Friday, 10 August 2012

Side Jobs Review (Dresden Files)

Side Jobs (Dresden Files Anthology)
- Jim Butcher

Publisher: Orbit

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. 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..

This is an anthology of some of Harry Dresden’s side adventures taking place in between the usual adventures. Harry is Chicago’s only Wizard in the phone book, using his magic to investigate and keep his city safe from the monsters in the shadows. For those who aren’t following his story – I really, really urge you to do so as this is one of the most consistently good and frequently excellent UF series out there. The first couple of books really set the scene, but after the end of the third book the major plot arcs are in place for one hell of a wild ride. Like one of my other favourite series, Kate Daniels this is a series that really matures and grows.

As this is an anthology, there are some great tasters of the kind of trouble Harry frequently finds himself in, and I think most of these can be read without having read the rest of series. However, you do get so much more from the stories if you are following the series – from seeing Billy and Georgina’s wedding, getting to know Mac better and seeing what Thomas gets up to when he isn’t helping Harry out. I have read most of these stories before in other anthologies (I like reading anthologies when I can’t focus for a long time!) so this was like falling back into a comfy sofa with a mug of cocoa – warm, soft and cosy. There were a couple that I haven’t read before and I think they stick in mind more as they were brand new to me. The first story – A Restoration of Faith recounted the first meeting between Dresden and his police contact Karrin Murphy. While it isn’t as sophisticated as some of the later stories, it seems to fit perfectly who Harry was at the start of the series and the core elements of Dresden and Murphy are still recognisable. Comparing this against Love Hurts, one of the latter stories where their relationship has deepened changed makes you really feel for them both. In many ways Dresden’s worse enemy is himself and his conscience.

There is a brand new story set just hours after the end of Changes, Aftermath which focuses on Murphy. This is the story that I really bought the book for and I loved seeing Chicago through Murphy’s eyes – and meeting ‘Will’ again. It really is a big teaser for the latest book Ghost Story – but I don’t want to give anything away for those who haven’t read Changes so I have to keep shum. But it is great! As I said at the beginning if you want an Urban Fantasy series with plenty of investigation and action, light on the romance side (but still there occasionally!) then this is the series for you.

Recommended for fans of James R Tuck and Kelley Armstrong. 9 out of 10


  1. How cool! An anthology of The Dresden Files! I still need to start that first book. My dad even read it and he isn't much of a novel reader! Put me to shame. LOL Will add this one to my Harry list.

  2. Oh you are another one that is really getting me to get back into the series! I was just talking about this with others this morning. lol. Thanks for the review!