Anyone who has talked to me about books for more than ten minutes knows that I’m a huge fan of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series. I recently purchased the books for my Nook (yes, I still have the hard copies too) and just finished reading all twelve books, as well as Side Jobs, the collection of Harry Dresden short stories. I hadn’t done that in a long time and I was able to follow overall story arc a lot better than when I read them one at a time. And make no mistake, it’s an excellent arc that includes the short stories. In fact, re-reading Side Jobs made the universe that much richer and more compelling. I also get a special thrill out of watching Harry wreck havoc on Chicago area landmarks that I’ve visited myself (Woodfield Mall, in particular).
I just realized that I haven’t reviewed either Side Jobs or Changes here. I had read most of the stories in Side Jobs when they appeared in other anthologies. It was fun to revisit them and read about their inspirations. “Aftermath”, the last story in the collection, is original to Side Jobs and takes place two hours after the end of Changes. Don’t hate me when I tell you that I read Side Jobs (including “Aftermath”) before Changes.
Changes is book twelve in the series. The title says it all. Everything went boom in this one (and that’s all I’m saying about the plot). I put off reading it until I knew for certain that there was going to be a full-length book to follow it.
I strongly suspect that Ghost Story, which is due out in late July, will be the thirteenth and last in the series. If so, I’ll be sad to see the universe end. There’s a lot to love about it, starting with the characters. I’ll miss Mouse, Molly, Bob, Thomas, Michael, Sanya, Murphy, the Alphas, Butters (“Polka will never die”), and the Za Lord’s Brigade. I’ll miss Harry most of all. His combination of idealism and snark is a rare and beautiful thing.
Update: Just checked the FAQ on the Jim Butcher web site. According to The Source:
Q. How many books is Jim writing for the Dresden Files?
A. 23: 20 “case books,” like those we’ve seen so far, plus a 3-book apocalyptic trilogy. Book #10, Small Favor, hit bookstores April 1st, 2008. Book #11, Turn Coat should come out April of 2009.
If still true, very, very interesting. Can’t wait to see where he goes after this.