The Dresden Files

Dresden Files! Book 8 Review

See I can do better. Sort of.

Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher 4.5 out of 5 Stars

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I’ll start off with saying the same thing I mentioned on Goodreads. “I think this is the finest installment in the series so far.” That’s a Sam Vega original quote. Enlightening stuff, you’re welcome… FUNNY JOKE!

Sigh. Anyways. I stand by that.

Dresden is Warden now! Which is cool for a number or reasons, but I think it most cooliest because it sets up the inner struggle of figuring out what is right and what is wrong in a concrete easy to digest way. As we should all know by this point, (because we’ve read all the books, right?) Dresden doesn’t exactly see eye to eye with the Wardens. And his own moral compass has is good, but it has some grey spots. (Don’t we all.)

But never has struggle been more evident than in this book. I think, in general, that is the mark of good storytelling period. Butcher, I think, does a particularly good job with it here because he makes it so relevant to Dresden’s own inner struggle along with the actual outer struggle of the mess he’s dealing with in this adventure. I’m getting a little deep, but you can forget about all of that and still have a good time with this story.

Remember last time when I said the story doesn’t take itself too seriously. This one definitely starts off with that kind of vibe before taking a dive into the usual Dresden mystery to figure out who done it! But we also get a big does of Molly Carpenter, this book, which in many ways is played out to be this typical rebelling teenager. Don’t worry, she’s supposed to be.

The story then takes a cool turn into awesomeville, because Butcher then feeds us more bits about the Fae world and their place in the war against the vampires and their own war going on and man, it’s just a lot of cool stuff. I dig it and I really think anyone who appreciates ever expanding worlds of magic is really going to dig it too. So yeah, I think you gonna like this one. It’s a fun ride.

So yeah, that’s that. Sorry if my reviews aren’t too helpful, but ya know, that’s that. Give it a read, yo.

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Dresden Files! Book 7 Review

Ta dah, I’m back once more. Sigh. I’m trying people. Truly, I am.

Dead Beat by Jim Butcher 4 out of 5 Stars

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Necromancy coming at you in a bundle of awesome. I really enjoyed this one. It’s better than the last. Not crazy better, just better.

Dresden is being blackmailed into doing something, he really doesn’t want to do. I’m not getting into hard details, but we again get this adventure where Dresden meets these new characters and past characters get fleshed out more. I cannot give Butcher enough credit for this. He’s really done a wonderful job of slowly giving you more, but not overwhelming you. This is true of the world, the characters, and the magic. It’s well done.

Anyways, so Dresden is again set to solving a mystery, but with the added complication of being at the mercy of his blackmailer (Among other things!). Then it all comes together for an explosive ending, where shit really does go down. I don’t want to spoil it all because I really did love it. However, I’ll give you this: A zombified Tyrannosaurus Rex comes into play. That’s not code for any kind of sexual innuendo. I mean it. A zombie T-Rex comes out to play and it’s just kind of one of those moments where you realize this whole story doesn’t take itself entirely to seriously and neither should you. And I don’t mean that in a negative way at all. I love that fact. Stories that can do that well are probably some of my favorites.

Anyways, if you enjoy bringing the dead back to life–I mean, who doesn’t. Am I right or am I right?– then you’ll probably dig this addition to the Dresden Files. And as always James Marsters, you be brilliant as always!

GAWDDAMMN…I’m still alive, I promise

Geeeeeeez, this blog has been super dead since about June. That’s my bad. My only defense is that I’ve been incredibly busy with work. Plus I’m writing….. And I’m trying to spread my talents into other areas, too.

So all of that means little time for blogging. As I often like to say, I mean to change this. And I will. Someday. Probably soon. I want to finish my little Harry Dresden Review ‘series.’ Then I’ll probably move on to doing a Wheel of Time mini review thing.

Pretty decent Epic Fantasy series if you’re into that kind of thing. Definitely a unique read, as well as an important one. (For me at least, since I want to be an author of the same strain as the talented Late Robert Jordan and the phenomenal Brandon Sanderson) I’m almost done with it. It’s a monster of a series. So lots of reading, which is good, because I like lots of reading.

Anyways, yeah. I will get better at blogging. I swear it on the old gods and the new. (Hah hah, a Game of Thrones reference! Get it?)

Till next time. Which is bound to be soon. Like in a week. Or two? Maybe sooner.. maybe later…….

DRESDEN FILES! BOOK 5 REVIEW

Review on Death Masks!!!!!!!!!!!

Death Masks by Jim Butcher 4 out of 5 Stars

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So this one almost made the climb to 4.5. Almost. It’s good. One of my favorites really, because it had a lot of story going on.

BUT I won’t be getting into much of that story because… go read it, that’s why.

Harry Dresden! What kind of mess is he getting into this time? Well turns out there’s lots of messy things he’s a part of in this book. Duel with a vampire anyone? Psh, yeah and it’s only because he’s trying end this whole war thing going on. Susan is back. She’s got shit to do and she’s half-vampire and cooler than ever. Oh and holy friggin’ knights anyone? What. What. What. Then Nicodemus! Who is he? What is he? And does he like coffee with his murder?

Yeah, seriously, kind of cool stuff there. It gets a bit crazy and I think that’s why I bring it down to a 4. Still, there is more of that sweet, sweet, world building and character building. Included free of charge. (Not really. I had to buy the book, but it’s worth it. James Marsters is a master of narration, so audio book purchase is a must!)

Oh and Ivy. She’s just a seven year old girl and known as the Archive, a living, breathing bank of all the world’s knowledge. Plus all that power she’s got which is awesome. She might be one of my favorite parts of the whole Dresden Universe. She’s such a cool idea and a great character. Seriously, how can you not like Ivy? The correct is answer is you have to like her. You. Have. To.

Anyways. This is probably the book that really started solidifying the series for me. So if you like that kind of thing, read this one. And enjoy it. I did.

Dresden Files! Book 4 Review

OK OK OK. I’ve been a bit busy and this has gotten away from me, but lo and behold, SUMMER KNIGHT, book 4 of the The Dresden Files, review is here!!!!!

And quick review is quick so this will be a quick review…

Summer Knight by Jim Butcher 4 out of 5 Stars

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And the lift off into some good reading begins. As the adventures of our hero, Harry Dresden, continue we find him… well sad at the beginning of this installment. And desperate. And justifiably so, I think. Can’t really get into why that is without giving much of the last book away and I couldn’t do that you, the reader.

Anyways. Without getting into much of anything Dresden has to keep living and not dying so he gets thrown into a mess of things that have to do with Faeries. And as we all well know by now, faeries are dangerous. So things get dangerous as Dresden is thrown into some Faerie business. The whole Faerie world thing is probably one of the best elements of the whole series so I think if you’re into that kind of thing, you really cant go wrong with this book.

Again without really getting into any details, Dresden pretty much has to save the world again with some entertaining characters at his side. It’s a solid read and I think it did a lot of things right. Characters are still growing and even in all the sadness and serious danger, we still get the bits of hope.  Plus James Marsters. Nuff’ said. Damn, he’s great as a narrator.

So yup, solid read. Solid 4 stars.

Also, anybody been listening to Hamilton the Musical at all. Like holy damn shit, it’s awesome. And I heard today, 16 Tony Award Nominations. Man, I want to go see it now.

 

 

Dresden Files! Book 3 Review

Grave Peril by Jim Butcher 3.5 out of 5 Stars

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Numero tres! All right, so here’s where the series starts to get a little better. Though I still give this a 3.5 Stars, it was almost a true 4 (It reaches toward that 4 Stars when you realize how it fits in the series as whole). There some stronger writing and the plot has more weight to it. And what I really mean by that is that there are some real consequences to take into account at the end of it all.

I’ve mentioned before that these first few books are the stepping stones to something greater. And this is the book that marks the accession to something greater to come in, what I think, is probably the clearest way.

So what do we get in Grave Peril? The story itself. Let’s see, some ghost, nightmares, killer vampires, and somewhat terrifying fairy godmothers. So cool and cool. Shit is going down! There is a lot that goes in this book, but the pacing is well done so it never gets too overwhelming.

Then there is Susan, who really makes an impression in this one. We find out what she’s really like and what she means to Dresden. There is also an introduction to Michael (A Holy Friggin’ Knight) and Thomas (Sex Vampire [incubus] of the White Court), both of whom are well thought out characters. Even Murphy becomes better in this book. But if I’m honest, her being better than she was in the last book doesn’t take much.

However, Dresden does seem to be making a habit of falling and failing and being completely spent until the last moment where he can come back and win the day. Grave Peril sort of suffers from this more than the other books in the series because some of his power  is ‘stolen’ from him. It was sort of an eye rolling moment for me, but maybe that was because I knew there was a book 4-15 following this installment, meaning Mr. Wizard Man Dresden ain’t about to be losing his powers forever. I think this book came out in like 2001, so that is my fault for not having read it 15 years ago.

(Holy crap, I’m old enough to say 15 years ago and it not mean I was some diaper wielding maniac [aka baby/toddler]. Though, in my defense, I probably was still too young to be reading the Dresden Files. Sigh…)

Anyways, yeah. This book is good. I liked it quite a bit. And I was quite looking forward to Summer Knight (Book 4) at the end of this one.

Last Note:

So I’ve read some comments and reviews regarding Butcher’s description of women throughout the series. They’re all sexy women with clothing that hugs their breast and yada yada yada yada. Basically, they’re good looking ladies who amount to sexual objects first and actual characters second. This is a fair assessment of Butcher’s portrayal of women. Practically every woman he ever meets is one suggestive wink away from making Dresden jizz his pants. I get why lady readers could be annoyed by this. And I would be lying if I, a straight male, said it didn’t annoy me sometimes. However, I also think its not entirely that far fetched that someone like Dresden would look at women this way. Yeah, it is sort of dumb, but Harry Dresden is sort of dumb too. I think when it’s looked at through that sort of lens, it is easier to accept. But I get it. Really I do. And I’d like to say it gets better as the series goes on, but it really doesn’t.

But if you can power through those small bits, the rest is still worth the read.

Till next time!

Dresden Files! Book 2 Review

Fool Moon by Jim Butcher 3 out of 5 Stars

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I’ll start off by saying that this book in the Dresden Files is probably one of my least favorites of the whole series. In fact, while writing this I changed my original rating from 3.5 down to 3 Stars. I’m probably still being a little lenient there if I’m honest. This is a shame since I happen to actually like werewolves. (Well the idea of them, anyways.) But, as with this story, most of the time they’re used in books or movies or whatever else, they end up being a disappointment.

So Fool Moon introduces us to werewolves and all their complex glory. There are a few different types and they all play some varying degree of roles in Fool Moon. With that in mind, let’s get down to the basics. Someone dies, it looks awfully like a big bad werewolf is responsible, which means we have another whodunnit handed to Harry Dresden! As I said in my previous review, this series likes to stay in its given formula and this one does just that. (Which, again, is fine. Dresden is a wizard-private investigator after all. He needs something to investigate!)

So Dresden teams up with Karen Murphy, Chicago’s most toughest tough as nails female with short man syndrome law officer of justice … If you can’t hear my annoyance, I’ll get this out of the way. My absolute least favorite thing about this book is Murphy (She actually represents something I find annoying in lots of different stories)  She basically seeks help from a Dresden to, ya know, have him help solve the case or whatever, only to start mistrusting him because he is helping in a way that seems too suspiciously suspicious. (Is that a spoiler, I’m sorry if it is. I mean I still think you need to read it to really get it in context)

Well I’m going to give you a little context anyways. It would be like Commissioner Gordon lighting up the bat signal to call Batman and ask him for help about something which only Batman had information on. Batman gives Gordon this information to, ya know, help, but then Gordon turns on him and announces, ‘You’re under arrest, Batman. Ya know, for trying to help me solve this case which you’d never would have been involved in unless I called you in the first place’…..

Basically, Murphy was stupid-annoying this book and all we get to show for it is Dresden basically feeling bad about her being really fucking annoying because reasons?  (Excuse my, language or don’t. Whatever………….)

BUT with all that said, this book isn’t all bad. Really it isn’t. It has some annoying bits. So annoying that I almost wanted to give up the series, but yet again it is saved by a great narrator who really does justice in playing Harry Dresden. (Thank you again, James Marsters!)

Dresden is by all means resilient and resourceful throughout this book. And it is kind of a joy to see him get out of the madness he is thrust in to. Not only that, we get to see some new character get into trouble with him and help him. It’s not perfect, but it is pretty cool . Plus ya know, werewolves.

So definitely give this one a read (or listen I should say cuz audio books rule!!!) and try not to get hung up on the stupid parts. Underneath that, there is still a robust lineup of interesting characters and an ever building world of magic and mischief that is a necessary stepping stone in the long run.

Really, the series does actually get better but Fool Moon is as mediocre as they come.

Dresden Files! Book 1 Review

I am going to attempt to leave little reviews of the Dresden Files Books 1-15. They will be done here and there and over the next few weeks… I think.

I will start this is a small over view of the whole series. It’s good. Not great, not bad. Good. Harry Dresden is a character worth following, I think. My problems with it usually don’t have to do with him. And James Marsters is Harry Dresden! He’s a great narrator for the audio books and probably the main reason I stuck with the series. But there is also the fact that, as many others who have read the series have said, it does get better as it goes on. Other than that, I won’t say much regarding the whole series. Maybe one day I’ll write something else about the journey as a whole but until then here’s my thoughts on….

Storm Front by Jim Butcher 3.5 out of 5 stars

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Storm Front introduces Chicago’s only openly practicing wizard-private investigator for hire, Harry Dresden.

So what are we introduced to? Well, we get an array of interesting characters for sure, but what we really get is the first bits of Butcher’s world of magic and it’s not a super duper lovey sunshine type of place. It’s dark, it’s gritty, and it’s dangerous. (Sometimes comically so, to be honest, but let’s try to stick with the positives.) But we only get the bits of this dangerous world, just little hints. This isn’t a necessarily a bad thing because there are a lot of interesting parts of Butcher’s wizarding world that I appreciate (eventually), but you won’t be getting a lot of them in Storm Front.

What you will get is a somewhat decent/sort of meh plot where he goes and does one thing, which leads to another thing and then that leads to one more thing and then they tie up together at the end. This is sort of the typical formula you’ll see in these books, but again, this is not really a bad thing. It works and Butcher tends to make it work well. I just don’t want to spell too much of the actual plot for anyone. To make as simple as I can: People die in a weird, awful, magical way and Harry Dresden has to find out whodunnit!

And all of this in itself probably wouldn’t be worth much if it wasn’t for the character Harry Dresden himself. Butcher writes him to be a tough private investigator with a dark past type of dude in a lot of ways, so that might not sound entirely ideal. But Dresden has flaws there and he has humor and he is saved by a brilliant narration that really gives life to the story.

So all in all, this is a pretty vague sort of overview/review. Sorry, I’m trying not to spoil anything. When it all comes down to it though, it’s a quick entertaining read that sows a necessary seed that grows in later books and becomes something I genuinely enjoy.

 

Free Book This Week

Hey Peoples and others,

I’m still no good on the blogging, I know, but I’m alive. I swear.

“Yes. So very alive. And full of goo.”

Let’s see. The digital version of Kyle Demore and the Timekeeper’s Key will be going on sale for FREE tomorrow. It’ll last till Saturday!!! So, if you’ve been wanting to check it out, but couldn’t spare the monies, now’s your chance to take advantage of my humble efforts to feed you fantastical fantasy madness.

Tell you friends and enemies. Click the link. Download a book. Bada bing, bada boom?

http://www.amazon.com/Kyle-Demore-Timekeepers-Samuel-Vega-ebook/dp/B00HMEKI86/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1454367189&sr=8-1&keywords=kyle+demore

I’m working on the sequel still (I know it has been taking forever, but it will be done!) and plan to have that done before the end of the year.

Anyways, I’ve had a decent start to reading this year. 4 books, all Dresden Files! It’s a really solid series. Not without its flaws, but it’s entertaining. I’m on the 9th book right now and I’d definitely recommend getting into it, if you’re looking for a new series to dive into. I think I’ll explore giving it a proper review once I’m up to date on it, but for now I’ll leave it free of my critique and just enjoy it for what it is.

Death Masks by Jim ButcherBlood Rites by Jim ButcherDead Beat by Jim ButcherProven Guilty by Jim Butcher

 

 

 

 

What else do I have? Hmm. Oh yeah. It’s February 1st already. The year is 2016. What the hell is that about? Sigh.

GIR dance

Be like Gir.

One last thing. I’ve Invader Zim bouncing about in my mind right now… And I won’t apologize for it.

😀