It’s always good to be back in the Dresdenverse, even if it is only for brief dips. I had already read some of the stories collected in this book, in their respective anthologies, but others were new to me and a complete joy to read. Butcher loses none of his charm and style even though the stories are short, and every one had a different feel to it, fitting to the situation at hand. His trademark laugh out loud moments are still very much prevalent and as with the full books, they are totally appropriate to the scenes.
He writes a little about each story before it starts, how it came into being or what his reason for writing it were, and they provided quite an insight into Jim Butcher himself. The very first introduction actually made me laugh, and also realise his ego, or rather lack of one, has not been affected by the success of his books at all. He believes it to be a beginner’s effort and there I have to disagree with him completely. It might not have been up to the quality of his later work, but it had all the flair and energy that attracted me to his work in the first place.
There are eight stories about Harry, a very short vignette which I found very amusing, and two told from other character’s perspectives. One is told by Thomas and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it; there is definitely more going on in his mind than I expected. I also loved that a few old beloved characters came back into action again, even if it was only for a short time.
The big surprise, however, was the final story, told from Karrin Murphy’s perspective which takes place directly after the last book, Changes. I won’t say much more because of spoilers, but he wrote her extremely well and it was good to see the world from her perspective. I’m really glad it didn’t become an attempt to have a female version of Harry, she is her own person completely, stayed true to the character I love in the series, and it was great being able to delve into her mind. I absolutely cannot wait for the next Dresden book, Ghost Story!
Jim Butcher is a master storyteller that always leaves me wanting MORE!