp and pulpy action, with a very well realized world. I like them quite a bit.

Like several people here, I saw the TV show, thought it was vaguely OK, and picked up the books as a response. I’m finding them merely adequate.

I’ve read the first… four? five? over the last few months. The last one was with the fairies, at any rate. I’ve got the next two, but haven’t been inspired to read them yet. They’re fun enough, but lacking in any sort of subtlety. I really like the idea of supernatural/horror detective stories- those being two of my favorite genres, mixing them should be great.

But I want something more on the lines of a Hammet or Chandler novel, (or hell, even Ellroy would be nice) but with the added bonus of a little magic and horror. For instance, William Hjortsberg’s “Falling Angel” (the basis of the movie Angel Heart) is pretty much what I want the Dresden books to be. However, instead of creepy, hardboiled, supernatural-tinged mystery, I get a Michael Bay-esque summer blockbuster.

Anyone got anything else like that? Something with some style? I only recently found RK Morgan’s Altered Carbon and loved it for it’s use of every noir stereotype in the book while doing something interesting with them (and while I was disappointed by him dropping the noir schtick in the sequels, they made up for it in other ways). I am currently neck-deep in Jeff Vandermeer’s Finch which is a kind of weird fantasy hardboiled detective novel (with fungus). I just picked up Gene Wolfe’s An Evil Guest

What else you got?

Yeah, you may as well bail on Butcher. While the novels get significantly better from what you’ve read, they use less and less of the noir, detective element.

For what you are looking for I would recommend checking out Mike Carey’s Felix Castor series, which starts with “The Devil You Know.”

I tried these and was unimpressed. I don’t think much of him as a writer. I think it’s mostly that the first-person hard-boiled narrative has to be really sharp and clever, because if it’s not, it falls really short. Butcher isn’t all that sharp and clever.

Anyway, I think of these as crime stories with a supernatural element, and they don’t compare well to the great crime stories I’ve read by other authors. Tossing in the supernatural stuff, which I like, isn’t enough to make me forgive them not being up to snuff.

Butcher would probably agree. The series pretty much abandoned the “crime stories” element relatively early on.

I enjoyed the Dresden Files most during the middle books when I thought the series was going to be an account of Harry’s descent into rage-filled madness. That said I still like them enough to purchase the hardbacks as soon as they come out.

I’m rather surprised at all the luke warm responses to the series. I really enjoy it and I put his Alera series as one of my very favorites of all time. He’s definitely an action writer though, so if you’re looking for long, slow books with lots of reflection and sleuthing, then Dresden (or Alera) definitely aren’t the right choice.

I’m reading these again, starting over from the beginning because I can’t remember any of it, just as mentioned earlier in the thread.

If you’re interested, I heartily recommend checking out the new Dresden RPG, which I heard about on the Atomic Array podcast featuring it. Very interesting system, focusing more on collaborative settings and characters.