Monday, 11 November 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: 4 of 5 stars

I just re-read this, so I'll review.

This is an entertaining collection of stories that fall in between the Dresden Files novels in sequence. I remembered partway through that I meant to re-read it in between re-reads of the novels, so that all of the events fall into their proper order. Oh well - next time.

As with any collection of short fiction, some are better than others. I particularly enjoyed the ones from perspectives other than Dresden's, like his brother, the vampire Thomas Raith, or his friend/love-interest Murphy.

A nice little bit of technique in the Murphy story. Dresden always describes the character Marcone as having eyes the colour of old dollar bills, but Murphy describes the colour as being like three-day-old grass clippings. That really helps to sell the fact that this is a different narrator with an independent viewpoint.

Another story, slight in itself, that I especially liked was the one in which Dresden learns (from an angel) that some of his passing comments or seemingly trivial acts of kindness or care for others will have an impact far beyond their apparent weight. The author states that it's based on an experience of his own (which is how authors get many of their best moments).

Not a starting point for a new potential Dresden fan, since, despite the author's best efforts to introduce the characters and their background in the stories themselves, you really need to have read the novels to understand who they are and why their actions, and connections, are significant. For someone who has read and loved the novels, though, definitely a book worth adding to the collection.

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