This collection of stories from Butcher’s famous The Dresden Files are a nice discovery for someone who thought she had read all of Harry Dresden’s adventures and had to sit and twiddle her thumbs until Butcher’s inspiration—or publisher—next strikes. The stories range from Butcher’s first-ever Dresden story written as a college assignment to a post-Harry reminiscence, of a sort, by his would-be lover.
The thing that makes these stories such fun is that they are written from various perspectives, including that of his enigmatic vampire half-brother Thomas and his on-again/off-again love interest Murphy the cop. Even supernatural barkeep Mac gets a story, or at least his brew does. And the Carpenter family gets a story which tugs at the heart strings when the war-weary and retired Michael gets pulled back into the action to save his daughter from an evil kidnapper. Bad guys come in the guise of mother’s in distress, and good guys come in the form of werewolves. Fanatic priests and archangels make their appearance, as do our favorite coroner Butters and our favorite gangster Marcone.
Some of these stories are downright scary, with spitting blobs of acid and people offing themselves because of too much love, and others are side-splittingly funny. Thomas’ torment, that of a vampire trying to resist his own lustful impulses, is one we can all recognize, as who among us doesn’t have irrational or negative impulses that have to be resisted? And above all, there is Harry the wizard—lonesome, irreverent, battling evil with a smirk even when his batteries are running low, and someone we all would love to know and call a friend.