I finished Dragon Noir, and ended the trilogy I’d begun writing almost 3 years ago now. Which mean I could finally finish reading a series I’ve really enjoyed. My mental voice is too close to these books to allow myself to read it, and thus flavor my writing, while I was working on the Pixie for Hire series. But with the completion (for now) of the series, I could go back to reading the Dresden Files.
We own all of them. The First Reader did a rave review (rare for him) on Skin Game not that long ago. But I hadn’t been able to read them. It was like pressing my nose to the shop window and trying not to drool on the glass. Mind you, I’m not this disciplined over chocolates. I kept my internal vow, though. And yesterday, when I was sick (because vacation, and the body just does that to me) I read Summer Knight, Death Masks, Blood Rites, and most of Dead Beat (which I have read before). I have other books I’m supposed to be reading. Not to mention homework, and other work. But being able to lose myself in the sardonic wizard’s misadventures on a day I was feeling miserable was just perfect.
I’d read the beginning of the series about four years ago (I think. Roughly 2011) and I do suggest that if you are not already a Harry fan, you pick up the series around book three, and then go back to books one and two later. The writing isn’t as strong, like a baby learning to walk. And like a baby, once Butcher starts to move, he never breaks his stride and slows down. With Summer Knight (trying not to spoiler) you see a wizard still learning, but a great deal more confident about himself. With Death Masks, we see the man become a family man, and with Blood Rites, that responsibility really begins to sink in.
One of the delightful things about Butcher, for me, isn’t just that these are action-filled books. Or that they are characters I connect with and look forward to seeing them succeed (Butters, FTW!). It’s the little nuggets of pithy wit that have me in helpless giggles.
“Ah, trusty libido. Even when I am up to my ears in trouble, you are there to distract me from such trivial matters as survival.” (Dead Beat)
“I put on the bulky, clunky red helmet, fairly certain I had never before disguised myself as a kitchen matchstick.” (Blood Rites)
“You backbiting, poisonous, treacherous…” And then a thought hit me. Just like old times. “deceitful, wicked, clever girl. If this works I’ll buy you a pony.” (Summer Knight)
These are some of the few books that I will get up, find the First Reader if he’s not in the room with me, and then read aloud passages to him. Because some things demand sharing.