Welcome back to Friday! My day, the day of Agent Nate! And also, welcome to the second part of my epic, overly obsessive review of freaking everything Dresden Files!
The Dresden Files, written by Jim Butcher, is a series of books that started way back in the bygone year of 2000, and even though 15 books (plus other cool things) have been printed, the story isn’t done yet. There’s a very good chance it will go to 20 to 24 books PLUS an Apocalyptic Trilogy to end it all. Speculated titles are Hell’s Bells, Star Born, and Empty Night. This is speculation, so who knows what the end product will be titled.
But what isn’t speculation, is that right when I was dealing with the sadness of finishing Skin Game, Butcher surprised me with the release of a new Dresden comic!
Set four months after Dead Beat, a war is raging between dark forces and the White Council-a war the wizards are losing. So desperate are the Council that they’ve assigned Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only wizard for hire and a guy who’s long been looked upon with suspicion by the supernatural authorities, on a mission. And it’s a doozy: take a small team of greenhorn wizards to a frigid town in the middle of nowhere to rescue a handful of mortals who’ve been targeted by the enemy. The question is, why exactly are these particular mortals so crucial to the outcome of the war? The answer will come only if Harry can keep them, and his team, alive for one very long night.
I edited some of the above stuff for spoilers, because I’m nice like that. And also it spoils some big stuff. What’s so cool is that this is the third original comic book by Butcher and Dynamite, the first two being Welcome to the Jungle, and Ghoul Goblin:
As I obviously bought and devoured each mini-series, I’ve seen both the art and Butcher’s comic book writing skill improve. In Welcome to the Jungle, Jim was still writing like a prose novelist. By Ghoul Goblin, he truly was adapting beautifully. And by the first issue of War Cry, I think he’s nailed it.
War Cry delves into a part of the Dresden time line that as a hardcore fan, I never got to see enough of. The setting brings out some awesome scenarios, and character growth for Dresden, as new responsibilities and duties force him to examine his behavior and his core beliefs. War Cry also gets to put the spotlight on other characters that I liked, but never got enough time with: namely other good wizards. This comic was a pleasant surprise right after the debilitating sorrow that is finishing Skin Game.
So, enough of the new stuff, let’s go back to the year 2004!
Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard, takes on a case as a favor to his friend Thomas-a vampire of dubious integrity-only to become the prime suspect in a series of ghastly murders.
In this book, we get a big old look at The White Court of Vampires. Emotion/life force-absorbing monsters, who always look gorgeous and use sex as their main weapon. Not as openly powerful as the Red and Black Courts, but way more smarter. And we also learn a hell of a lot more about Thomas Raith, Harry’s vampire buddy, as he, and his secrets, are the driving force behind Blood Rites. This was a great book because it was slippery and murky just like the White Court. I can’t even really get into the story too much, that’s how tricky this story is.
Characters Introduced: Mouse, Lara Raith, and Lord Raith.
When a killer vampire threatens to destroy head of Special Investigations Karrin Murphy’s reputation unless Harry delivers the powerful Word of Kemmler to her, he has no choice. Now Harry is in a race against time to find the Word before Chicago experiences a Halloween night to wake the dead.
Hands down, Dead Beat is in my Top 5 favorite Dresden books. Its so personal, yet ridiculously epic. This is the story that I point to when I’m talking about Harry Dresden, and about how incredible it can be. It has one of the greatest BIG moments in all of the books, and it also has a small moment between friends that I had to stop and try not to cry right into the pages. Plus, a battle cry that became instantly iconic.
Characters Introduced: Cowl, Kumori, Carlos Ramirez, and Anastasia Luccio.
The White Council of Wizards has assigned Harry Dresden to look into rumors of black magic in Chicago. Malevolent entities that feed on fear are loose in the Windy City, but it’s all in a day’s work for a wizard, his faithful dog, and a talking skull named Bob.
This book is about what Harry Dresden believes in. About what he is willing to die for. It solidifies the man he’s been and will always be. Its about one soul. One person. Lost. Scared. Extremely dangerous. Harry has to stop them, but he needs to save them. “Pulse-pounding” almost doesn’t even begin to describe it.
Characters Introduced: Darby Crane and Lucius Glau.
In Chicago, someone has been killing practitioners of magic, those incapable of becoming full-fledged wizards. Shockingly, all the evidence points to Thomas, Harry’s friend, as the murderer. Determined to clear Thomas’s name, Harry uncovers a conspiracy within the White Council of Wizards that threatens not only him, but his nearest and dearest, too…
Geez, these descriptions really kill surprises. I’ve had to edit them like crazy! DO NOT READ ANY OF THE DESCRIPTIONS BEFORE READING THE STORY. Damn it.
White Night… is actually the weakest of all the 15 Dresden books, in my opinion. That in no way means its bad. Not even by a long shot. Its just merely excellent instead of “OMG OMG OMG ITS LIKE CRACK FOR MY MIIIIIIIND!” great. I still loved this book, and you will too. The stakes just aren’t as insane like they were for the last two books. And its a more funnier story in a lot of ways. All this makes sense because the next book… is INSANE.
Harry Dresden’s life finally seems to be calming down, until a shadow from the past returns. Mab, monarch of the Sidhe Winter Court, calls in an old favor from Harry. One small favor that will trap him between a nightmarish foe and an equally deadly ally, and that will strain his skills, and loyalties, to their very limits.
Small Favor… DOES NOT STOP BEING INCREDIBLE. It twists and turns and the action is phenomanal. Fight after fight, incredible character moment after another, you will burn this story into your brain and want to read the book again as soon as you finish it. This is the book that showcases just how much Butcher really understands this universe he’s made. Awesome questions are posed, and fresh ideas are pumped into the Dresdenverse.
Characters Introduced: Gruffs, Magog, Rosanna, and Tessa Imariel.
Okay, well that was Part 2 of my Dresden OD. See you next week for Part 3 for the latest books and thoughts on this amazing book series.
SIDE NATE NOTE: I might not have mentioned this, but there was The Dresden Files as a TV show on SyFy. I didn’t mention this because it wasn’t that good. The actors did a fine job, but the budget wasn’t enough, and the writers didn’t quite know what to do with it. And Bob the Skull was wrong. All wrong. Just… when I talk about the show, I just get Nerd Angry.
But what The Dresden Files REALLY needs is a Game of Thrones treatment. Each season is a book, with a big budget, really great actors, set in Chicago… One can dream.