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Dresden Files Analysis: Introduction

Dresden Files Analysis: Introduction published on 4 Comments on Dresden Files Analysis: Introduction
I read these books anytime, anywhere.
I read these books anytime, anywhere.

The very first time I read a Dresden File, I was twenty years old, and the middle of a Maryland winter. I was serving in the Navy at the time, and about twice a year, the stars would align poorly, and we would be forced to survive three weekends on one paycheck. That third weekend saw me cooped up in the barracks, eating galley food, and in desperate need of something new to read. My friend tossed me a paperback, and told me to go away and read it, he was working on some coding. I used the last of my cash to buy a bottle of Sutter Home Moscato (priorities), and settled down to read.

Storm Front

That was Storm Front. The next day, I went and borrowed Fool Moon and Grave Peril, read them both in about five hours, then went back to poor Miller’s door. “This is the last one I have, another friend’s got the next two,” he told me, and handed me Summer Knight. It was this book that had me fall in love with the series. If I’d never read it, I would have counted the first three as a pretty decent way to pass the time until I had money again, and could spend it to buy books I am too ashamed to admit here. But I read Summer Knight, and realized that what Jim Butcher was doing was pretty extraordinary.

I read it in a marathon session – think Bob with the latest Harlequin Blaze. I finished it a little after eleven, and did not even think of waiting until the next day (and a more appropriate hour). Instead, I put on my shoes, neglected a coat, and headed out the door toward the Marine Corps barracks. Read more

J Wilbanks

J Wilbanks

Reviewer and Columnist at Galleywampus
She has a cat.
J Wilbanks


When the Dresden Files started getting published, I didn’t even particularly notice though I was working in public library at a time. By that point in my life I had moved away from the avid fantasy reading of my teens and early 20s and into the mystery and romantic suspense genres that frankly I still prefer today. But my Aunt, whom I was living with at the time, had Tioved the first episode of this TV show called the Dresden Files. Watching it became our Sunday night ritual. I fell in love. Then I found out it was a book series. I know many people despise the TV series (and I can see why though if you don’t compare, the show stands as quite entertaining on its own merits IMHO), but it brought me to the books. For that I will always be grateful.

I worked in a library, and this was about the time Small Favor came out. I was beyond poor at the time so I had to scrounge all the books in the series from placing holds in libraries and checking them out, which was harder than you would think as they just didn’t have them and ended up requiring two library systems. But I was determined. Both to read them, and to read them in order.

And then I read them. I was late to the game, but dear God. DEAR GOD.

The first book that hit that point where I could barely squeeze out the money to afford it (librarians make crappy money and my rent was high) AND I had to own it on release day, even if it meant eating nothing but ramen for two weeks, was Changes. That book rocked my world To this day it is my favorite in the series, with Dead Beat and Proven Guilty very close behind.

Then there was Ghost Story (and we all can share the frustration of waiting for THAT one to be published). I was reading Ghost Story while in Tahoe camping with my best friend and her then 2 year old son. I admit it is one of the weaker books in the series, but you know the part at the end where you find out that everything you thought you knew happened in Changes was wrong and then the ending…yeah, THAT part. That part sucked me in so much the world literally went away. When I pulled myself out of the book when it finished, gaping, literally gasping for breath, my friend and her son were laughing at me hysterically. They had both, multiple times, tried to say something to me. They had stood right in front of me and talked . I hadn’t noticed. I still, to this day, remember nothing but the book.

So when Janelle said last year, let’s go down to San Diego and go to see Jim Butcher and get our books signed on release day, I didn’t hesitate. At all.

To this day this is the only fantasy published past about 1995 that I read.

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