Friday, March 1, 2013

Review: Side Jobs: Stories From the Dresden Files

Side Jobs: Stories From the Dresden Files
Side Jobs: Stories From the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Urban Fantasy anthology
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Fans of Urban Fantasy, the Dresden Files

My Thoughts: This is a book of short stories in the Dresden-verse, put into chronological order, and starting back during Dresden’s training with Nick Angel. The stories are:
Restoration of Faith”: in which Harry finds a missing girl, but it’s never as simple as it seems. Butcher complains about the lack of quality in this story, but I think it’s really awesome. It’s also where Harry meets Murphy, plus a troll, so bonus!
Vignette”: This story is just a short piece where Bob and Harry talk about his Yellow Pages ad, and why Harry does what he does.
Something Borrowed”: Billy and Georgia’s wedding. Georgia’s stepmother is a real piece of work. Wow.
It’s my Birthday Too”: It’s Thomas’s birthday. And he’s taking part in a LARP. And then real vampires show up.
Heorot”: Mac brings Harry in to look for a woman who has gone missing. I'd like to point out that the whole “police won't look for a missing person until 24 hours has gone by” thing is a misnomer; they will take into account unusual circumstances and go looking sooner. This is the story in which we learn the truth about Miss Gard. Malks are involved. And it explains why Mister is never involved. “Mister didn't come with me on cases, being above such trivial matters, but he found me pleasant company when I was at home and not moving around too much, except when he didn't, in which case he went rambling.
Harry’s Day Off”: In which Harry eagerly anticipates a day off to spend with Luccio, but everything that can go wrong does.
Backup”: See my review on the book's page (here, where formatting permitted)
The Warrior”: Michael is retired, but are all his enemies taking that into consideration? Or, for that matter, his so-called friends? This story is all about the unintended consequences of our actions, and is very good. I became all choked up while reading it.
Last Call”: When the forces of darkness try to mess with Mac's brew...? Harry don't play dat...
Love Hurts”: When people are killing themselves in suicide pacts, Harry decides that there is probably mental manipulation involved. People are being forced to fall in love.
Aftermath”: This is an original novella written for this anthology and not available anywhere else, unlike all the others, which are published in other anthologies. It takes place right after the end of Changes and will bring me into Ghost Story. This one is told from the point of view of Murphy, who came to meet with him and found a bullet hole and blood all over the Water Beetle when she arrived. Anyway, the story, despite that, isn't about looking for Dresden, since Billy shows up and puts Murphy in the middle of a situation where apparently small-time magic users are being abducted, including Georgia, Billy's wife.

Disclosure: I picked up this book on my own. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis: Here, together for the first time, are the shorter works of #1 New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher—a compendium of cases that Harry and his cadre of allies managed to close in record time. The tales range from the deadly serious to the absurdly hilarious. Also included is a new, never-before-published novella that takes place after the cliff-hanger ending of the new April 2010 hardcover, Changes. This is a must-have collection for every devoted Harry Dresden fan as well as a perfect introduction for readers ready to meet Chicago's only professional wizard.

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