All words presented in this blog are purely opinion, not fact - unless specifically stated otherwise in the post.

Monday 23 June 2014

Dresden Files... Review... ish... thing?

First of all: I apologise for not posting last week, especially after that post about posting.

So just to re-cap I did a very short piece on the Dresden files as a part of the 'of 52' series that I started and totally intended to finish but never got around to. It was under 'Jim Butcher' since I really like the Codex Alera books as well.
But I really love the Harry Dresden books, more and more every subsequent book I read... or listen to.

This is what I wrote before on the Dresden Files:
"The Dresden files are about Harry Copperfield Blackstone Dresden. A wizard in Chicago who advertises in the business section. He mostly specialises in murders, but he helps out with other things as well.
I like to describe the Dresden Files as 'Harry Potter, if Harry was a homicide cop' but since he doesn't work specifically for the police in the books it’s a little inaccurate.
The first book is your average detective story (but with magic). It's good, really good even, but they get great as you keep reading. The first one is a standalone book but the rest have continuing plots, in the background at least. Events unfolding that are related to previous books and future events. It's really cool and you have to pay attention. I consider myself good at figuring out plots but a lot of the time I've not managed to figure out what's going on. Sometimes I do, but I prefer not guessing."

Now all of this is true but I'd like to Elaborate on it.
First of all; The Dresden Verse
The whole series is set in it's own little world of magic, with it's own little rules and laws. It draws from a lot of different sources. From legends, myths and folk tales to rumors, real world events and history. It uses these sources to create a fantastical yet believable world of fae, men, monsters, gods and a ton of courts of everything in between. Among them are some well known faces such as Hades, the billy goats gruff, Cat Sith, A merlin, Angels and demons, Valkyries, Odin and even Santa Claus- the latter two of those by the way turn out to be the same person.
The books use an assortment of different nasties ranging from Vampires and were wolfs to much less mainstream creatures like Naagloshii which is a shapechanger from native American culture (or something Jim Butcher did a real good job making up to sound like it was from native American culture.
But more than just being interesting; its believable. Okay, no I don't read it and think there are genuinely fae and wizards and fallen angels running around the world just out of sight where we don't see them... mostly.
What I mean is that if all of this was real this is a very realistic way that it would work. this is a very realistic portrayal of how a world that had all these things would govern, how it would have to govern.

And there's Harry Dresden stood in the middle of it all.
Harry Dresden had a crap life up to the point we meet him. His mother died in childbirth, his father died later. He grew up in an orphanage until he was adopted by the dark wizard Justine DuMorne. Justin trained Harry in the ways of magic with brutal and often cruel methods, playing on Harry's sense of loneliness and uncertainty to keep him in check.
It isn't until Dumourne turns Harrys long time best friend and girlfriend into a thrall and tries to do the same to him that he finally breaks free and goes on the run, eventually finding himself in a stand off with his former master.
Of course Harry wins the battle, kills Justin and is taken before the White council of wizards, who fun the wizarding world, and Harry didn't even know existed. He was almost executed then, as a child because he killed someone with magic, but he was spared as he was defending himself against the man.
Ever since then he'd been dogged by the policing arm of the council, the Wardens. Just waiting for him to slip up and prove that he should be executed.
And that's where we meet him.
Even before the first story starts Harry has already been through a hell of a lot and he's only going to start going through a lot more. One of the things I like about Harry is that he goes up and down, he goes through hell and heaven but he never loses sight of what's right. He might think he has. He might worry about whether he's doing the right thing... but he always stands true to his convictions.

Harry is amazing but he's nothing without the people around him. Throughout the books -at this point there have been sixteen and I think the story is about half done -Harry meets a myriad of different people and beings that become his friend and help him out. From the no-nonsense cop Karrin Murphy to the teen wolf William Borden. From the spirit of intellect 'Bob' the skull to the free fae toot toot.
There are a ton of amazing characters, so many that I'd either not do any of them justice or I'd be writing forever, so I'm just going to list them so that you can Google them yourself.
Molly Carpenter, Michael Carpenter, Uriel, The Archive, Waldo Butters, Kincaid, Lash, Anastasia Luccio, Marcone, Gard, McAnally, Ebenezer McCoy, Thomas Wraith, Donnar Vadderung, Susan Rodriguez and Carlos Ramirez. That's only naming cool characters that appear in multiple books And failing to mention a handful of characters because their existence is spoileriffic.

But I think one of the reasons I love this series so much is because it's the only book series I read or have ever read as an audiobook. So not read as the case may be.
The Dresden Files audiobooks are read- no, read is too pedestrian a word. They are performed almost exclusively by James Marsters.
I mean he doesn't just read Harry Dresden, he becomes Harry. It works so well. The books are written in first person so it feels like its the character explaining what happened. It feels so nice, and works so well. In my mind Harry Dresden is James Marsters. He looks like him, sounds like him and acts like him. When I've been stuck with reading a copy of a book instead of listening (only twice, now I just wait for the audiobook) I hear James Marsters voice in my head.

I recommend anyone who likes either fantasy or detective novels to read these nooks, and I recommend anyone who has access to it to listen to the audio books.
And also I recommend never ever, ever, ever watching the tv series. Ever.

- James

P.S. I think I'm going to have to go back and listen to them all again now.

No comments:

Post a Comment