Have you ever been approached by a grim-looking man, carrying a naked sword with a blade about ten miles long in his hand, in the middle of the night beneath the stars on the shores of Lake Michigan?
Until very recently my answer was a “definitely not”. Now, thanks to crystalclear for sending this book my way during the 2020 Book Exchange, my answer has changed:
By proxy, at least. I have been acquainted with the big swordy fella and many other weirds that go bump in the night through Harry Dresden: wizard by day, wizard by night, kind-of-detective and liaison to the Chicago PD. He’s a total dork; sure he’s “hardboiled”, but a hardboiled egg wearing a duster as a shell. He’s unlucky, easily startled, and prone to wearing an emergency sweatpants/cowboy boots combo. His garbage car gets into garbage trouble. He gets hit on, sure, but not as much as he gets hit in the head. I’m not complaining, mind you: I like a foolhardy protagonist. Wear as many dusters and amulets as you want, Mr. Dresden. I’ll try to keep my giggles to a minimum.
This series started popping up in my “recommended” tab on goodreads due to my discovery and subsequent devouring of the Rivers of London series, and I knew I wanted to give it a go after seeing the MANY posts here on CBR. I’ve only recently become a “series” person, and I’m leaning further into genre than I used to. Wizards, fairies, vampires, and demons in Chicago? Sure- sign me up!
I found this kick-off entry to be…fine! It was clever enough, funny enough, twisty enough, and trashy enough. I’m not totally onboard with the heavy-handed magic exposition, but I assume footing is being found. The “Big Bad” had the last name of “Shadowman”, which gave me an eyeroll-induced headache, but I’ll give Mr. Butcher a few more tries to really win me over.
Dresden DOES have a very large cat and a saucy-spirit-trapped-in-a-skull, after all!