Storm Front. Dresden Files 1 by Jim Butcher
published in 2000
Lost items found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Reasonable rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment. Harry Dresden is the best and technically the ‘only’ at what he does. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal capabilities, they come to him for answers. For the ‘everyday’ world is actually full of strange and magical things – and most of them don’t play well with humans. That’s where Harry comes in. Takes a wizard to catch a – well, whatever.
Great start! I don’t read detective stories very often and this was the first one that combined Fantasy, Mystery and Thriller. Harry Dresden is a real wizard who is living in Chicago and offers his services to all those who are experiencing troubles with the supernatural. But there is one problem. No one wants to take him seriously. The world is our world, but not quite so. Nobody believes in magic and poor Harry is struggling to find work and earn money. I fell in love with Harry Dresden immediately. He is very likeable, has his good and bad sides and a great, dry sense of humor. Also he is living with a giant tomcat named ‘Mister’ and a spirit called ‘Bob’ who is living in a skull in Harry’s basement. If you are not intrigued right now, there’s something wrong 😉
The story is pretty fast-paced, exciting and funny. It doesn’t take long at all to finish it and can be read as a stand-alone as well. It definitely got me hooked.
Fool Moon. Dresden Files 2 by Jim Butcher
published in 2001
Business has been slow. Okay, business has been dead. And not even of the undead variety. You would think Chicago would have a little more action for the only professional wizard in the phone book. But lately, Harry Dresden hasn’t been able to dredge up any kind of work – magical or mundane. But just when it looks like he can’t afford his next meal, a murder comes along that requires his particular brand of supernatural expertise. A brutally mutilated corpse. Strange-looking paw prints. A full moon. Take three guesses – and the first two don’t count …
I liked the second book almost as much as the first. As the title suggests, Harry will be dealing with werewolves this time. I was a bit worried at first because I am SO over werewolves and vampires, but Butcher manages to present them differently. There are different kinds that are not your average wolvies and I always appreciate it if authors try not to go the easy way and use fantasy clichees but try to modify them or create something entirely new.
There are a lot of action scenes again and poor Harry gets knocked down so often, I felt really bad for him. He is getting bullied by everyone it seems. He always gets back up though and it’s great to notice that he and some other characters gain more depth. Although I didn’t like her particularly much in the first book, Susan for example grew on me and I liked the direction of her development. We learn more about Harry’s past and the story, although still very funny, turns into something more serious.
Death Masks. Dresden Files 5 by Jim Butcher
published in 20013
Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only practising professional wizard, should be happy that business is pretty good for a change. But now he’s getting more than he bargained for: A duel with the Red Court of Vampires’ champion, who must kill Harry to end the war between vampires and wizards …Professional hit men using Harry for target practice …The missing Shroud of Turin …A handless and headless corpse the Chicago police need identified …Not to mention the return of Harry’s ex-girlfriend Susan, who’s still struggling with her semi-vampiric nature. And who seems to have a new man in her life. Some days, it just doesn’t pay to get out of bed. No matter how much you’re charging.
And another time Harry is in grave danger. Another time he has to deal with vampires, werewolves and monsters. It is getting a bit repetitive. I already did not like book 3 & 4 that much any more. Especially the fourth book was disappointing. At this stage the books always have the same structure and the stories are similar as well. There are still great dialogues, funny scenes and action but I am expecting a turn and some variety pretty soon or I won’t read on. A good thing though is, that Michael and Susan are part of the story again – they belong to my favourite characters.