I've finished Jim Butcher's first 2 Dresden Files books--this title being the first--and even though I've moved on and I'm now reading other novels, I..Show More » find myself thinking of The Dresden Files in the middle of the night or at random times. If I feel like reading, my mind automatically assumes (with pleasure) that I'll be reading about Harry Dresden. That's a very high recommendation for any novel.
For those who don't already know, Storm Front introduces us to Harry Dresden, a practicing wizard living in Chicago. That set up and the resulting complications are what make The Dresden Files fun to read. Harry's an interesting character, with a colorful past involving a mother who was a witch, a father who was a stage magician, and an uncle who taught Harry how to be an evil wizard.
In Storm Front, people are being murdered from the inside out, literally. For Lieutenant Murphy of the Chicago Police, it's clear something strange is going on, so she calls on Harry, who occasionally works as a special consultant to the police department, helping with crimes that appear to have no worldly explanation. The magical universe Jim Butcher has created is both believable and fascinating. Learning about that world through Harry's eyes is what I believe is the best part of these books.
I have two major disappointments with these novels: Harry Dresden and Lt. Murphy have a working relationship; yet neither trusts the other. Lt. Murphy especially distrusts Harry Dresden, and the explanation for that distrust seems weak, at best. The false obstacles she places in Harry's path caused by this distrust hurt my enjoyment of the story. At the same time, Harry Dresden has a self-blame complex. Everything is his fault and his responsibility. I found his constant need to blame himself just plain irritating, especially when there was nothing he could have done differently.
Overall, I highly recommend this novel. The good definitely outweighs the somewhat minor irritations.
I was looking for another engaging series to try after reading all of Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse books and found Jim Butcher's books.
..Show More » Harry Dresden, a wizard/detective in Chicago, is a very quirky, compelling main character who gets himself in one unbelievable predicament after another. I found the writing style of this second Dresden book to be decidedly improved from the first (Storm Front). Although there is still some hackneyed detective-genre prose to make me cringe at times, I am won over by Jim Butcher's talent for painting these characters, creating an intriguing paranormal universe, and some twisty-turny storylines that keep you guessing.
Fool Moon (nice pun, BTW) is about Harry's search to discover the source of a recent spate of killings, presumably by a werewolf. You will learn more about the different flavors of werewolf than you ever thought you wanted to know, and how they kill their prey (warning: not for the squeamish!)
I'm going to download the rest of the Dresden series because I just have to know what happens next to Harry and how he'll get out of it!
As I listened to this audiobook, I couldn't help but picture the character James Marsters played in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". He brought the charact..Show More »ers to life without doing obnoxious falsetto voices for the female characters as so many other readers do. I have read all the Dresden books in print thus far, and while I enjoyed reading this book at the time, I felt much more "in" the story while listening to this production. I listened to "Storm Front" before this one, and the reading of this audiobook is much more enjoyable than "Storm Front" because of Marsters' enthusiastic performance. The timing is great, the characters are distinguishable without being obnoxious and there is just enough acting to make it really exciting. I'll concede that there were some mispronounciations but not enough to really detract from the story. I listen to lots of audiobooks and this one I will recommend to everyone!
Anyone who has made it this far LISTENING to the Harry Dresden series has to feel that James Marsters is the perfect Harry and one of the best overall..Show More » narrators out there.
Jim Dale move over! James Marsters is the new leader in town...(at least Chicago). His tone, pitch, inflections and a host of different character voices make it seem like he is actually telling HIS story.
I have been listening to recorded books for decades & i can tell you a bad narration can ruin the experience; a great narration can make it hard to stop listening.
You probably could not go wrong with Jim Butchers story lines but then i wouldn't be going through them as fast as i am without Marsters.
The story in Summer Knight is extrodinary. Just when you think Butcher can't be more inventive, he comes up with more spells & monsters to make your pulse fly!
My only complaint about the Dresden series is the waiting for the next audio book to come out. Hells bells, I'd pick up the coin and become a "Nickle ..Show More »Head" if it would produce the next 2 books faster.
Oh, and FYI, the TV series does NOT do the books justice in the least. The TV Series did what "Highlander 2" did to the first movie. Judge not the Dresden series off of that!
...and another excellent audiobook performance by James Marsters, who really brings the series to life.
When Harry's incubus friend Thom..Show More »as calls in a favor, Harry finds himself working on the set of a porn movie, trying to figure out who...or what...is trying to close down the production by killing off the film's female stars. Of course, there are many, many complications, high danger, White Court vampire intrigues, and of course, Jim Butcher's trademark witty dialogue.
First, let me say that I was turned on to the hard copy books initially and loved the series from the start. Then I started travelling more for work ..Show More »and was nervous about having them in audio format starting with this book, #8. No need to worry, it was even better than I could have hoped for. James Marsters does a GREAT job of bringing the story and people to life. His intonations, laughs and accents really help to make this an exciting listen. I have actually found myself driving around the block of my customers locations a few times just to get to the end of a chapter for a stopping point. Just like a book you can't put down. I strongly suggest you start with the books in order, now that they are available, to help understand the story development fully. It is good to watch Harry Dresden grow from the beginning and know where the other players come in at and get the background foundation. I am now up to book #11 and they just keep getting better. I rate these books as 5 stars due to the story line and the excellent narration. Well done!
First, an update, since no one who left a review complaining of it has done so: The audio file is intact, not corrupt and contains the full contents o..Show More »f the book. I will assume either there was a download problem, or an issue with the hosted file that has since been corrected.
James Marsters has quickly become my favorite Audible narrator. He nimbly performs a wide cast of characters with many distinct voices, many of which are magical, evil or demons - I wonder how many throat lozenges he goes through a book. This is no dry reading, but a one-man show - mostly spent as Harry Dresden the droll, wise-cracking and sympathetic hero.
The pop culture references sometimes get laid on a little thickly, but they serve to ground Harry in the world as we know it, while he moves equally easily through the fantasy around him.
He is a magical Everyman in a world of intrigue among the heavy hitters of the supernatural world. He is increasingly distrustful of his fellow Wizards, targeted by ticked off vampires, training his new apprentice, worried about his brother the White Court vampire's secretive behavior, while he tries to track down the murderer staging the suicides of local women.
Did I mention the fallen angel in his head trying to corrupt him?
I love these books - There is both lighthearted humor, and darker drama - the characters are never just 'one thing' they all develop into multifaceted personalities and their relationships with Harry keep every book interesting.
With every book Harry seems to pick up a new friend to add to the close knit crew who follow from book to book and add to the depth of the underlying story in the series.
I absolutely love this! I kept hoping you would get Jim Butcher's Dresden Files. James Marsters has done a fantastic job! His snarky humor is spot o..Show More »n as Harry. Would love to see more of the Dresden Files on Audible. *pretty please* In the meantime, I will be listening to it again.
Fast paced. Excellent narration. And Harry Dresden is, as always, an appealing protagonist.
It's possible to appreciate the book as a p..Show More »aranormal mystery stand-alone without a great deal of knowledge of what has gone on before. However, I think it helps to be familiar with the series as a whole since almost all of the characters in the novel were introduced in previous installments of the series.
Butcher's latest Dresden File is OUTSTANDING. Yes, totally worthy of All Caps OUTSTANDING. If you think that because you've read his past Dresden nove..Show More »ls, you know how this one is going to end... prepare to be shocked. "Changes" is definitely an appropriate title for this book. I won't go into the plot, because anything beyond what the publishers already described would be far too spoilerish.
I also have to say something about James Marsters- the narrator. Holy Cheese Doodles is this guy good. He can make a shout sound like a shout without it hurting your eardrums, he can meld his voice so it sounds, very believably, like a female whisper. He can produce the crack of dry humor and the choke in his throat when deep sorrow is called for. He did an excellent job of narrating this book and I was left wishing he had been hired to narrate the Codex Allera books that Butcher has also written. (but that is another review.)
Can't say enough good things about this one. Definitely worth the buy.
I've wanted to get my hands on the various Dresden short stories for some time but was stopped by two things: 1) I'm not a huge fan of anthologies, wh..Show More »ere most of the shorts appeared, and 2) the audio format versions were not read by James Marsters.
Jim Butcher did make some bits available on his website for reading, but the remainder appeared in Mean Streets, My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding and My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon, among others. All the stories are placed in the context of the Dresden-verse timeline. The last, which takes place immediately after Changes, appears nowhere else. Some of these are, as the author admits, not the best effort, while some are not to be missed, particularly Thomas' grimly determined everyday battles with the monsters he is related to as well as the one within him.
James Marsters is less a narrator, and more a one man show. I've probably noted it in another review, but it really can't be said enough the difference between someone who is merely reading, and someone who evokes the scenes, emotions, characters and interactions and portrays them well. I've been disappointed by books by best selling authors that were narrated in the barest sense of the word, and have followed other authors around in part because of the narrators chosen to read their works. Mr. Marsters is definitely in the latter category.
If you are a fan of the series, you probably know all these things, and just want the punchline: Yes - if you have been following the adventures of Dresden and company, do get this book. If you have never heard a Dresden novel, these stories are still good, but will have more meaning when you have read some of the other novels.
I enjoyed this story for the most part -- it did indeed take a slightly different course than the previous twelve tales in the series, which is a good..Show More » change of pace. But I do have to agree that the change in narrators was tough to accept, despite the story. I like some of John Glover's other works, but this wasn't one of them, unfortunately. It didn't quite fit in with Marster's previous takes on Harry's character, especially since these are told in the first person.
A more inspired stand-in for James Marsters, if truly necessary, would have been to enlist Paul Blackthorne, the actor who played Harry Dresden in the TV series, to narrate. The two actors sometimes sound quite a lot alike, after all, in delivering Dresden's words, to me at least.
In any event, the publisher has _got_ to get Marsters back.
This is book 14, so no introduction to the plot or summary of the series so far will either make sense to new readers or be interesting to series regu..Show More »lars. So, instead, it is worth asking, is Cold Days worth reading if you are already a Dresden fan? And, perhaps more importantly, does it give you hope for the continued adventures of Dresden in the future? The answers are both "hell, yes!"
Remember, we are 14 books into a series, one in which hundreds of characters have been introduced, where each book reveals bigger secrets than the last about the universe, and where every potential proverbial shark has been jumped, including the resurrection of the main character. And yet Butcher somehow, against all reason and expectation, keeps writing books that feel as if there is an overarching plot that makes sense, with real character progression, internal consistency, and a vibrant but changing world.
It is worth noting this achievement, since, to my knowledge, no fantasy or science fiction series of this length has ever pulled off a series of such consistent highs, and on a nearly yearly basis! Robert Jordan and George R. R. Martin lost steam along the way, Bujold makes each story fairly self-contained, Pratchett switches characters, and most other epic series feel a bit like the TV shows Lost or Twin Peaks - spinning out of the creators control with needless complication and wandering attention. Not the Dresden files! The action is still exciting, the humor still solid, and the characters still engaging. And, as per usual, the stakes get ever higher, while still leaving room for both mystery and future books.
The short version: the book is excellent, and the series an achievement that has managed to transcend its fantasy-noir roots. The only reason not to get it is if you haven't read the first 13.