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Growing irritations w Dresden series Spoilers ALL BOOKS SPOILERS

#1 User is offline   Mcardle 

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 08:53 PM

Hi all, I have been working my way through the Dresden Files- half way through Dead Beats, based on recommendations from friends, but I'm starting to find several things that are starting to bug me and I was wondering if anyone agreed or are my criticisms just unfair:

1. The constant repetition of introductions to things in the world, such as who Bob is, the significance of 13 in Mackanallys, Harrys almost sexist protection of women, his effects on electronic devices etc, I mean after 7 books it annoys me that he acts like we have never encountered these each time they pop up.

2. The year jump between books, I find it almost ridiculous that there can only be one important story each year, especially with the war with the Red Council, this delay just kills any momentum the story has for me.

3. The underusage of available help such as Bob, Michael or the Alphas etc. The writer just seems to come up with contrivances that don't ring true with me to get them out of the way or in the case of Bob use him once a book and ignore him for the rest.

4. Harrys growing feelings towards Murphy, after Susan and the intensity of that storyline this just feels wrong and I hope it comes to nothing. Mainly because I cant stand Murphy...

5. Not enough Kincaid!

All in all I am rattling through them quickly which might exasperate some of the annoyances but I am really enjoying them, am I being unfair or anyone else agree with any points?




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THIS THREAD STARTS OFF WITH DISCUSSION RE DEADBEAT AND IN APPROX

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This post has been edited by Abyss: 02 December 2014 - 03:52 PM

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#2 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 09:14 PM

View PostMcardle, on 20 August 2014 - 08:53 PM, said:

1. The constant repetition of introductions to things in the world, such as who Bob is, the significance of 13 in Mackanallys, Harrys almost sexist protection of women, his effects on electronic devices etc, I mean after 7 books it annoys me that he acts like we have never encountered these each time they pop up.


It's deliberate. Most of the first ten books or so are written in such a way that anyone could pick up any book as their first and not be lost.


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2. The year jump between books, I find it almost ridiculous that there can only be one important story each year, especially with the war with the Red Council, this delay just kills any momentum the story has for me.


If each book took place 20min later but told the same story how would that make any difference to your enjoyment?

I like the year gap.. it allows for developments and character growth without us having to read every not as interesting moment.

It also works the actual wait between books into the story, which is sort of nice once you're caught up and waiting for your next fix.

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3. The underusage of available help such as Bob, Michael or the Alphas etc. The writer just seems to come up with contrivances that don't ring true with me to get them out of the way or in the case of Bob use him once a book and ignore him for the rest.


You mean like magic and devils and vampires and blood feuds and curses and time limits and the plot? It's urban fantasy, what's so contrived?

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4. Harrys growing feelings towards Murphy, after Susan and the intensity of that storyline this just feels wrong and I hope it comes to nothing. Mainly because I cant stand Murphy...



Look, no spoilers here, but you might as well just stop reading the series now.



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5. Not enough Kincaid!


On this we agree. But keep reading.

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#3 User is offline   HoosierDaddy 

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 09:15 PM

You are reading them all in one go, so these minor things are going to be greatly amplified.

The "restarting" of each thing gradually dwindles away, but you'll never get rid of the "this is what I've been through" thing because these are serial novels. Which also answers your second thing, yes, everything is roughly a year apart. A, powerful, but untrained wizard in the public eye isn't going to be Gandalf the Grey.

The supporting characters are a part of Dresden's real life. They'll always be around but the story is about Dresden. They are his Files and while you'll learn a lot more about all of these people they are never the center, Harry always is.

My advice? Keep reading.
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#4 User is offline   Coco with marshmallows 

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 09:39 PM

i'll be honest, the year long gaps bugs me greatly.

i've mentioned it elsewhere on this site, the necessary aging for the 'vanilla' mortals just seems off.

Having said that, regarding not using his backup - its mentioned that Billy and the Alphas (the werewolf pack) are keeping their own areas safe.

Likewise, Murphy is often tied up with police procedure, etc.

Similarly, Michael has his own challenges - he's supposed to primarily fight the Denariians. The fact that he occasionally helps Dresden out at other times just reflects that he's a good guy.
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#5 User is offline   D'rek 

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 12:20 AM

I like the year-long gaps. Wasn't it cool when somewhere around Blood Rites, Harry suddenly had eight silver rings instead of just one? That's a very practical and logical progression, but if every book was a week apart it would never happen. The world is setup with lots of magic and other things taking a lot of time and work to accomplish, and the books being spaced out allows the tedious parts of that to happen off-screen. Without the spacing we would never have gotten Molly, Butters or Thomas, the Alphas would never have grown out of being awkward freshmen, etc.

View Postworrywort, on 14 September 2012 - 08:07 PM, said:

I kinda love it when D'rek unleashes her nerd wrath, as I knew she would here. Sorry innocent bystanders, but someone's gotta be the kindling.
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#6 User is offline   amphibian 

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 01:12 AM

I'm a huge fan of the spacing - it not only allows for the progression of characters off-screen, it allows Butcher to later go back in and add what they could be doing in the short stories, novellas and so on.

As for the patronizing "protectionism" that Dresden directs towards the women and the other supernaturals, there's reasons behind that. Butcher gets into it more as the series goes on, but Dresden has come from a place where everyone he cared about was ripped away from him by things/chains of events he couldn't protect himself or them from. This leads into the desire to shoulder as much as possible upon himself, to shield the others from consequences and making it so that they won't have to leave him or die.

I also think we're supposed to be annoyed at it - as the characters themselves are annoyed by it too.
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#7 User is offline   Andorion 

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 02:02 AM

I think the gaps are necessary. What with all the shit Dresden picks up in every big fight, if the books were continuous the guy would be dead from blood loss by book 3, 4 at the most.
Also the spacing gives the other characters time to develop thus the kid wolves (billy and Co.) are a bunch of overeager puppies in Full Moon but because the storyline is set over a few years we see them mature.
Also have you considered the ridiculousness of a plotline where one city is bombared by innumerable supernatural villains operating within hours of one another? Just think of the effect of say the first 5 books taking place in say 2 months. It would be like a stage show.

One reason for not having all the allies in all the books is to keep some balance. Dresden can draw on ridiculous power as it is, as testified to by inunmerable burning buildings ("Fuego! PyroFuego! Burn you bastards!" Still my favourite line) Besides Michael tends to be able to nullify large sections of opposition by himslef if they are not Denarians. I completely agree with wanting more Kincaid though.

As for the Susan storyline, and not liking Murphy......oh, dear. What book are you upto again?
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#8 User is offline   Stormcat 

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 04:30 AM

Can't stand Murphy? What kind of monster are you!! Posted Image Murphy is awsome. Her and Dresden should be together.
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#9 User is offline   Morgoth 

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 06:13 AM

I don't so much mind Butcher repeating whom the characters are at the start of a new book, or reminding us of previous storylines. I do however get annoyed when he repeats several times in the same book for instance how some basic principle of magic works. Changes was especially bad in this regard, where for instance the idea of magic circle was explained five or six times. As if I had forgotten since having read the same 25 pages previously.

This post has been edited by Morgoth: 21 August 2014 - 06:13 AM

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#10 User is offline   Mcardle 

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 09:44 AM

@Mortgoth yeah its mainly the repeating of principles that bug me, I don't mind a gao of a few months but a year is too long, and I find not alot of character development happens in that year, they mostly deal with their baggage from the previous book a year later in the next one. Just finished Dead Beats, loved Sue! Never liked Murphy she always strikes me as incredible stupid and guilty of not being able to see the forest for trees! Still enjoying them but they would be better for me personally if these irksome things were changed!
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#11 User is offline   Mcardle 

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 10:11 AM

@Stormcat ha yeah my friends have reacted to my opinion of Murphy with equal distain! I've hated her since Fool Moon and she's never recovered from it yet, I'm open to her being awesome but she hasn't done anything to win me over yet and found myself rooting for her sister at the Murphy family picnic...
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#12 User is offline   Saitama 

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 01:33 PM

View PostMcardle, on 20 August 2014 - 08:53 PM, said:

3. The underusage of available help such as Bob, Michael or the Alphas etc.


What about those incredibly cheap, super powerful elixirs that Harry apparently enjoys to make? You would think that as a detective, he could use an invisibility potion now and then. But no, let's just storm through the main gate and see what happens.
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#13 User is offline   Andorion 

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 05:15 PM

View PostSecond Sword, on 21 August 2014 - 01:33 PM, said:

View PostMcardle, on 20 August 2014 - 08:53 PM, said:

3. The underusage of available help such as Bob, Michael or the Alphas etc.


What about those incredibly cheap, super powerful elixirs that Harry apparently enjoys to make? You would think that as a detective, he could use an invisibility potion now and then. But no, let's just storm through the main gate and see what happens.


Ah but if Dresden went around stealthily doing stealthy things he wouldn't be Dresden now would he? Who would burn down all the houses?Posted Image
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#14 User is offline   Saitama 

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 05:28 PM

Yeah, then he would actually be good at doing his job and we can't have that, can we? ;-)
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#15 User is offline   Mcardle 

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 05:40 PM

Well on the stealth part he is like 6ft 6 tall so probably not the most subtle of movers, plus vamps etc would have more senses than just visual no? Butcher also has pulled the 'making it look like a character has died' trick so often only to have them make a full recover I no longer have any fear towards characters fates anymore, unlike Malazan where I would literally dread each clash... I can see that changing though!
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#16 User is offline   Saitama 

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 05:52 PM

A few times Dresden 'infiltrates' humans or what he thinks are humans, so...
But the elixirs have various effects. There's one that helped him and somebody else blitz through an enemy... How useful would that be when rescuing hostages or simply getting away from a trap?
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#17 User is offline   Mcardle 

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 05:54 PM

Mmm Red Court war limiting supplies?! Well at least the lack of potion use means I don't have to listen to the fundamentals of potion making again...
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#18 User is offline   Saitama 

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 05:58 PM

I think that the ingredients were something like coffee, sugar, salt etc... Butcher wrote himself into a corner so he 'conviniently' forgot about the elixirs for most of the story. Agreed about the ressurrections though.
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#19 User is offline   Andorion 

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 06:04 PM

The fellow is tall as a small tree, wears a leather jacket amost all th etime, carries a staff, drives a car that wouldn't have looked out of place in clown act in a circus and is sometimes accompanied by a lion sized dog, or a chap holding a broadsword. I would say being inconspicuous is not really his priority here.
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#20 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 06:04 PM

View PostMcardle, on 21 August 2014 - 09:44 AM, said:

... Never liked Murphy she always strikes me as incredible stupid and guilty of not being able to see the forest for trees! ...


But... what... i don't even... argh... RAFO. Just RAFO.

View PostMcardle, on 21 August 2014 - 10:11 AM, said:

... I'm open to her being awesome but she hasn't done anything to win me over yet...


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Posted Image

Posted Image
PUST: Go forth, Hounds of Life! Go forth and do my bidding!
CHASE: (quietly) I dunno pups... he seems to be bidding us to hurt a bunch of people.
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