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View Full Version : I put on my robe and wizard hat: A Dresden Files thread


Octopus Prime
09-06-2011, 05:36 PM
I started reading the series this summer and have been devouring it ever since. Well, technically, I started it last fall, but that was with Full Moon and it took me until this summer to actually give it another shot. In any case, I liked it enough to promptly go out and buy the next half-dozen books.

And going by the Watchcha Reading thread, I'm not the only one who has realized that the series is pretty fun. So why NOT make a thread dedicated to it?

I just started Proven Guilty and it has Micheal again! Which automatically makes it one of my favorite books in the series.

kaisel
09-06-2011, 05:44 PM
I just started Proven Guilty and it has Micheal again! Which automatically makes it one of my favorite books in the series.

Any book with any of the Knights is a good one. I'm have a copy of Changes that I still need to read, and I need to pick up Ghost Story. Though, I'm torn between rereading the series (it's been a while), or just jumping right into Changes.

Are the short stories worth seeking out? I wouldn't mind picking them up, but I don't want to buy a book of short stories, when it's just one or two that I want to read (see also Martin's Dunk and Egg stories).

Also the pen and paper RPG is good stuff, the system looks fun, and it manages to ooze a lot of the flavor of the books (Harry's and Bob's footnotes are great).

Loki
09-06-2011, 06:04 PM
Didn't Penny Arcade say that Dresden Files was the Ctrl+Alt+Del of urban wizard books a few years ago? Something like that? There was magical furniture in their parody?

Ham hands?

Octopus Prime
09-06-2011, 06:08 PM
Its a series where the climax of one of the books involves a polka-powered zombie-tyrannosaur fighting a necromancers army of indian warriors.

Make of that as you will, Mr. Loki.

SpoonyBardOL
09-06-2011, 06:23 PM
I wouldn't say the Dresden Files are as bad in its medium as CAD is. Dresden is, at least, an enjoyable protagonist to read and the books are fun. Not necessarily intelligent fiction, but fun. And, from what I've read of the author, he's nothing like the utter douchenozzle that B^Uckley is.

If you're going to pick the series up, though, be forewarned that the second book, Fool Moon, will do everything in its power to drive you from the series. The third book also has a few headslapping moments (or, rather what I took from it, a character that I had liked making a few monumentally stupid decisions which pave the way for angst later on). Gets much better after that, though.

The books are kinda pulpy. They're short, easy to digest, and there's quite a few of them by now.

Octopus Prime
09-06-2011, 06:26 PM
The second half of Grave Peril was kind of head-slapping, sure, but all the things with the Nightmare were great.

fugu13
09-06-2011, 06:36 PM
Didn't Penny Arcade say that Dresden Files was the Ctrl+Alt+Del of urban wizard books a few years ago? Something like that? There was magical furniture in their parody?


Nah. They're a lot of fun, and the author is fully aware of what he's making them. The characters are great, and the moments are fantastic (if you check out some of the spoilers you may happen upon a brief description of one especially awesome one). The author's writing improves considerably, too.

sraymonds
09-06-2011, 08:11 PM
If you're going to pick the series up, though, be forewarned that the second book, Fool Moon, will do everything in its power to drive you from the series.

How so? I don't remember anything terribly crazy.

Jeanie
09-06-2011, 08:17 PM
Any book with any of the Knights is a good one. I'm have a copy of Changes that I still need to read, and I need to pick up Ghost Story. Though, I'm torn between rereading the series (it's been a while), or just jumping right into Changes.

Are the short stories worth seeking out? I wouldn't mind picking them up, but I don't want to buy a book of short stories, when it's just one or two that I want to read (see also Martin's Dunk and Egg stories).

If you're going to do a refresher run on the series, I'd say go Summer Knight, Death Masks, Blood Rights, Dead Beat, then Small Favor and maybe Turn Coat. Those will get you through most of the major plot points.

Short story wise, Side Jobs isn't bad, but you may want to save for after Changes since the last story in it, "Aftermath", deals with the, well, aftermath of Changes. It's mostly good, the novella with Thomas and the stories "The Warrior" "Day Off" are the top picks from it.

There's a couple of stories that didn't make it in time to be in SJ, Even Hand, which is a story from Marcone's POV, and Curses, where Harry is hired to stop the most famous curse in Chicago. Both of those are pretty good.

Octopus Prime
09-07-2011, 03:19 AM
How so? I don't remember anything terribly crazy.

Crazy, no, just terrible.

As I said in the other thread, it kind of comes across like Jim Butcher wanted to do a werewolf story, but couldn't think of anything good, so he just gave up and ended up throwing in more and more werewolves.

SpoonyBardOL
09-07-2011, 04:20 AM
How so? I don't remember anything terribly crazy.

Mostly the sheer number of red herrings, from what I remember. You probably could've cut nearly half of the book out entirely and had a much shorter, and even more interesting, story.

Like Octo said, MORE werewolves! MORE OF THEM!

fugu13
09-07-2011, 10:26 AM
I can't really blame them (and I do mean them -- the extent of the summarizing is almost certainly publisher/editor driven) for that; with a series this long but still this popular, there's little option but to make it so the acquisition chute can start anywhere.

I have a different perspective on Fool Moon. I think Butcher wanted to introduce a particular group of werewolves into the long term story, and was having a hard time figuring out how to do it in a way he liked, and Fool Moon is the result.

sraymonds
09-07-2011, 03:56 PM
Someone should run the Dresden Files RPG...

kaisel
09-07-2011, 05:01 PM
Someone should run the Dresden Files RPG...

Man, I want to one of these days, but getting past all of the FATE jargon is such a pain for me. Maybe I'll give it a shot later this year...

Egarwaen
09-07-2011, 05:38 PM
Someone should run the Dresden Files RPG...

Man, I want to one of these days, but getting past all of the FATE jargon is such a pain for me. Maybe I'll give it a shot later this year...

I've actually just come off a year-long campaign of it. The system's pretty solid as moderately-trad-RPG systems go, but I made a couple of big mistakes in campaign construction that bit me in the ass as it came to a close. Specifically, I didn't give the PCs a clear reason for working together or a clear goal to pursue right from square one, and I wasn't nearly careful enough about policing concepts or skill lists for playability.

Plus, the game was cursed. Even on an alternating-weeks schedule, we had real trouble getting two games in a row.

As for the Dresden Files books themselves, they're not my favorites in the world, but I'll rabidly defend them against any accusations that they have anything in common with CAD. CAD is a steaming turd of utter failure of vision and execution. Dresden Files is merely brainless, pulpy urban-magic-fantasy fun times.

Just skip Fool Moon. You'll thank yourself later.

tungwene
09-07-2011, 09:56 PM
I'm trying to remember why everyone doesn't like Fool Moon. Then I recalled how annoying/dumb Connie/everyone was in the book. Oh yeah.

Also I don't get the CAD comparisons.

sraymonds
09-07-2011, 10:15 PM
Man, I want to one of these days, but getting past all of the FATE jargon is such a pain for me. Maybe I'll give it a shot later this year...

That's my main problem.

I'm trying to remember why everyone doesn't like Fool Moon. Then I recalled how annoying/dumb Connie/everyone was in the book.

I just read the book and I have no clue who Connie is.

tungwene
09-07-2011, 10:44 PM
I just read the book and I have no clue who Connie is.Murphy. I could've sworn her name was changed to Connie in both the TV series and the books because her original name Karen was too similar to a real police woman with that name in the Chicago Police Department but Wikipedia tells me it was only changed in the TV show so maybe her name was changed back in the books and I can't find my copy of which book I thought her name was changed. *shrugs*

Zodar
09-07-2011, 11:18 PM
Ctrl+Alt+Del of urban wizard books

pretty much! (http://www.mrdestructo.com/2009/10/gandalf-urban-jim-butchers-terrible.html)

SpoonyBardOL
09-08-2011, 03:58 AM
Murphy. I could've sworn her name was changed to Connie in both the TV series and the books because her original name Karen was too similar to a real police woman with that name in the Chicago Police Department but Wikipedia tells me it was only changed in the TV show so maybe her name was changed back in the books and I can't find my copy of which book I thought her name was changed. *shrugs*

It was only in the TV show (which, I've heard, is awful), it was never changed in the books.

Olli T
09-08-2011, 04:51 AM
Someone sell me on this thing in a non-spoilery way.

Octopus Prime
09-08-2011, 05:48 AM
Someone sell me on this thing in a non-spoilery way.

Supernatural pulp-detective series with an immensely likeable narrator and supporting cast.

upupdowndown
09-08-2011, 10:22 AM
I've only read the first few chapters of the first Dresden Files book in a bookstore. I put it down because I found it repellent: it just seemed super misogynistic to me. I've seen other people on the internet say that, too. Was I imagining things? Does it get better?

Zodar
09-08-2011, 10:39 AM
I've only read the first few chapters of the first Dresden Files book in a bookstore. I put it down because I found it repellent: it just seemed super misogynistic to me. I've seen other people on the internet say that, too. Was I imagining things? Does it get better?

pretty much! (http://www.mrdestructo.com/2009/10/gandalf-urban-jim-butchers-terrible.html)

He doesn't understand girls. He acts like a deferential and gesturally-prone gentlemen toward them, but within about 25 pages, he opines about how "witches" are capable of being more evil, emotional and damaging than wizards. It's exactly the sort of paternalistic misogyny that extenuates from a mind unable to cope with human beings possessing different agendas — one that thus assigns them a courtly role, whereupon they can be incorporated within a ritualized context that precludes their being people and instead makes them moveable pieces within a graphical human framework. Men are, like, Y, but women... they're the X factor. And bitchy.

Egarwaen
09-08-2011, 11:05 AM
I've only read the first few chapters of the first Dresden Files book in a bookstore. I put it down because I found it repellent: it just seemed super misogynistic to me. I've seen other people on the internet say that, too. Was I imagining things? Does it get better?

The first two books? Very much so, though it's hard to tell if it's an author or a PoV character thing.

The third one swings the verdict heavily towards "PoV character thing", by making a central plot point out of the fact that Harry's "chivalry" and old-fashioned sexism gets women hurt. In this particular case, his refusal to listen to Susan and share information with her that, had he listened to her, he would know was vital to her survival results in her getting kidnapped, tortured and turned into a Red Court Vampire. It was an evil plot by the crazy vampire lady, but it was still an evil plot that exploited Harry's old-fashioned sexism. I've not read past that, but the summaries I've seen of the later books seem to indicate that this progression continues.

upupdowndown
09-08-2011, 11:08 AM
The first two books? Very much so, though it's hard to tell if it's an author or a PoV character thing.

The third one swings the verdict heavily towards "PoV character thing", by making a central plot point out of the fact that Harry's "chivalry" and old-fashioned sexism gets women hurt. In this particular case, his refusal to listen to Susan and share information with her that, had he listened to her, he would know was vital to her survival results in her getting kidnapped, tortured and turned into a Red Court Vampire. It was an evil plot by the crazy vampire lady, but it was still an evil plot that exploited Harry's old-fashioned sexism. I've not read past that, but the summaries I've seen of the later books seem to indicate that this progression continues.

See, this right here is why I asked. this makes me more interested in checking these out from the library - thanks, Egarwaen! (though I might just start with the third book.)

SpoonyBardOL
09-08-2011, 11:29 AM
Starting with the third book is The Best idea, overall I think. The general consensus so far is that the first book is 'eh' and the second is 'arghblarghblearghble'.

I don't really think that article makes a case for the series being as bad as CAD, Zodar. The writer of the article doesn't like the series, fair enough. But I was turned off from it when the first thing the writer does is try to present Butcher as a douchebag, and totally ignores one of the last lines of his quote:

I wrote it to prove how much my writing teacher didn't know and learned a valuable lesson about humility as a result.

But I guess if he bolded THAT line it would've went against the tone of his rant. Oh well!

Yes Dresden is a Mary Sue, yes the series has spotty writing, yes it has a pretty bad start, but I still find it fun. I can still enjoy stuff like Dresden AND stuff like ASOIAF without really having to justify it.

But it's not CAD-bad. Let me know when Butcher starts using miscarriages for cheap drama, banning members on a forum for pointing out stuff he doesn't like, editing his wikipedia page to remove criticism, and shows his dong to an underage girl. (Well, to be fair, that one's alleged)

Egarwaen
09-08-2011, 11:54 AM
See, this right here is why I asked. this makes me more interested in checking these out from the library - thanks, Egarwaen! (though I might just start with the third book.)

Yeah, check out the third book. If it doesn't float your boat, skip the rest of the series.

And yeah, that article Zodar linked to... Goes on for a long time, but doesn't really say much of anything. It's a bunch of out-of-context quotes, literary criticism "Oh, I don't know why these people like fantasy fiction, isn't it so dreadful?" burbling, and general trolling and asshattery. Butcher's writing is workmanlike and unexceptional, and his books (save the first two) are enjoyable regardless. If we're going to continue abusing the food analogy, he's the middle-of-the-road locally-run grill to modern literature's Olive Garden.

tungwene
09-08-2011, 12:28 PM
The third book's a real downer though. The rest of the books are not that dark and depressing but it's also the first time we see Dresden get really hurt. It's also the kick off to the "main conflict" that has been a driving impetus of the plot so far.

fugu13
09-08-2011, 02:04 PM
See, this right here is why I asked. this makes me more interested in checking these out from the library - thanks, Egarwaen! (though I might just start with the third book.)


Definitely. By the middle to end of the series so far, I read many parts of them as strongly pro feminist.

Mightyblue
09-08-2011, 02:08 PM
And a lot of that is because Dresden isn't a Mary Sue-ish character by the time of the later books (well, sort of, but a lot of the pride and arrogance gets kicked out of Dresden by the time Dead Beat rolls around) simply because Butcher treats him like an actual character and has him grow and change. There are some genuinely terrible things that happen to him and those around him over the course of the novels and the latest two books are really interesting from that standpoint alone.

But yeah, even if it is pulpy detective noir stuff in a fantasy setting, it's still better than pretty much everything else in that same category once you get a few books in.

pence
09-09-2011, 07:51 AM
Someone should run the Dresden Files RPG...

One-a-these days. I only have two things standing in my way:


There are a lot of Dresden Files books, and I haven't read any of them.
The RPG rules are nearly doorstopper-worthy. In my case, it's not the FATE jargon but all the extra stuff they bolted onto it that I need to get through.

Egarwaen
09-09-2011, 11:15 AM
The RPG rules are nearly doorstopper-worthy. In my case, it's not the FATE jargon but all the extra stuff they bolted onto it that I need to get through.
[/LIST]

The extra stuff is, as usual for Fred Hicks, simple applications of the simple core FATE concepts over-explained with far too many words that get in the way. To boil it down, if you already know FATE:


Powers are like Stunts, but give you more bang for your buck. They rarely significantly break the rules.
Evocation is "magic for Conflicts". You choose how many shifts of power you're employing, then must beat that on a Discipline roll or Bad Things Happen, and you always take Mental Stress based on how far past your Conviction the shifts you're conjuring go (minimum 1). It allows you to attack (Weapon: shifts), block (strength: shifts of power) or create armor (Armor: shifts/2 or something), and maneuver (3 shifts), and you can spend extra shifts to make blocks and maneuvers last longer than your next turn, on a one-for-one basis.
Thaumaturgy is basically everything else. It takes time and preparation, depending on how much the power of the effect exceeds your Lore. It's conceptually the same as making a mundane skill roll, except its trappings are "Things Magic Can Do".
Magic items are a little more complicated, but really just boil down to "use magic in downtime to make a limited number of hot-swappable Stunts".

fugu13
09-09-2011, 11:55 AM
I like the changes to stress, too. I'm definitely going to pick up the books someday, but I don't have time/money right now. I did just order the song of ice and fire rpg, though, because a friend has said that she's interested in trying it (note: she's not interested in RPGs in general), and before school starts is about the only window of opportunity.

Octopus Prime
09-14-2011, 04:26 AM
I just finished Proven Guilty and, while I liked it, it kind of felt like the last quarter of the book or so was dedicated entirely to setting up future plotlines rather then solving anything.

...that being said, I am interested in seeing how having Molly as an apprentice develops.

Octopus Prime
10-26-2011, 03:59 PM
Okay, so I decided not to buy Ghost Story so as to leave a few easy choices for friends and family looking for Christmas gifts.

And, of course, Changes is the only book in the series that ends on a friggin' cliffhanger.

Dag. Nab. It/

Jeanie
10-26-2011, 04:42 PM
Okay, so I decided not to buy Ghost Story so as to leave a few easy choices for friends and family looking for Christmas gifts.

And, of course, Changes is the only book in the series that ends on a friggin' cliffhanger.

Dag. Nab. It/

Awww... you have to wait two months on a cliffhanger. Now go read Side Jobs.

Octopus Prime
10-26-2011, 04:55 PM
Awww... you have to wait two months on a cliffhanger. Now go read Side Jobs.

SIDE JOBS IS ALSO NOT BOUGHT FOR THE SAME REASON!

Jeanie
08-16-2012, 06:12 PM
Just like a certain character, this thread rises from the dead.

Anyway, good news, Cold Days, Nov. 27 2012.

http://jim-butcher.com/pics/cdcover_lg.jpg

Octopus Prime
08-16-2012, 06:15 PM
Ooooh, I know what Santa is bringing me!

elementalpenguin
08-20-2012, 03:30 PM
Yeah, Dresden Files! I share the same opinion as most people here - they're not necessarily intelligent books or the best books, but they're fun and so are the characters! I still haven't read Changes or Ghost Story yet though.

I agree that the titles are awful. I can't remember my favorites either. I think I liked Summer Knight? Meh. I know that Thomas and Luccio are the best characters, though!

Also yeah, the books seem super misogynistic and sort of are even when Butcher is trying really hard to make it just seem like it's Harry acting that way. And then that stops happening all of a sudden. The most prominent example is... what's Michael's wife's name again? Charity? Her. She's cool.

Also, yes, I get so fucking tired of the first 50-100 pages of every book being stupid plot point summary. Ugh.

Brer
08-20-2012, 05:25 PM
Yes Dresden is a Mary Sue, yes the series has spotty writing, yes it has a pretty bad start, but I still find it fun. I can still enjoy stuff like Dresden AND stuff like ASOIAF without really having to justify it


I don't think it's accurate to call Dresden a "Mary Sue" unless you intend to broaden the term to a point where it loses touch with its original meaning. He's not invincible, he repeatedly and consistently -doesn't- get the girl(s), makes all manner of serious mistakes that come back to haunt him over time and which he is forced to confront and learn from...

As far as misogynism goes, about the strongest thing you can say about the series is that Butcher's descriptions definitely have a consistent "male gaze" thing going on...which is both in keeping with the character and pulpy detective fiction. Dresden does have somewhat paternalistic (though not misogynstic) attitudes and values that change somewhat over the first few books, and even then it's always very clear that it's -Dresden's- attitudes and plenty of characters call him on it, the most frequent and obvious being Karrin Murphy. In the sequence which the author of that blog cites, Dresden is basically citing the whole "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" cliche and the love nest locale and circustances to support his assertion that the killer was probably a female, because women are better at holding grudges and jealousy and such. Karrin's response is, to quote: “Christ, you are a chauvinist pig, Dresden. Is it something that only a woman could have done?” And Dresden is forced to admit that it's not. And a good thing too, since as it turns out he was entirely wrong. A woman was involved with the group of killers, but her emotions were focused in an entirely different direction. Victor Sells' emotions were the one fueling the spell against Jennifer Stanton and Tommy Tomm, and then it was rage because Stanton threatened to go to the cops or Marcone.

Finally, as far as -writing- goes, I'll agree that the first one or two are "workmanlike" or "spotty". On the whole, though, I'd compare butcher favorably against anyone else writing in the Urban Fantasy genre.

WillowCellarDoor
09-12-2012, 02:58 PM
As the only nerdy girl at my job, some of the guys here are trying to get me to read this while they catch up on The Walking Dead comics so that I have someone to talk about them with. I'm on the fence about it.
Someone convince me!

fugu13
09-12-2012, 03:22 PM
The first few books aren't the best writing, but the whole series is quite enjoyable, and has lots of "haha! heck yeah!" moments of enthusiastic character empathy.

The series is also known to turn the geeky awesome all the way up to 11 at times.

Jeanie
11-27-2012, 08:09 PM
Holy crap you guys, Cold Days does some crazy fucking things to the status quo.

Obviously Massive Spoilers ahead, don't look until you've read it.

Let's start with the whole Demonreach reveal. The fact that it is a massive prison for some of the nastiest things in existence and now Harry is in charge of it. That is scary on so many levels. The funny thing is that when it;s being described I had in my head an image of the episode of Angel "Hole in the World", where the cast encounters a similar thing.

Then the whole Summer/Winter Court. I can see why the working title of this one was originally Winter Knight, since it's basically Summer Knight turned up to eleven. Also I should note that the Charity Literature Pin-up calendar that Butcher volunteered in, since I don't know if anyone else has ordered, hints at Molly's fate in it, as it's a pin-up of the Soulgaze Harry does in Proven Guilty, where Molly's possible futures are shown as stained glass murals and the one shows her with snow white hair and in a winter setting.

And as for amazing moments, still nothing to top Sue, but Harry smacking down Cringle (actually secretly ODIN) and the Erlking and leading the Wild Hunt against the Outsiders was amazing.

Matchstick
11-27-2012, 08:32 PM
I've only read the first book, so I haven't gone through this thread to verify since I want to avoid any possible spoilers. However, given JFink's post above, I'm going to presume this thread should be in the dead trees forum. Yes? No?

Tangent Vector
11-27-2012, 08:36 PM
Looks like it. I might be the only person here who liked the short-lived TV series, but that doesn't seem to be what people are discussing.

Jeanie
11-28-2012, 01:49 PM
I've only read the first book, so I haven't gone through this thread to verify since I want to avoid any possible spoilers. However, given JFink's post above, I'm going to presume this thread should be in the dead trees forum. Yes? No?

Thanks, there was only the one season of the show, while the books are number 14. I actually looked in the Dead Trees subforum first for this thread.

Jeanie
11-29-2012, 08:32 PM
Finished Cold Days. For whatever reason, the climactic events just didn't hit me near as hard as the ones around Changes, but still it raises a lot of questions about where the series goes from here. I was expecting Harry to shuck the mantle by the end of the book for one thing. And yeah, if I was a 'shipper' or whatever the term those crazy kids these days use, I'd totally be favoring Molly/Harry over Karrin/Harry, but I think Butcher's going to draw THAT out for...well, pretty much forever. I don't really expect there to ever be a nice solid resolution for that, if only because that's not his strong suit as a writer.

Still, he did it again. Months of nail-biting frustration waiting for the next installment, and already I'm climbing the walls waiting to see where we're going from -here-.

I don't know about that, the climax of Changes was much more shocking but the climax of Cold Days probably killed another much loved character but in a slower, much sadder way. The sad part of it is that the Molly that we've seen in the last half dozen books is going to be slowly over-written by the Winter Lady persona much in the same way Lily was in the 10 or so years since Summer Knight. Now one of the Mothers, Summer I think it was, told Harry that it's possible to resist succumbing to it, but almost everyone who it happens to, Summer or Winter, Knight, Lady, or Queen, succumbs. Harry probably could resist, since he resisted Lashiel for so long, but Molly? The same Molly who was a warlock, who was damaged by the events of Changes and Ghost Story? She's gone.

Mightyblue
11-29-2012, 08:53 PM
RE: Romance from the other thread.

I dunno? I mean, the writing's on the wall for both Molly AND Karrin. Molly's feelings for Harry might be the only thing that keeps her from turning entirely Winter and vice versa if the big lump would admit to it (I've noticed that he spends an awful lot of time 'noticing' Molly compared to the other women in his life in the last few books, and they don't really have a master/apprentice relationship anymore). And it feels like Karrin's about to pick up the Swords and become a Knight of the Cross, as she's no longer the guardian of Chicago precisely, and the conflict between the ideals and faith necessary for that and what Harry is and is becoming is a pretty big sticking point. Not to mention the whole relative immortality bit Harry's got going (which Karrin mentions in the book).

So yeah, choices with an increasingly closer deadline methinks.

Otherwise, I think Ghost Story needed to be the way it was to act as a bridge between the first half (or chunk/etc) of Harry's tale and this second half, as it's sort of the halftime show hinting at things to come. I also find it strange (and perhaps telling) that Lea of all people doesn't show up in CD directly at all, given what happens. But uh, yeah, I'm pumped for the next book. It sort of feels weird that the next big damn epic fantasy is a series that started out as schlocky neo-noir urban fantasy.

Brer
11-30-2012, 12:20 AM
Molly? The same Molly who was a warlock, who was damaged by the events of Changes and Ghost Story? She's gone.

I think you're calling it too early on that one. Yes, there was Bob's initial statement and Harry's first impression of Lily after not seeing her for years, but if there's one thing the climax demonstrated is that not only both ladies, but even Mab herself are still profoundly shaped and affected by their mortal selves. Lily wasn't -gone-, she was still very much there. It was her human history and human personality flaws that informed and determined her behavior and death, and while we can't be sure since we've never actually seen the "uninfected" Maeve assuming she was infected shortly after Bianca's party, her reactions to Mab at the end strongly imply some very human, pre-mantle imperatives driving her thoughts and actions too.

Between all that and Harry's own experiences, plus the fact that apparently he will continue to be there for Molly as an emotional and psychological touchstone, I wouldn't make any assumptions about how that's going to turn out. Of course, I expect that to be one of the new excuses: "Oh no, Molly, we can't be together. That's just the Mantles talking, and therefore we must resist."

RE: Romance from the other thread.

Decision time coming closer, probably, but I don't expect any resolution in the next 2-3 books, assuming RL doesn't throw any monkeywrenches into the steadily building pace and stakes in the series writing, of course. I didn't feel the way you did about Ghost Story because I've really -enjoyed- the other characters around Harry, and I found looking at the way the world had changed while he was gone fascinating, but I agree that it was something of an interregnum as far as -his- story goes.

And yeah, I spent all of Cold Days wondering where the hell Lea was.

Octopus Prime
01-06-2013, 04:03 PM
Finished Cold Days earlier today. At first I didn't think the status-quo could have possibly changed that much after learning of Demonreaches purpose, and that Harry had effectively given himself the ignition key to start armageddon, then the book just kept going.

I did like that revealing the existence of Nemesis effectively means that the whole Black Council thing was basically totally negated, since even if they DO exist (and Nemesis' nature kind of implies that if they do, they're just pawns at best). Its not like anyone was actually sure that they existed anyway.

And while Santa Claus leading the Wild Hunt to attack an army of Outsiders was pretty damn kickass, I'd say my favorite part was Molly using "We Will Rock You" to help Harry shake off an Outsiders psychic attack while also hitting him with a boat.

That... was pretty okay, I feel.

Jeanie
01-06-2013, 07:33 PM
Well more accurate to say it was Harry and the Erlking, since Kringle had to stay behind to use his crazy "around the world in one night" Time Powers to keep the rest of the Wild Hunt in Normal Time.

And am I the only one who pictures the Erlking (aka the Goblin King) looking like David Bowie in Labyrinth whenever he's described without his helmet?

Octopus Prime
01-06-2013, 07:39 PM
Well more accurate to say it was Harry and the Erlking, since Kringle had to stay behind to use his crazy "around the world in one night" Time Powers to keep the rest of the Wild Hunt in Normal Time.

Well, yes, but at the end he mentioned fighting too.

And am I the only one who pictures the Erlking (aka the Goblin King) looking like David Bowie in Labyrinth whenever he's described without his helmet?

I certainly hope that you are not.

Also, is anyone going to be surprised if Mac ends up being being connected to the Outsiders in some way, or if Cowl winds up being a still-alive Kemmler?

Jeanie
01-06-2013, 07:47 PM
Well, yes, but at the end he mentioned fighting too.



I certainly hope that you are not.

Also, is anyone going to be surprised if Mac ends up being being connected to the Outsiders in some way, or if Cowl winds up being a still-alive Kemmler?

True, but I figured that was well after when Harry broke up the ritual and he just helped in the mopping up of the stragglers.

Mac, yeah, he has some big damn secret that's going to be important. And is probably the reason his beer is so damn good.

Cowl, on the other hand, I'm thinking is a still alive Justin DuMorne, Harry's first mentor that he was betrayed by. My theory is that he was one of the ones behind the curse that killed Harry's parents. It also explains how Cowl knew all about Bob in Dead Beat and how he knew that Harry was in possession of Bob. And if Elane survived that night, I'm pretty sure Justin could too.

Mightyblue
01-06-2013, 07:56 PM
Yeah, Harry's recollection of those particular events is a combination of teenage wishful thinking paired with all kinds of remorse, survivor's guilt and hatred so his assumption that some uppity teenager could take out a badass black wizard like DuMorne apparently was(is?) is a bit of a steep climb.

The Raider Dr. Jones
01-22-2013, 01:06 PM
Finished Turn Coat last night, which is a pretty good action-adventure type yarn, but the murder mystery can be solved by applying the Law of Economy of Characters like fifty pages in.

Mightyblue
01-22-2013, 01:09 PM
After book...five? I want to say, the mystery aspect of the novels definitely takes a backseat to the pulp action aspects yeah. Butcher mostly uses the mystery bits to pace out the action parts of the novels.

The Raider Dr. Jones
01-22-2013, 01:11 PM
After book...five? I want to say, the mystery aspect of the novels definitely takes a backseat to the pulp action aspects yeah. Butcher mostly uses the mystery bits to pace out the action parts of the novels.

Yeah, this is true. The tendency seemed a bit more pronounced than usual in Turn Coat, though -- Peabody really, really obviously has no purpose in the story other than to be the one whodunit.

Just feels kinda unfortunate at the moment that we spent a few books building up the whole SOMEONE WE KNOW IS A TRAITOR thing and then it turns out that it's just a dude who shows up out of nowhere with a sign round his neck saying HELLO I AM THE TRAITOR. I'm sure there are more layers to be discovered as I go on though.

Mightyblue
01-22-2013, 01:21 PM
Oh yeah, Peabody's just an agent, and well there's a lot of misdirection going on there as well (both intentional and unintentional) on many sides of the field. The latest book casts some of the major events of past novels in entirely new lights, so I'm sorta curious as to what you'll say when you get around to finishing Cold Days.

Octopus Prime
01-22-2013, 02:56 PM
The mystery of who kills Dresden that crops up through Ghost Story kind of annoyed me since there was absolutely NO WAY the reader could determine that.

I mean, they could probably GUESS it, but still.

Mightyblue
01-22-2013, 03:08 PM
Well, Ghost Story's problem is that it's really the back half of Changes, and when you wonder why a certain character doesn't show up in person in that book given what happens it makes a certain amount of sense in Ghost Story (I guessed it was that particular person when I'd read Changes, but couldn't figure out quite why until the reveal in Ghost Story) when it gets explained.

The Raider Dr. Jones
01-26-2013, 06:37 PM
Ghost Story: Not gonna lie, I am pretty sure I could not pass a quiz on all the shit that happened here. I give credit to Butcher for not just hitting the cosmic reset button, though, which is the outcome I grew to expect as the world's new status quo revealed itself to be more and more fucked up, particularly in regards Murphy and Molly. Now on to the last yarn and then waiting along with the rest of the world.

Octopus Prime
01-26-2013, 06:57 PM
I give credit to Butcher for not just hitting the cosmic reset button, though, which is the outcome I grew to expect as the world's new status quo revealed itself to be more and more fucked up, particularly in regards Murphy and Molly.

Buddy, you ain't seen nothin' yet

Jeanie
01-27-2013, 08:07 PM
http://25.media.tumblr.com/c1369d8f701de721cd1c5288ec426367/tumblr_mh76z07JXs1qevuv4o1_500.jpg

http://25.media.tumblr.com/64ff5841784c953de2dc3f4b2d9bca6c/tumblr_mh76z07JXs1qevuv4o2_500.jpg

The Frozen Aftermath of a Chicago Warehouse Fire.

The Raider Dr. Jones
01-28-2013, 10:37 PM
Cold Days: For all the grim shit that happens at the very very end, this kind of softened up some things compared to Ghost Story, I thought -- Molly is no longer a sewer-dwelling dressed-in-rags half-starved magical Punisher and Murphy is less obviously on the verge of a complete PTSD crackup. I like the promise of crazy overblown Jim Starlin Cosmic Dresden in the future. Should be a good time. If he is allegedly going to do like seven to 10 more books of this shit, though, he is going to have a hard time controlling inflation I fear.

Octopus Prime
01-29-2013, 06:31 AM
Frankly, I don't know how much more things could inflate from this point.

Jeanie
01-29-2013, 06:52 AM
After riding a zombie T-Rex and punching Santa Claus, it's hard to top that.

The Raider Dr. Jones
01-29-2013, 07:01 AM
After riding a zombie T-Rex and punching Santa Claus, it's hard to top that.

Was he actually punching Santa Claus, or was he punching Odin in a Santa suit? I was a little fuzzy as to what happened there.

Octopus Prime
01-29-2013, 07:13 AM
Santa and Odin are the same guy

Jeanie
01-29-2013, 07:13 AM
Spoilers there Dr. Jones. The answer is both, Odin is Santa as well as the All-father and CEO of MonOc Industries. The Wild Hunt (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_Hunt) is an actual part of the Odin Mythology and was stolen to become part of the Santa Claus mythology (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Claus#Influence_of_Germanic_paganism_and_fol klore), much the same way as happened to St. Nicolas of Myra.

The Raider Dr. Jones
01-29-2013, 08:08 AM
Spoilers there Dr. Jones. The answer is both, Odin is Santa as well as the All-father and CEO of MonOc Industries. The Wild Hunt (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_Hunt) is an actual part of the Odin Mythology and was stolen to become part of the Santa Claus mythology (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Claus#Influence_of_Germanic_paganism_and_fol klore), much the same way as happened to St. Nicolas of Myra.

Sorry. I figured it was sufficiently nonsensical out of context as to not need spoilerizing. Anyway, I get you now. And I like some of the stuff he's done adapting different bits of folklore lately, that's pretty clever.

sraymonds
08-09-2013, 02:31 PM
Man, the TV show is garbage.

Egarwaen
08-09-2013, 03:51 PM
Man, the TV show is garbage.

It starts to hit a stride of sorts near the end, then just sort of abruptly stops.

Jeanie
12-16-2013, 11:23 AM
https://scontent-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/q82/s720x720/1461428_632492336813685_1418657080_n.jpg

Octopus Prime
12-16-2013, 11:25 AM
Is this going to be the Year Without a Dresden Book?

I mean, like, other then all the years before I started reading them.

Jeanie
12-16-2013, 11:44 AM
Sadly, I don't think Jim Butcher is going to pull a Beyonce, but there are some short stories that came out this year. Go and find "Bombshells" or the Bigfoot Trilogy.

Mightyblue
03-04-2014, 07:59 PM
Hey, hey, Skin Game comes out in May. And, well, Amazon's little blurb has caught my interest.

Jeanie
05-25-2014, 09:43 PM
Bumping for a reminder that Skin Game comes out this week.

Loki
05-26-2014, 12:08 AM
Okay so I'm reading Fool Moon and it's really bad, like sloppily constructed and poorly concieved but also amateurish on a sentence and putting words on the page level but also I've heard this is by far the worst book and they get better but also Harry is a huge asshole and not in a fun ha-ha get a load of this guy way but in a I hate this creepy Nice Guy entitled shithead why is he the protagonist kind of way and I really don't think I can stomach much more of Butcher's writing even if he rides a dinosaur eventually.

Evil Dead Junkie
05-26-2014, 12:51 AM
Fistbump

Octopus Prime
05-26-2014, 05:32 AM
Fool Moon was the very first Dresden book I read and you're absolutely right. Stank so hard it put me off reading anything else in the series for a year or two.

Then I read the third one and said "Oh, this is kind of right up my alley".

Also, I still have another three-quarters of Storm of Swords to finish! I can't do that in a couple of days!

Droewyn
05-26-2014, 08:35 AM
Part of Dresden's character development over the course of the series is he slowly learns to stop being such a fucking neanderthal about women.

Mightyblue
05-26-2014, 11:59 AM
Mostly because a lot of the times he nearly gets his ticket punched, it's because he underestimates his female opponents.

Octopus Prime
05-26-2014, 12:05 PM
And because when he tries to protect the womenfolk, he makes things worse for everyone.

Droewyn
05-26-2014, 12:12 PM
And because when he tries to overprotect the perfectly capable and very annoyed womenfolk, he makes things worse for everyone.

Octopus Prime
05-26-2014, 12:17 PM
Also that.

Well... except his plucky reporter girlfriend, she didn't have a whole lot going on except being full of moxie.

Evil Dead Junkie
05-26-2014, 04:09 PM
Part of Dresden's character development over the course of the series is he slowly learns to stop being such a fucking neanderthal about women.

I'm way more terrified at the prospect of Butcher's lack of development than Dresden's. #Littleblackraincloud.

Droewyn
05-26-2014, 04:19 PM
...Huh?

Octopus Prime
05-26-2014, 04:20 PM
Codex Alera didn't have that problem, so I think were in the clear?

Droewyn
05-26-2014, 05:17 PM
Dresden is constantly getting slapped in the face with how wrong his worldview is. An author who agrees with that worldview in any way wouldn't write that.

Evil Dead Junkie
05-26-2014, 05:23 PM
Sorry I was being snarky, implying that Butcher is not very good at what he does (writing). I really have no idea what his personal views are.

Jeanie
05-26-2014, 05:27 PM
I was going to say that the Codex Alera had the female characters as capable as the males, if not more so.

Droewyn
05-26-2014, 08:29 PM
Sorry I was being snarky, implying that Butcher is not very good at what he does (writing). I really have no idea what his personal views are.

Sorry; I did read that as you thinking Butcher has the same values as Harry. I've seen that criticism before and it baffles me for reasons stated above.

If you just don't like his writing, that's cool.

Mightyblue
05-26-2014, 08:51 PM
It's also worth noting that he's improved a lot over the first few books.

The Raider Dr. Jones
05-26-2014, 09:01 PM
yeah, I think even his die-hardest fans will still admit that the first five or so range from "a'ight" to "radioactive shit."

In that way it occurs to me that he's the opposite of Laurell Hamilton. The first five Anita Blake yarns are the only ones that are halfway readable.

he's since leveled off at "pretty good serial pulp I will happily bum off my friend who buys the hardcovers."

Mightyblue
05-27-2014, 03:48 AM
As is obvious to anyone who reads the short blurb describing Skin Game, it's basically Ocean's Eleven set in the Dresden-verse.

It is also fuck awesome (I may have just mainlined the entire thing instead of sleeping).

Probably need to reread it once or twice more to catch all the nuances, but yeah. This one's shaping up to be as important as Blood Rites was in terms of reaching impact.

Jeanie
05-29-2014, 06:39 PM
I got my copy in the mail today. I also finished reading it today. And I'm also going to probably read it a couple more times before the weekend is done, it was that good.

Demonic Bigfoot and a Holy Lightsaber!

Mightyblue
05-29-2014, 07:47 PM
There's a couple parts where I legit teared up a bit, and laughed my ass off.

jpfriction
05-29-2014, 08:29 PM
I haven't read a Dresden book in many years. Would I need to get caught up before reading this one or is continuity not that big of an issue?

Jeanie
05-29-2014, 08:37 PM
I haven't read a Dresden book in many years. Would I need to get caught up before reading this one or is continuity not that big of an issue?

Depends on what the last one you read was. If you've read Changes, you'd be more or less good to go, minus some importnat Fairy stuff you'd catch up on mildly quick. Otherwise, Lots of big stuff and you'd need to catch up back a ways.

jpfriction
05-29-2014, 08:42 PM
Hmm, looks like Proven Guilty was the last one I read. Guess I have some catching up to do!

Falselogic
05-29-2014, 09:47 PM
I started reading Storm Front. I'm not quite to chapter 5 and I'm already disgusted by the protagonist...

Mightyblue
05-29-2014, 10:08 PM
Storm Front's probably the roughest out of the first five books that were all published pretty quickly. Harry as a character develops and changes almost constantly throughout the series, but as he hasn't had the blinders ripped off yet regarding his more prominent issues, he is something of an ass in the first few books, yeah.

Octopus Prime
06-28-2014, 02:59 PM
Long before Skin Game came out, my mental image of Nicodemus was that of an Evil George Clooney.

And here he is, coordinating an impossible heist with the assistance of likeable thieves and miscreants.

And a Bigfoot.

Meditative_Zebra
02-25-2017, 01:15 PM
I just finished Storm Front. It was an entertaining pulp that mashed up noir, Philip Marlowe style detective escapades along with all the standard fantasy tropes. But it was also very rough in spots with some thin plotting and some lazy character creation.

But reading through this thread it sounds like it gets better as the series goes along? And that maybe the casual chauvinism of the first book gets reined in as the series develops?

Still, I think I'll try at least one more book in the series since my library has it available as an audiobook I can download to my phone. But some of the comments sounds like the second book, Full Moon, is pretty bad. Should I skip it and go onto book three or should I go ahead and listen to the series in order?

Octopus Prime
02-25-2017, 01:23 PM
Full Moon is easily the worst of the lot. And is totally skippable to boot. Harry befriending some Werewolf vigilantes who become minor recurring characters afterward is the only thing of significance that happens in it.

The Raider Dr. Jones
02-25-2017, 01:36 PM
yeah the werewolves are of no interest until they become Dresden's comic relief D&D buddies.

Meditative_Zebra
02-25-2017, 01:38 PM
I put books two and three on hold at the library. Hopefully book three will be available first and I can skip straight to that but if book two arrives first I might go with that one if there's nothing else in the queue.

Umby
02-25-2017, 11:09 PM
I'm pretty sure Butcher was only eighteen (18!) years old when he wrote the first book, and wasn't much older when he wrote the next few, either. I don't think the first few are very good, but they do serve as nice background for the rest of the series.

I don't think the books are written alllllllllllll that well, but the universe is pretty neat and well worth reading the books for.

Octopus Prime
02-26-2017, 08:55 AM
yeah the werewolves are of no interest until they become Dresden's comic relief D&D buddies.

Hey, Harry is his own comic-relief.

If anything, they're the collective straight-man.

Nodal
02-26-2017, 09:17 AM
I keep reading these even though I'm not 100% sure I like them anymore. Harry never reallys gets more tolerable.

The Raider Dr. Jones
02-26-2017, 11:11 AM
I keep reading these even though I'm not 100% sure I like them anymore. Harry never reallys gets more tolerable.

the addictive power of serial fiction.

but yeah, the supporting cast was way, way more of a draw for me not far into the series.

Egarwaen
02-27-2017, 10:27 AM
I just finished Storm Front. It was an entertaining pulp that mashed up noir, Philip Marlowe style detective escapades along with all the standard fantasy tropes. But it was also very rough in spots with some thin plotting and some lazy character creation.

But reading through this thread it sounds like it gets better as the series goes along? And that maybe the casual chauvinism of the first book gets reined in as the series develops?

Still, I think I'll try at least one more book in the series since my library has it available as an audiobook I can download to my phone. But some of the comments sounds like the second book, Full Moon, is pretty bad. Should I skip it and go onto book three or should I go ahead and listen to the series in order?

Full Moon is easily the worst of the lot. And is totally skippable to boot. Harry befriending some Werewolf vigilantes who become minor recurring characters afterward is the only thing of significance that happens in it.

Fool Moon is awful.

So in general the first three books are best treated as a trilogy where Butcher wasn't quite sure what he was writing yet, because that's what they were. Storm Front is a stock mystery with supernatural goop on top. Fool Moon reads more like an attempt at a Discworld-style parody of existing urban fantasy, with its extended digressions into the taxonomy of werewolves, except it simply isn't funny at all. Grave Peril introduces a bunch of new elements that have Been There All Along (TM) to start to build into a more cohesive basis for an ongoing series. Summer Knight pretty much swaps out the entire cosmology for one that's much more interesting, and kicks off almost every plot thread that will recur throughout the rest of the series.

I'm pretty sure Butcher was only eighteen (18!) years old when he wrote the first book, and wasn't much older when he wrote the next few, either. I don't think the first few are very good, but they do serve as nice background for the rest of the series.

I keep reading these even though I'm not 100% sure I like them anymore. Harry never reallys gets more tolerable.

Nah he was born in '71 and Storm Front was published in 2000. He did, though, write it to be as formulaic and generic as he could possibly get away with (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dresden_Files#Publishing_history), and surprised himself by winding up with something both publishable and readable. This is why, for example, the books feature a literal talking head who delivers exposition.

I'm uncertain of Butcher's personal politics; his works were on the infectious canines' slate, but they made a point of picking popular authors to hitch their wagon to, so that says little. I choose to read Harry as an unreliable narrator; the narration is colored by his personal biases, which actual events often go out of their way to contradict.

Umby
02-27-2017, 11:08 AM
Yeah, I got the facts wrong, but at least the general idea correct:

he wrote the first book in The Dresden Files—about a professional wizard, named Harry Dresden, in modern-day Chicago—as an exercise for a writing course in 1996 at the age of 25.