Cold Days

 Harry Dresden is back, and mostly kicking!  Being reunited with the body he is pretty fond of comes with a price; he now wears the mantle of the Winter Knight, the burden he tried so hard to avoid. Something is badly wrong in the Winter Court of Faerie and it’s now his job to solve it.  The pay freeze sucks though.

After the emotional overload of Ghost Story it was good to get back to a more ‘normal’ Harry (read those quotes as huge honking flashing ones!).  Apart from the first few chapters, the majority of the book takes place in a very short space of time, so the pace of the story as you can imagine is pretty much full on, breathtaking, balls to the wall action.

To say Harry is on a huge learning curve would be an understatement but he still manages with gusto, witty comments and his own imitable style. He gets reunited with most of the people I have grown to love and I consider them to be an integral part of Harry’s world.  Things changed however during the course of the previous book so it’s not just Mr Dresden who is learning a new way.

There are so many things I want to mention about this book but they would be complete spoilers so I will just say this – The things… that happened!  OMG NO WAY! and finally, Awesome!!  I think that about covers it 😉

I loved Cold Days so much, Jim Butcher’s writing style is so distinctive yet eminently readable and the flow just drags you in deeper, while the charm wraps itself around you and before you know it, you are caught.  Add in the laugh out loud moments, the pop-culture jokes, the shocks that smack you upside the head but then make complete sense and you have a book that stands head and shoulders above anything else in the genre.

I think Jim Butcher is holding out on us, I think he is a wizard and enthralls his readers, with his books as spells.  Or you know, he is just an awesomely good writer 😉  Either way, you need to read Cold Days!  If you haven’t experienced Harry Dresden yet, track down a copy of the first book Storm Front and get started, you won’t regret it!  I can’t recommend them highly enough.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: Jim Butcher
  • Series: Dresden Files (14)
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Side Jobs

Side Jobs is a collection of stories set in the world of Harry Dresden, occurring in and around the main series.

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!

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Book Information
  • Author: Jim Butcher
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)