Tag Archive for Jim Butcher

Dead Witch Walking

My wallet rues the day I introduced the wife to paranormal romance and urban fantasy books, especially since the local library is in such horrible shape that it carries very little (and not just of these categories, my local library is pitiful, its barely bigger than my house).  But what’s done is done, and now we own dozens and dozens.  I’ve tried reading a few with varying results.  Some I enjoy, some are just alright, some are sappy and girly, and some are just down right awful.  There is one author who decided that in her world people who perform what we would call necromancy and we would refer to as necromancers she would instead call them simply “necromance” as in “I am a necromance.”  I only made it through about eighteen pages of the book when I had to ask, “Does she use ‘necromance’ like this through the entire book?”  To which my wife replied, “Through the whole series.”  I put the book down and will never go back to it.

But that is neither here nor there… this review is for Dead Witch Walking, the first of The Hallows series of books by Kim Harrison.  The simplest way to describe this book is “a female Dresden.”  Considering how much I like the Dresden books by Jim Butcher, that’s high praise indeed.  The book isn’t without flaws.  For one, there is no swearing.  Not real swearing anyway.  There is an event that happened years ago in this world called “The Turn” that has to do with wiping out a large portion of the human race (it has to do with genetics, viruses and tomatoes), and in this world people don’t tell you to “go f*** yourself” they instead say “go Turn yourself” which doesn’t really make sense contextually.  Go genetically engineer a virus that spreads through tomatoes yourself?  To say perhaps she means it to replace “go kill yourself” instead of the F-word, well, if you read the book you’ll see that doesn’t really fit either.  Also, what I’m guessing was an appeal to female romance readers, there are randomly thrown in lines about how some guy looks hot.  Many of them almost feel as if they were added after the fact, like the editor told the author to punch up the romance angles.  The wife tells me later books are not so jarring.

Overall, I look forward to reading more of these books.  The world, its myths and lore, is well crafted and this first book establishes a team of people that I think I will enjoy following.  Thumbs up.

Proven Guilty

[amazon-product image="51guxQtnKML._SL160_.jpg" type="image"]0451461037[/amazon-product]After reading the previous Dresden book, I was eager to see where the story was heading.  The events in Dead Beat threw a few curves, and in Proven Guilty some of that gets shaken out.  With Harry now a member of the Wardens, he’s got a few new duties, one of which involves being a part of the executions of people who break the laws of magic… laws that Harry himself once broke, and it quite often skirting the edges of.

Of course, that’s not all, as new baddies breeze in to town and set upon the people attending Splattercon!!!, a horror movie convension being held is Dresden’s beloved Chicago.

Yeah, I like this one as much as I have like the others.  Jim Butcher is yet again able to keep me turning the pages, and turning them quickly as I blow through the eighth book in this series.  The only thing I worry about now is running out of Dresden books to read and having to wait for Mr. Butcher to complete the next one to get my fix.

Dead Beat

Another Dresden book, and another good read.  This time the wizard takes on necromancers in Dead Beat.

I could go on gushing about the book, but if you read my blog you know that I love them.  I will admit that I enjoyed Jim Butcher’s take on necromancy and raising the dead.  It was new to me, the concept of having a “drummer” who keeps the beat that allows the dead to stay under the control of the necromancer.  Very interesting.

Anyway, I do look forward to reading the next book given all the events of this one…  :)

Fool Moon

Sometimes it must seem like I am a slow reader, and I am, but not as slow as it must appear if you keep an eye on my Currently Reading section. I read with purpose and with imagination. My mind paints full color images as I read, every detail being filled in from the prose, and my imagination filling in everything the author leaves out. I see books more than read them. I live and breathe them. And I also don’t get as much time as I’d like to enjoy them. A couple hours a week at best.

And the better the book, the slower I read. I envy Jim Butcher because Harry Dresden is the kind of character I’d love to dream up, and his world is a place my imagination loves to run free in. And here I am only in the second book of the series. I finally turned the last page of Fool Moon and extricated myself from Harry’s dangerous mystical Chicago, and all I’ve got to say is: Damn.

Seriously, its a good book. This time around Harry runs smack into a problem with werewolves, a few different kinds of them, and he’s in over his head from the beginning. Heart pounding and tense, I hated having to put this book down, craved it when I was away, and reveled in it when I could.

I can’t wait to dive in to the next book… I just have to buy it first.

Storm Front

The Sci-Fi Channel series The Dresden Files piqued my interest, so I picked up the first couple of books in the series by Jim Butcher and read Storm Front, the first one.

I love the TV show. Its fun, sometimes funny, with a bit of magic and darkness. The book is about the same, though as always with works taken from page to screen (big or small), it is only “about” the same. There are differences, but not so much so that it hurts either.

If you don’t know what The Dresden Files is, its about a man named Harry Dresden and he is a wizard. This isn’t your Harry Potter type wizardry, it is definitely not aimed at kids. Dresden lives in a world where magic exists, but its sort of a secret. Not the magic itself, but the White Council that presides over it all and tries to keep people from using the darker magics. Harry comes from a powerful line of wizards, all of whom are dead. From the show we know that Harry’s dad was killed by his uncle, and that Harry ultimately killed his uncle (in self defence). None of that is in this first book, not clearly anyway. There are hints that his family line might not be the cleanest around, and there is a judgement for murder against him currently held in check. Harry even narrates that he killed a man with black magic and that is why he is reluctant to tread in those waters again.

As it stands, Harry consults for the police as a “psychic” on weird cases as well as doing his own brand of private eye work. The book almost drips with old noir style storytelling, and in part that is what makes it so good. There is evil in the world, and if good is going to win its only going to do so by the skin of its teeth and by the barest of threads, and never emerge unscathed.

With the first book down, I’m really looking forward to the rest of the series, so I whole-heartedly recommend Storm Front. Of course, I don’t like to read series books back to back, so number two of The Dresden Files will have to wait until I’m done with the new Hellboy book.