This is a compilation of short stories in the Dresden Files series. It's so nice to have them in one book, rather than trying to track down the anthologies they first appeared in.
All of the stories have a quick note from Jim Butcher telling where they fit into the timeline of the series and why he wrote them. My favorites were It's My Birthday Too, Backup, The Warrior, and Love Hurts, but I have to say I enjoyed every story in the book. My rating: 4.5 Stars.
I have read all of the current Dresden Files novels but I have never had the opportunity read any of the short stories. This collection conveniently brings all of those stories together in one place.
Each short story is prefaced with a brief note by Jim Butcher about where in the timeline each story takes place, why he wrote it, and what he thinks about it.
True to form, there is a mixed bag of humor, tragedy, magic, morals, family, and monsters. I really enjoyed each story for its own unique contribution to the Dresdon canon.
The last story, "Aftermath," was written within minutes of the last events that occurred in Changes. It doesn't provide any insight into what happened to Harry, but it is told from Murphy's prospective. It was a view that I found to be both heartbreaking and refreshing.
Reading the other Dresden novels before reading this collection is not necessarily required, but as always it would help for context and spoiler prevention. In all, it was a great but easy read that I really enjoyed. In a very good way, it left me wanting more.
This was a great collection of stories all set in the Dresden Files world. The majority of these stories have appeared in other anthologies, that's part of the reason I got this from the library...I had read half of the stories before. Still there are some great ones I hadn't read. The last novella "Aftermath" is a definite must read for everyone who wants to know more about what happened after the cliffhanger ending of Changes.
My favorites were Aftermath (which describes events after Changes), Heorot (where Norse mythology mixes with Dresden's world), Last Call, and Love Hurts. Butcher does little intros to each story that give some interesting background that was fun to read.
All of the stories (except for A Restoration of Faith and Vignette) were very professional, well-written, and incredibly fun to read. There isn't a lot more to say about this collection.
Overall a great collection of stories; if you are a big fan you should read it. You might want to check to make sure you don't own the stories in other anthologies first before you buy the book. I am not going to talk about the timing of each story because that is listed in the book itself along with the details of each anthology the stories are pulled from. Stories were pulled from the following anthologies: Blood Lite, Big Fat Supernatural Wedding, Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon, Many Bloody Returns, Mean Streets, Strange Brew, and the Novella Backup is included too.
See below for a brief description of the stories included.
- A Restoration of Faith: Definitely an amateur story, but Butcher says this himself. It was interesting to read the first story Butcher ever wrote about Harry.
- Vignette: Not one of the strongest stories in the book. A very short peice about Harry creating the ad for his investigation agency.
- Something Borrowed: Nice filler story about Georgia and Billy's wedding; these are the two werewolves Harry works with off and on in the series.
- It's My Birthday Too: I originally read this in Many Bloody Returns. It's a fun addition to the Dresden Files series. I enjoyed a story in which Thomas played a main role. I especially enjoyed the role-playing; being a DnD player I thought it was hilarious.
- Heorot: Very strong story with some interesting supernatural aspects too it. Ties in some Norse mythology with Harry's world.
- Day Off: Funny and cute story about what happens when Harry tries to take a day off of work.
- Backup: This is a small novella told from Thomas's point of view, Harry's brother, it takes place in the same time/place as the Dresden Files. It was an okay story.
- The Warrior: I originally read this story in Mean Streets. This story was about Michael and Harry trying to keep Michael's family safe from someone who wants to steal the two Holy Swords that Harry has been keeping hidden. Overall the story was okay, but seemed a bit tired to me. It was interesting to hear a bit more about why Harry has the holy swords. I didn't think this was the best Dresden story I've read but it was kind of interesting.
- Last Call: I originally read this in the Strange Brew anthology. This is an entertaining story about Murphy and Harry tracking down the source of some tainted beer that Mac accidentally served in his bar. Tons of action, very entertaining!
- Love Hurts: Bittersweet story where Dresden and Murphy track down rogue love spells and are caught up the spells themselves. Nice addition and further fills out the story between Dresden and Murphy.
- Aftermath: Best story of the bunch and a must read for fans for the series. Harry is presumed dead and is missing. Murphy is trying to figure out what is going on when Will comes to her for help; Georgia's been kidnapped and she is very pregnant. Now it is up to Murphy to step in to aid the paranormals in Dresden's place and what she finds is a plot bigger than she could have imagined.
I recently started reading the Dresden Files series and have to say that I really am enjoying it. It isn't usually the type of book that I read but was hooked from the first one.
Even though I have only read the first 3 in the series so far, I didn't let it stop me from reading Side Jobs when I found it in the library. This is a collection of short stories that were written at different time periods and compiled into one book. At the beginning of each story, you will be told at what time in the series the story was written and how it came to be written. All of which I found very interesting.
The stories that covered parts of the series I'm not even close to reading yet just gave me a tease of what is to come and I can't wait to get to them.
If you enjoy Dresden, this is a great book. The stories are not only chronological order according to Dresden's timeline with a note saying, "This story comes between book X and book Y", each story is also prefaced by Butcher. This is probably not a good book to get as an intro into Dresden's world, since each story assumes the reader is already familiar with the characters.
A Must Read!! Jim Butcher's narrative voice is the perfect modern geek's jubilant tirade. His amazing plots weave and thread a marvelously intricate tapestry tying moments you'd least expect through all dozen tales to his latest breathtaking ending. If you are working on the Dresden Files novels don't let these essentials slip past you. Butcher's website has a great time line for working them into their proper placement in the saga. Having read all but the last short story in this collection, as it hasn't been published yet, I have to give this 5 stars. Many of these stories, while 'side jobs,' are core to character development especially to some of the dresdenverse secondary and tertiary characters. Nice to see these all coming together in one place. Must lament that there will already be one missing as Butcher reportedly has two new short stories coming out this fall (2010) - hopefully the "all-new" portion remedies that. Also if you enjoy this vein of fiction, the topical collections that these accompanied in their respective original printings were a wonderful introduction to or side story for many other similar authors. I know my husband and I will have to pick this one up even though we have a couple of the original printings just to make our repeated dresden rereads, that I know are destined over the years, easier:)
I'd already read 3 of these, but could not find the other anthologies. So I'm really glad all of the Dresden short stories are in one place. These definitely add more flesh to the interesting supporting cast and other monsters under Chicago.