The Dresden Files (series) by Jim Butcher

So the reason I haven’t posted in forever is that I’ve been spending all of my free reading time reading children’s books and…confession time…I’ve been binging on the Dresden Files. For years I have looked up these books for patrons and silently judged these books by their covers – complete with pictures on the back of the author with Very Big Bad Hair. (He looks like the kind of guy who lives in his parent’s basement and plays too much D&D.) But then I heard that the audiobooks were read by actor James Marsters, who I have been mildly in love with since he appeared on Smallville and madly in love with since I binge-watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Since the first book (Storm Front) I’ve been hooked. I get the ebooks along with the audio in case I stop driving at a cliffhanger moment or the CD skips and I miss something. It’s a sickness. I’m ashamed, but I still perennially have the next 2 on hold.

The premise of the series is that magic and the supernatural are real, but most people don’t believe. Harry Dresden is a wizard – the only practicing wizard in Chicago, with an ad in the phone book and everything. Of course, none but the most desperate or nutty clients would seek out his services, so he is constantly hungry for cash and takes on the most ridiculous cases to pay the bills. He serves as a consultant to the Special Investigations unit (Chicago’s vague equivalent to the X-Files team) and is called in on cases where the supernatural seems likely. His “straight man” on the force is Karrin Murphy, a 5-foot cop with overcompensation issues (she may be short, but she knows several martial arts and is an expert in all types of firearms). She kicks the mortal asses while Harry kicks the supernatural ones. It’s fun to watch (listen).

It sounds cheesy, I know. The covers look cheesy. The constant glowing descriptions of every female character (there are no ugly females as far as lonely Harry is concerned, and he lovingly details their every feature for you) are cheesy. The fight scenes are overly dramatic and the sex scenes are downright hilarious in their soap-opera-y way. But for some reason I am as powerless to stop reading these books as I am to stop eating potato chips once I start. They seem to be getting better and better as more characters are introduced and we find out more and more about Harry’s world. Or maybe I’m just a sucker for Spike reading to me while I drive. It’s hard to say. Read one yourself (or better yet let Spike read it to you) and see. But beware – maybe the author really IS a wizard, and he’s put an addictive spell on them? Who can say?

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