Adult · Dresden Files · Jim Butcher

The Dresden Files (#1-5) by Jim Butcher

*At the time of posting this, I am currently on book 14. I can say that as the series progresses, the books do indeed get better. The last couple I have read have been absolutely amazing! Since this series is so long, I thought I would split up the reviews in groups of five, so keep scrolling to view the first five reviews. ūüôā

 

stormfront

~Review~ 

I have heard so many good things about the¬†Dresden Files¬†series and I have had quite a few of the books on my kindle for quite some time. A couple days ago I finally decided to give the first novel a try because I just couldn’t decide what I wanted to read. Urban fantasy isn’t what I usually read; I prefer high fantasy, but I thought trying something different would be interesting. I had a hard time getting into the book at first because it was so different than what I am used to reading, eventually the book grew on me and I ended up reading it in less than two days.

This was a decent introduction to the series, but I do hope they become more interesting. The only thing I really liked about this novel was learning about Dresden and the world in which he resides, as well as a couple of the other characters. The plot needed to be more entertaining, but it wasn’t too bad for a first novel. I didn’t find it to be overly predictable. The book was good enough that I wouldn’t mind reading it again!

Plot 

Harry Dresden is a wizard who works as a private investigator and consults with the Chicago Police Department on some of their more unusual cases. In this novel, Harry takes on two unseemly different cases. The Chicago PD asks Harry to take a look at a murder involving two people who seem to have had their hearts blown out, whereas in the other case, Harry is hired by a woman to find her missing husband.

Eventually, the Police Department, as well as the White Council (board of magical enforcers), are certain that Dresden is the one who committed the murders because it would take someone very powerful to accomplish it and Dresden apparently has a history of committing murder.

Not only does Dresden have to figure out who the killer is, but he also has to find the woman’s missing husband, and prove to everyone that he isn’t the murderer. Also, he comes to find that the magician who murdered the couple is attempting to kill him as well, so he doesn’t have much time to figure all this out before he dies.

I thought the plot was pretty slow at first but it does pick up quite a bit once everything starts coming together. It wasn’t the plot itself that kept me interested in the story at the beginning, but the characters who I will discuss later. If it wasn’t for them I don’t think I would have made it to the part where the story becomes more exciting, but even then the cases that Dresden was working on were not particularly interesting enough for me.

World-Building 

After reading quite a bit of the book and not reading about much magic, I thought there wasn’t going to be any, but I was utterly wrong. We do get to see Dresden do quite a bit of magic as well some other people. The magic system in the book is rather interesting and has its own limitations and trinkets used to perform spells. It also isn’t all powerful because the magician can become drained after casting too many spells. I can’t wait to learn more about it!

The creatures that inhabit the world are awesome and I can’t wait to learn more about it!

Characters 

The characters are what really made this novel! If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have been able to finish the book. First of all, Harry Dresden is just awesome and hilarious. I love his personality, although he is quite a bit sexist and spends quite a bit of time describing the female characters he encounters, which got a bit annoying. Despite this flaw, I still enjoyed the rest of his personality and his sense of humor. Some of the things he says are hilarious and really liven up the story. It was also very entertaining anytime he came in contact with something electrical. For some reason wizards and electricity don’t mix well. LOL. I really want to know more about Dresden’s past, so I hope that is explored in the next few books. There was mention of him murdering his former master, which was very intriguing and I would love to know more about that! Harry also has an awesome cat!

I love Bob! Besides Dresden, he was my favorite character because he was so funny! Bob is a spirit trapped in a skull who helps Dresden with potions and other things. He also has a strange obsession, which I found to be pretty funny. I loved his character and hope to see more of him in other books. He provides a lot of comic relief in the story.

Murphy is the lead investigator on the double murder case and is the one who asks Dresden for help. I am not sure if I like her character yet or not. She is a strong female character ¬†who is direct, organized, determined and a little belligerent. She also doesn’t seem to trust Harry very much even though she calls him for help, and not trusting him causes a lot of problems. I hope that we get to see a different side to her because all we see is her hostility.

The side characters I really didn’t enjoy because they were not developed at all. No personality. They were just kind of there to be extra people in the story who are easily removed.

Writing 

I didn’t find anything about the writing that I didn’t enjoy. I know not everyone likes it especially because it is in first-person, but I don’t mind that because I hope that by writing in first-person we learn a lot about the main character.

Cover 

It’s actually pretty decent, except for all the extra crap they put on it. I love how it says that it is book one of the Dresden Files, but it is redundant to say that it is first in a new series. The blurb at the top is also distracting. Otherwise, I like the illustration.

~Review Spotlight~

 Reading SFF              The Ranting Dragon

 Knite Writes              The Literary Bunny


foolmoon

~Review~ 

This book was much better than the first and I can’t wait to begin the next in the series! The plot was more interesting and exciting, and I love the world-building and most of the characters.

Plot 

In this second Dresden novel, it is up to Harry to find the murderer behind some gruesome killings. Right away he realizes that the perpetrator must be a werewolf, so he spends his time trying to find the person responsible while getting himself into some rather unfortunate circumstances. There may be even more than one werewolf….

I enjoyed this book a lot more than the first one because the premise of the book was much more interesting. Werewolves are awesome and I loved the authors take on them with all the different types. This book is much more exciting than the previous one as well, and Harry gets himself into a lot of trouble. A lot of magic is used and a few engaging battles take place to really keep your attention. Some serious shit goes down when Dresden goes to the police department in an attempt to stop the werewolf. Very entertaining.

I know a lot of people didn’t enjoy this one, but I am told it gets even better from here as this book sets up some major story-lines for later novels. I enjoyed it a lot and if you like werewolves I think you will too.

Again, the one thing I don’t like is the attention to detail that Dresden pays to women. Describing absolutely everything about them. I don’t need to know about every curve of their body…

World Building 

The werewolves were incredibly awesome! I loved that there were several different types and they were all explained well. I hope to see some of these wolves in later books.

Characters 

I love Harry! He is, of course, one of my favorite characters next to Bob. He is just as hilarious and sarcastic as ever in this book and I really enjoyed getting to know him a little more. Very brief and minor hints were dropped about his parents that hopefully plays a part in later books because I definitely want to know more about that. Harry also gets to explore his animal side in this book and that was really interesting!

Murphy is the one character that I really don’t like yet. I just can’t stand that after everything Harry and her have been through she still doesn’t trust him. If Dresden keeps one little piece of information from her (usually for her own protection) she throws a fit and immediately assumes that Harry is behind the murders. She is also always in a foul mood; its the only side of her we ever get to see. I really want to know more about her and her past so that I can understand her more. Maybe that would change my feelings toward her. After Harry saves her life again in this book, maybe she will start to trust him more.

Susan plays a larger role in this book, but I still don’t know if I like her much yet. She seems to really care about Dresden, but also wants a good story to further her career. We do see their relationship develop a lot more in this book, which I am assuming will lead to something more later on. I just don’t like her as a character yet because all we know about her is that she is the typical reporter looking for a good story.

Writing 

No problems with the writing!

Cover 

As always, blurbs are a no on the cover for me. Also, it would be nice to know which book in the series this is. Though I think the illustration is okay, it would have been better to have a wolf on it to go more with the theme of the book.

~Review Spotlight~

 Knite Writes (spoilers in plot paragraph)         Lady Geek Girl

          Peter Tarkulich                                                         The Literary Bunny


graveperil

~Review~ 

This book is a great addition to the series and delves us deeper into Harry’s world. It keeps your attention from the very first page!

Plot 

In¬†Grave Peril,¬†the barrier between the Nevernever and our world is weakening allowing all sorts of ghosts to wreck havoc on Chicago. A particular one, the Nightmare, is extremely vicious and deadly and seems rather interested in Harry and those close to him. This Nightmare has been terrorizing people by getting into their dreams and eating their minds from inside. Why is this ghost so interested in Harry and his friends? It’s actually pretty complicated.

I believe this is where the series starts to pick up and become more interesting and less formulaic. First of all, this is the first time in which Murphy hasn’t called upon Harry for a case. Harry and his friend Michael take it upon themselves to rid Chicago of these ghosts and figure out who may be behind these attacks. I actually found this change to be quite refreshing; I thought all of these books were going to start off the same, so I am glad I was wrong. The pacing was great and I was pleased to not find anything to be predictable.

World-Building 

This is the first time we actually get to see the Nevernever and learn a bit more about it. It is definitely a strange place and you ¬†wouldn’t want to stick around for very long. We also get to learn more about Harry’s past and even meet is Godmother, as well as seeing more creatures including ghosts,sidhe, and vampires! Not to mention the Nightmare!

Characters 

A new character is introduced in this book. Michael, a Knight of the Cross (a legendary knight who wields an extremely precious sword forged with a nail from the Cross of Jesus). His is a very Holy man and doesn’t approve of a lot of what Harry does, but understands his reasons. He is a very intriguing character and not what you would expect. He is very friendly, personable, level-headed, caring and wise, and I am not sure how he manages to do what he does with a wife and children at home. I love him and want to see more of him in other books.

Another new character is Harry’s Godmother Lea, who, to put it mildly, is a very scary and strange lady, or should I say faerie! I still am not sure whether or not she is a good or bad person. I think she is more evil than good, but at this time I am not sure. She did keep trying to get Harry to stay in the Nevernever with her, which can’t be good.

I thought it was a great change to have Murphy be mostly non-existent in this book. I enjoyed not having Harry doubted or questioned all the time!

I still don’t like Susan very much. She doesn’t really develop much in this novel because she is only in it for a small part. However, something does happen to her that changes her relationship with Harry, probably forever. ūüė¶ I am looking forward to the next book to see how this plays out.

Writing 

Things are starting to become repeated and it disrupts the flow of the story. Otherwise, I am enjoying it.

Cover 

Although I like that this cover portrays a book that is more dark and creepy, I hate the illustration. Something else could have been used. I also don’t like the sticker¬†or blurbs. But hey! There is a book number!! YAY!

~Review Spotlight~

 Knite Writes                                              The Obsessive Bookseller

The Ranting Dragon                                        Rabid Reads


summerknight

~Review~

The book was decent, but not my favorite. We get insight into the Courts of Faerie, which I assume is important later, and more information about Harry’s past. There is a lot of action/battle scenes in this book, which kept me entertained and some new “creatures” that were pretty cool.

Plot

In Summer Knight Harry Dresden is contacted by none other than the Winter Queen of

Faerie who wants his help solving the murder of the Summer Knight and who stole his power in order to clear her name. He must figure this out before Summer and Winter go to war, which would have catastrophic effects in our world.

Not only does he have to deal with his contract to the Winter Queen, but he has to atone for the war he started in the previous book with the Red Court of Vampires. So he meets with the White Council who apparently want to strip him of his title and hand him over to the vampires to appease them. However, he attempts to wiggle his way out of this by undergoing a Trial which relates back to his contract with the Winter Queen.

If he can’t solve this murder not only¬†it could bring about a global weather apocalypse, but he will be stripped of his title as a Wizard and be handed over to the Red Court of Vampires.

At first, I thought this story sounded really interesting because we get to learn more about the faeries, but once I got into the book it wasn’t what I expected I guess. I was actually kind of bored during the entire book and just couldn’t wait to finish it so I could move on to something else. I just didn’t find the plot to be very engaging like the other ones have been. It wasn’t slow or anything and didn’t lack in exciting moments, believe me there were plenty to keep me entertained; I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I would have liked. Maybe I would like it more on a second read. I think I was just a bit confused about what exactly was going on with the whole order of the faerie court.

However, there was some interesting information revealed about Harry’s past including the murder of his former master, Justin, as well as his childhood love, Elaine. This was the most intriguing part of the book for me because I am always wanting to learn more about Dresden’s past.

World-Building

Exploring more about the faerie court and how it works was awesome as well as finding out all the information about Harry’s past. The new creatures were also spectacular!

More Knights of the Cross was interesting as well.

Characters

Dresden is awesome as usual and I enjoyed getting to learn more about his past. It really surprises me how often he is able to get himself out of the worst predicaments.

I actually enjoyed Murphy in this story because she shows more emotion in this book than in any of the others. She also works really well with Dresden and Harry actually decides to keep her in the loop, which was awesome. Finally! I think Murphy is finally beginning to trust Harry.

Billy with the return of the Alphas assists Harry in this book, which was exciting. I was glad to see the werewolves come back and learn how much they have changed since the second book.

Cover

The illustration is actually neat, but I hate all the other crap on it. Also, it needs a book number since there are just too many in this series to only say “a novel of the Dresden Files”.

~Review Spotlight~

Knite Writes (contains spoilers)                               Flames Rising

J.N Cahill                                                                    The Ranting Dragon


deathmasks

~Review~

An interesting addition to the series and a must read if you have enjoyed the series thus far. Having Michael back was awesome ,and I even enjoyed learning about Susan’s new abilities and what she has been doing with her life. The plot was ¬†complex and engaging with lots of action and suspense.

Plot

There are a lot of things going on in Death Masks and most of them end up converging with each other. Dresden is hired by a priest named Father Vincent to track down the Shroud of Turin. Harry finds out that the shroud has been taken by a gang of thieves called the Churchmice who were hired to steal it by none other than Marcone. However, he is not the only one interested in the Shroud. The Denarians want to get their hands on it too. They are horrible, cruel, demonic beings who want the Shroud in order to spread a disease that would be catastrophic.

Not only does Harry have to deal with all of this, he has been challenged by Ortega of the Red Court of vampires to a duel to the death. If Dresden agrees, Ortega will end the hostilities been the Vampires and the White Council, but he may have other motives.

I thought the plot was interesting and there was a lot going on to keep me interested. I actually finished the book rather quickly. There is a lot of action in this one because he can’t seem to get away from the Denarians and they are not easy to kill. Harry actually has help from three of the Knights of the Cross, as well as his ex-girlfriend Susan.

World-Building

The Denarians were pretty cool; totally badass. They were described perfectly and you could really understand why Harry was terrified.

Characters

I loved that Michael was back in the story and he even brought along two other Knights, Shiro and Sanya, each with their own personality. I loved both of them! We even get to read a little more about Michael’s family, which I thought was interesting and makes us care for him even more. He has a lot of responsibility.

I haven’t liked Susan as a character; honestly I still don’t. However, she is a much stronger character now that she is mostly a vampire and it was interesting to see how she was coping with that. I think I do like her maybe a tiny bit more than I did, but I still need more to really like her as a character. I need to know more about her in order to make that connection.

Dresden is just as awesome as ever and it was intriguing to see how he handled Susan’s return. You can really tell how much he wants her and loves her, but they could never be together. Even though I don’t care for Susan very much, I feel bad for Harry. I believe he needs someone in his life to care for and someone who cares a great deal for him.

Writing

About the same as it usually is.

Cover

I actually don’t like this cover at all. No book number, there are blurbs, and even an illustration that doesn’t fit the story well. Why not have a Denarian on the cover or something similar.

~Review Spotlight~

Laura’s Honest Ramblings¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Literary Escapist

                                 The Obsessive Bookseller

 

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6 thoughts on “The Dresden Files (#1-5) by Jim Butcher

  1. I agree with you on all the covers…should’ve been clearer what book was what, and blurbs go on the back, not the front! Argh! Looks all cluttered and ugly.
    Glad you’re into the series…with every series they’ll be some hit and miss books…especially when you’re on book 14! Wow! Hope you keep loving it!

  2. Skin Game is my favorite in the series so far. I read it once, and then listened to the audiobook, and maybe it’s the audio but it quickly claimed the top spot as my favorite in the entire series. I can’t wait to hear what you think of it (and Cold Days!)

    1. Cold Days is my next read! I’m buddy reading the series with my husband so it just depends on when he is ready, but I can’t wait to read it since the previous few have been incredible! I’m glad you enjoyed both of them! I’m sure I will too!

  3. Nice review , strange though while i do agree with the view that Death Mask is the worst of the series For me Summer Knight was a pretty good book , fool moon on the other hand wasn’t as good in my eyes

    Unbelievable that you started reading the series a couple of days back and are already on book 14 , I have been reading it for over a year and still haven’t purchased all the books and am at Book #12 ūüėį

      1. Idk i really loved every book after death mask and dead beat is my fag till date , i mean the finale of that book just blew my mind

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