Series: The Dresden Files #1
Date Published: 2000
Genres: Fantasy, Private Investigators, Warlocks
Description: Harry Dresden -- Wizard Lost items found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment. Harry Dresden is the best at what he does. Well, technically, he’s the only at what he does. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal creativity or capability, they come to him for answers. For the “everyday” world is actually full of strange and magical things — and most of them don’t play well with humans. That’s where Harry comes in. Takes a wizard to catch a — well, whatever. There’s just one problem. Business, to put it mildly, stinks. So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry’s seeing dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry’s name. And that’s when things start to get… interesting. Magic. It can get a guy killed.
I’ve had this series recommended to me for a while. Actually I first heard about it several years ago because a former supervisor recommended it to me after hearing my Buffy ringtone. He also told me I better watch Firefly and Dollhouse too once I finish my Buffy/Angel binge. This was quite a few years ago, but I put the series on my wishlist and got the first 3 books as a gift. Unfortunately, life keeps getting busy, and they are still in shrinkwrap. I KNOW! OMG! But… thanks to the library audiobook I was able to read this finally, and check it off my #ShelfLove shelf.
Why I wanted to read the audio version rather than the book itself? (Well, other than the fact I can only listen on my long commute and have no time to read physical books at home anymore.) The Narrator is SPIKE!! Well, James Marsters. But yes, SPIKE, people! I actually half expecte to hear the book read in Spike’s voice, but James Marsters is a more versatile actor than that. I actually didn’t recognize his voice at all, which kind of deflated my excitement a bit. His normal voice isn’t that unique, but I still pictured platinum-haired, season 7 full-of-soul Spike. So I don’t actually know what the character of Harry Dresden actually looks like, because my mind blocked out all the description portions of the book.
Moving on to the book content itself, it really read like a regular police procedural paranormal investigations book. I can’t say it stands out from other books like this that I have read in the past just based on plot and characterization, but being this is a long series and this is book one, and my former supervisor seemed to be in love with this series (and I agreed with him on his other recommendations) I’ll say this probably gets better. The plot itself was a power struggle between a warlock who got a taste of the dark side and wanted more, and well, Dresden, since everyone else in the magic world apparently thought Dresden was the suspect and only got in his way instead of helping him solve the murders.
Harry Dresden is a Warlock who specializes in finding lost things, and he seems to have a good moral compass and does his best to do the right thing. I found his inner monologues kind of entertaining when he talks about what he can do to escape certain threatening situations, and then goes on to do the noble thing and get himself into more danger. I appreciate that in a hero.
The book introduces some interesting supporting characters that I would love to get to know better. For example, the ghost that resides in the scull who makes potions (or at least guides Harry Dresden into actually making it, since the skull has no hands). That is a cool character that gets very little “page time” in this book but I’m looking forward to seeing more of.
I’m currently on the waiting list for the next book at the library. I hope to get through the series via library and be kinder to my wallet and my overflowing bookshelves.
Have you read this series? What do you think of it and my former supervisor sending me on this “you gotta read this” quest?