Nina Talks Dresden

I love Harry Dresden. I know that seems like a goofy thing to say, but I can't help it.  Anyone who knows me knows that I have read, and listened to the series several times over. Okay, more than several. I love how the series has progressed, and has recaptured my heart with each new installment. The next book in the series, Ghost Story, was originally supposed to come out in April, and after some thought it was pushed back to July. JULY! As you can imagine I was not happy about this, and have been waiting, rather impatiently, ever since. Reason for pushing it back, said Jim (paraphrased): “It came down to readers could either get a half-assed story in April, or a full-assed one in July!”

Well, with July just around the corner, I thought I might get the excitement going.

For the next few weeks leading up to the release of Ghost Story {July 26th} I’ll post reviews of the current books in the series, and since the publisher posts chapter previews for the new Dresden releases, I’ll post links to the first few chapters of the story, and audio too.

I hope you’re as excited and captivated as I am!

Book #1
322 pages

The book opens up on Harry Dresden, Wizard, bored to death, in his office waiting for a job. Any job. The idea of a PI who advertises his “wizard” status in the yellow pages is pretty quirky. His add reads:

Harry Dresden--Wizard
Lost items found. Paranormal investigations.
Consulting. Advice. Reasonable rates.
No Love Potions, Endless Purses, Parties, or Other Entertainment.

The only steady work that Harry has is as a “consultant” for the Chicago Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit. SI handles all the cases that are weird, creepy, and generally can’t be explained away by a normal investigation. Harry gets called in to consult  on a gruesome case that causes unwanted attention to come his way, not only from the Chicago Mob boss “Gentleman” Johnny Marcone, but also The Shadowman, the dark mage causing all the destruction.

You learn pretty quickly that Harry is full of dry, quick wit. He has a hilarious assistant, Bob the skull, who has accumulated massive amounts of knowledge over the millennia and is obsessed with “Bodice Ripper” romance novels. Bob helps Harry formulate potions, and offers his magical know how, but also provides a more than adequate partner for side splitting banter.

With the help of Karrin Murphy, Harry’s contact at the Chicago Police, and the little dew drop fairy spy Toot-Toot , Harry is able to navigate the obstacles, and things the Shadowman tosses his way.

This is a refreshing look at a world full of magic, giving you a glimpse of the dark side, and how using magic responsibly can bring hope, healing, and protection.  There are some darker elements that take root in Storm Front, that years later, I am seeing surface in the later releases. The first time I finished reading this book I was hooked. I immediately drove to my local bookstore to pick up the rest of the series. 

Book #2
342 pages

This time we come across something that is a little different than your average lycanthrope. When Harry is brought in to help Karrin Murphy solve a series of murders that end up leading him to Johnny Marcone and the FBI.

Throughout Storm Front and Fool Moon I was not a fan of Murphy. She’s quick to judge and a major pain in the butt. I felt like I should like her. I wanted to like her. And I just couldn’t do it. In the end she learns to put her trust in Harry and his abilities, and manages to redeem herself somewhat. Kind of.

There are a few new characters introduced this time around. Billy, Georgia and the gang are a continuing force, and in later books its fun to watch them grow into their wolfy roles.
We also get to see Harry harness his magic, and grow his abilities.

It’s interesting to see where this is building up to, and the first two in the series set up the later books perfectly.

Book #3
436 pages

Personally, I liked the first two books. I thought they introduced some great characters, and gave you a primer for magic. It’s hard to toss your readers into a new mystic world and expect them to not have questions. You will hear a lot of people say that book one and two are “starters” and it really starts to pick up at Grave Peril. This is where it gets really good.

The first thing we see is Harry racing his car, aka the Blue Beetle, through the streets of Chicago. He’s driving like a maniac, trying to reach Cook County hospital before the sun sets, and needs to exercise a particularly creepy old ghost from the nursery before she lulls more babies into a permanent sleep.  Meanwhile, He and Michael are having a hilarious conversation about whether or not Harry loves Susan (who we’ll learn more about later) with the police streaming after them.

And that brings me to Michael. Michael is a Knight of the Cross, and wields one of 3 swords from God. Each sword has a nail from the Crucifixion worked into the blade, giving them abilities beyond normal weapons. After reading this the first time, I was so glad Michael came along. He adds serine calm to Harry’s often frantic, quick thinking “fly by the seat of your pants” endeavors. He also provides ample back up when things get, well… Harry. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist) His faith is strong and rivals the power of his holy sword.

In the Dresden world there are four Vampire courts, The White, Red, Black, and Jade. Each court is different, not only in how they’re created, but their attributes, abilities, and weaknesses. The White court has incubi and succubae, the Red are venomous blood drinkers, and the Black are what Bram Stoker based his vampires on. I love how the author has taken something like vampires, that has been done, redone, and done again, and makes it his own and new. This also provides numerous characters to introduce and keep track of.

What unfolds with the vampire courts in this book is essential to the story line from this point forward. Be prepared to not put this book down. I had to read the entire last half in one sitting because I could not bare to wait and see what happened.

I won’t spoil it for you. You’ll have to read it your self.

**For those of you who already love Harry & friends and would like to read the preview chapters released for Ghost Story, I have the link for Chapters 1 and 2 below. Next week I’ll have the next three books in the series: Summer Knight, Death Masks, and Blood Rites.



  1. This is my absolute favorite series. I love, love, love Harry and have enjoyed watching him grow through the series. I honestly haven't read a bad book in the series and that's high praise from me for a series that's this long!

  2. Catherine- I totally agree! Each time I re-read them, I love it more. Totally swooning right now.

  3. I have wanted to try this series for a while now. You have convinced me. I will put it on my 'to read in 2012 or as soon as I can' list. :)

  4. Julie- It's from a guys POV, written by a man. And you do like the Iron Druid books. I think you would like it. The series progression is so fantastic. I'm totally having "AH-HA!" moments years later. :)

  5. This sounds exciting Nina. I don't think I've ever heard of this series before so I'm very interested to see your reviews for this series that you love so very much!