Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Books to Enjoy: The World of Jim Butcher.

Jim Butcher wrote the books which loosely inspired the short lived sci-fi channel series "The Dresden Files" ... let's just say that he was so thrilled with the way the tv series turned out, when the SciFi channel became the Syfy channel, he referred to it as "the syphylus channel."

And, when asked at the DragonCon Panel about when the rights revert back to him, he rattled off a number down to the days and the hours left.

Not that he's bitter or anything ... though he might have a countdown app.

The premise of the Dresden File novels: think of one parts Philip Marlow and one part Gandalf on meth; Wizard as Private Eye.
Storm Front (The Dresden Files, Book 1)

The series starts with a serial killer in Chicago who kills people by magic ... and lightning.

So, of course, the title has to be Storm Front.

To be honest, I wasn't very thrilled.  It was fun, that was certain, but it seemed a little ... lacking.  It may have just been me.  However, I got a 3-in-1 volume, so I figured I would give it until the end of the volume and see exactly where Butcher thought he was going with the entire series.

It turns out that I chose wisely.

Fool Moon (The Dresden Files, Book 2)The next book in the series is Fool Moon.

If book one was the evil, magic-using serial killer that uses the lightning as a weapon, the sequel must have werewolves, right? Logical progression.

Anyway, this one was definitely more interesting, with a suspect pool that relies on knowing several varieties of werewolf, and ends with a three-way shootout.

And Butcher does a nice job of recreating parts of the Terminator in a police station, only with a werewolf.

Ghost Story (Dresden Files, No. 13)Now, if book two has werewolves, book three must have vampires ... okay, that is a logical progression.  This one develops an interesting little world war with vampires.  Over the books to come, Butcher slowly builds every single aspect of his little world, and he develops a good, solid story arc that fits together surprisingly well.  The character of Harry Dresden has developed from a magical Jim Rockford who gets beat up a lot, to a strong leader who can unify various and sundry hostile groups against a common enemy .... and Dresden still gets beaten up a lot.

Apparently, Dresden is building up to an “apocalyptic trilogy” for a finale that will probably involve wizards, vampires, the fae, skinwalkers, werewolves, demons, advanced assault weapons, aikido, and Excalibur-level swords.

And his most recent novel is called Ghost Story, out now.

Furies of Calderon (Codex Alera, Book 1)Jim Butcher's second series is The Codex Alera—fantasy, Lord of the Rings style. The hero is the only person in the world who can't use magic, but he can use his mind to do more damage than any spellbook. It starts with political intrigue and espionage, and turns into a sweeping epic against, well, your standard end-of-the-world types. It's the second time I have seen a novel use magic as a well thought out tactical weapon. There is no “massive fireball inflicts +100 damage, kills everyone” versions of magic.

It's some nice, solid tactics and strategy, and good character too.  If you don't believe me, ask my friend Jason.

Who, by the way, will not shut up about Ghost Story.  :)

Anyway, that's all for the day.  Enjoy

1 comment:

  1. Yep. He's right. Go finish reading Ghost Story so I can babble about it!


Please, by all means, leave a message below. I welcome any and all comments. However, language that could not make it to network television will result in your comment being deleted. I don';t like saying it, but prior events have shown me that I need to. Thanks.