This is a small collection of three short stories from The Dresden Files, set at intervals in Harry’s career. They have a common thread, as suggested by the title.
What you won’t find in these are the large scale stories that are in the novels. That’s never what the short stories are all about. Instead, they’re character pieces, which is truly Butcher shines. Don’t get me wrong, he’s great at the epic stuff, but the reason those works is because he knows how to inject basic humanity into even the most inhuman of characters. That’s what’s on display here.
Over the course of the three stories, we see Harry at his best, sticking up for the little guy and making big waves through small actions. We get to see the son of Bigfoot grow and develop. And on a personal note, as I live in Dallas about 3 hours away from Norman, Oklahoma, where the final story is set, I’m familiar enough with it to know that it exudes that Midwest/Southern vibe just perfectly. I’d expect nothing less from Butcher, seeing as how he’s from that neck of the *ahem* woods (or lack therein).
This book showed up for me at just the right time. I had no idea it existed, but I got word of it from a friend about the time I was finishing off book 1 of The Cinder Spires yesterday. The hardest thing about a Jim Butcher novel is finding a book to follow that up. A collection like this brings it down a few notches from the epic to the personal, but retains that Butcher gift for storytelling. Perfect.
Once again, James Marsters IS Harry Dresden, and all that implies. If you’re familiar with his audio work on these stories, you know that nothing more need be said.