Okay, so I am being converted from a "won't touch paranormal books " to a moderate urban fantasy/paranormal fan. It all began, I suppose, with Harry..Show More » Potter when I really enjoyed the inventiveness and wit of the writing. But at that time I still maintained that Harry Potter was an anomaly: it wasn't the genre that attracted me, it was simply those characters and that writer that I liked.
Then I happened onto the Peter Grant trilogy by Ben Aaronovitch in Audible. I absolutely loved those books -- they were well-written, wildly inventive and very funny. The adventures of a young constable in London who ends up being assigned to the division of the Met which handles anything which is "not normal" kept me entertained and laughing.
I discovered the "Dresden Files" existence from references contained in reviews of the Peter Grant books, making comparisons between the two. "Storm Front" is the first of the Dresden Files, and now I am forced to admit that I am a fan of the genre. Harry Dresden is an engaging character, the only wizard listed in the Chicago yellow pages. His adventures are entertaining and laced with humor, and the mystery aspect was well handled. Comparing "Storm Front " to the Peter Grant books, I would say that Storm Front is darker, a bit more violent and somewhat less funny than Peter Grant. I also think that the paranormal creatures in Storm Front are not as developed as those in the other series, and more often appear as one-dimensional figures. These factors cause me to prefer the Peter Grant books, but I will be reading the rest of the Dresden Files, too!
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.
Yeap. This book introduced Butters, a Chicago medical examiner, and a perfect foil to Dresden. Jim Butcher's books are always peppered with humor, but..Show More » between Butters, the almost full-grown Mouse, and a third plot point (that I will not spoil) this book was one guffaw after another. Past Dresden books have been dark, with Harry just getting pummeled time and time again. Harry picks up some new bruises and sutures in this book too, but the whole tone of the story is lighter.
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.
Someone asked me if I caught the Super Bowl on television. I said no, the new multimillion dollar players don't seemed to be anything like me. When I ..Show More »was young, even famous athletes, like Joe Namath, seemed like people you might encounter at your neighborhood bar once in awhile, famous but one of us mugs. This is why I like the character Harry Dresden.
Jim Butcher creates a great character that you'd love to sit down with and have a beer and pizza, just to listen to what he's been up to today. You might run into Harry walking across your street and yell hello while he's out with Mouse. The humanity of the character doesn't dim his powerful, ever growing, powers as a wizard. Butcher does follow an old, 'Sam Spade,' formula, true, but the characters are so good you don't care and find yourself glad of the time it took to read it through.
I am hoping that soon all the Harry Dresden books are here at Audible. You really do need to read them from the beginning in order to not only appreciate the plot you're reading now, but to understand the subplot that flows through all the books. But you can still listen to 'Small Favors' by itself, so grab a beer (or your favorite beverage) some pizza, turn out the lights, and get on a case with Harry.
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.
Damn you Jim Butcher and your compelling characters! I started listening to the Dresden Files while on my daily co..Show More »mmute and burned through all the books in a matter of a couple months. Side Jobs is another great book in the series.
Jim Butcher's skill in writing and development with the characters just keeps improving. This is a fun collection as you can get a feel for the growth through the stories written over time, ending with a great novella.
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.
When the Dresden files began with “Storm Front,” Harry was a private detective and the only openly working professional wizard in Chicago. Then he b..Show More »ecame a warden for the white council, fought all kinds of supernatural monsters, including the Red Court, and recently he was dead. Now in book 15, “Skin Game,” he is the warden of the island Demonreach, and oh yeah, also the reluctant knight of winter court. What great story progression. From the previous book, “Cold Days,” we know Harry has a parasite in his head and its threatening to end his life. Now Mab, the queen of the winter court, and Harry’s boss, is using his infirmity as leverage to get him to do a job. She’s loaned him out to one of his most hated foes, Nicodemus Archleone and the Denarians. Having done battle with Nicodemus before Harry knows he has his hands full; but locked and loaded with his usual nonstop smartmouth commentary and banter Harry is ready to fulfill his obligation and at the same time thwart his old enemy’s plans. Harry will need the help of his friends, although Thomas and Molly do not make an appearance we get a lot of Murphy, Michael and Butters, and he must use all of his cunning to get him and his friends out of this story intact. I did like the development of the characters, notably “Butters,” and, as usual, there are plot twists. Some loose ends from the previous books are tied up with others left hanging; but this is “The Dresden Files,” and, if you’re like me, am glad that Jim Butcher always leaves us wanting more. A note about the narrator; if you’re wondering whether to read the book or listen to this audio, James Marsters is Harry Dresden; his voice inflections captures the clever wit and subtle nuances of the character perfectly.
This collection is best read before Skin Game as it answers many of the questions that book caused to the reader; unfortunately this book raises as m..Show More »any more. These three stories introduce the Bigfoot race and specifically River Shoulders to the Dresden Files universe.
In the first story, Harry is hired to travel to Wisconsin and paid a gold nugget the size of a golf ball by River Shoulders to protect his half human son. Without getting too deep into the story, this story is my second favorite of the three because it also deals with the Svartalfar.
The second story, although the most comedic of the three of them, Irving, River Shoulder's son, is now attending an exclusive honors high school and horror of horrors, he caught mono. As his father's heritage should have made this impossible, Harry is hired to investigate.
The third story, Bigfoot on Campus, Harry is directed to a college in Oklahoma where Irving has a walk on scholarship on the football team because River Shoulders had a vision of his son's immanent demise. This is definitely the best of the three stories as it takes place between Turn Coat and Changes, so Harry has his gear, including the now defunct Blue Beetle. It is also interesting that, although it is a left field solution, there is now a third possibility for the scions of the White Court who have yet to awaken their hunger.
Now, to the author, we need one more story in this collection. What happened to Irving and his girlfriend after A Bigfoot on Campus? Additionally, as Harry claims to have worked with, not just for, River Shoulders, I'd like to see one or more stories dealing with this, perhaps involving Listens to Wind.