Author: Jim Butcher
Publication: Roc Hardcover (October 26, 2010)
Description: The first short story collection in the #1 New York Times bestselling series-including a brand-new Harry Dresden novella!
Here, together for the first time, are the shorter works of #1 New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher-a compendium of cases that Harry and his cadre of allies managed to close in record time. The tales range from the deadly serious to the absurdly hilarious. Also included is a new, never-before-published novella that takes place after the cliff-hanger ending of the new April 2010 hardcover, Changes. This is a must-have collection for every devoted Harry Dresden fan as well as a perfect introduction for readers ready to meet Chicago's only professional wizard.
My Thoughts: I agree that this is a must-have for Dresden fans. It is good to have the shorter works collected in one volume. Many were stories that I have read before because I do have most of the anthologies where the stories were originally published. It was a different experience reading all of the stories together. It was also interesting to read the author's introductions to the stories. I liked the insights into what he was trying to accomplish with each story.
I thought that "Day Off" was the funniest story in the book. Everything that could go wrong and a few that shouldn't all happened on a day that Harry was hoping to spend with his girlfriend. The interjected, disturbing questions from Molly down in the lab were especially humorous.
The final story was the most touching. "Aftermath" didn't include Harry at all. Murphy and Will have to find Georgia and rescue her from some supernaturals. The story takes place after the events of Changes. Evidence exists that Harry is dead but Murphy doesn't want to believe it. She is alternating between grief and hope and busy facing supernatural villains of great power. Seeing Harry through Murphy's eyes shows us someone that we haven't seen before. The rest of the stories are from Harry's point of view and no one, wizard or not, can really be objective about themselves. The story was gripping and moving.
I recommend the collection to all fans of the Dresden Files. I don't think that the stories would be a good introduction to the world because they fit in between novels and are much richer if you have read the novels.
Dresden would have looked around with a vague expression on his face and wandered around, bumping into things and barely comporting himself with professional caution, even at a crime scene. He'd ask a few questions that wouldn't make much sense on the surface, make a few remarks he thought were witty, and glibly insult anyone who appeared to be a repressive authority figure. Then he'd do something that didn't make any goddamn sense, and produce results out of thin air, like a magician pulling a rabbit out of his hat.You can find out about the rest of the Harry Dresden series here.