Malazan Empire: DRESDEN FILES - the original discussion thread up to SMALL FAVOR - Malazan Empire

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DRESDEN FILES - the original discussion thread up to SMALL FAVOR SPOILERS mostly blocked but you have been warned!

#1 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 03:19 PM

Anyone read this series by Jim Butcher?
Any good?

- Abyss, on the lookout for new series.
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#2 User is offline   Wry 

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 02:00 AM

It's surprisingly not bad... don't expect high art, but they are readable.
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#3 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 07:31 PM

"Suprisingly not bad" seems fair. Have now read the first two. I think there are 7-8 and will probably read the rest over time.

An aside: This series was pointed to me because it was described as "similar to Laurell K Hamilton's ANITA BLAKE:VAMPIRE HUNTER series". Let us be clear about LKM's Anita Blake series: the first nine books are imnsho, clever, complex, urban fantasy that does neat things with vampires, werewolves and other critters, with a lead character/narrator who, while stereotypically harda$$ at times, is a lot of fun to read. Every book after the first nine is poorly written fantasy porn. To quote a reviewer elsewhere: "Anita used to kill vampires. Now she has group sex with them.". :p

Back to Butcher... his narrator/protagionist is Harry Dresden, a practicing wizard/P.I.. His urban fantasy world, set in Chicago, isn't at all overrun by the supernatural - more like it's simmering just out of sight and people are willfully blind to it. The first book, STORM FRONT, is a fairly straightforward murder mystery, except for the part where the victims' hearts explode out of their chests mid coitus. Dresden follows the clues, meets some interesting supporting characters, a vampire brothel owner, a interesting crime lord, demons, a pet air elemental who lives in a skull and instigates orgies on his days off..., he gets beat up a lot and in the end confronts the bad guy. It's a fun read, entertaining in a hollywood blockbuster sort of way. More 'Pirates of the Caribbean' than 'Memento', or if you prefer TV analogies, more '24' than 'Lost'. More Brookes than Erikson if i bring this back to fantasy lit.

The second book FOOL MOON, starts out very similar to the first. So much so that by half way thru, i was ready to put it down on the basis that I had already read this once already... and then halfway through things go NUTS and the book improved. A LOT. Harry gets put thru a physical and mental wringer and all kinds of werewolf related craziness goes down. Interesting fun part is that Butcher uses different kinds of werewolves.

It's not brilliant, but it is fun. The magic is different and interesting, tho' a little inconsistent. The characters are not original, but are fun takes on old archetypes. The first two books at least are self-contained and while bits and pieces of Harry's backstory are hinted at, nothing is written in a way that would lose the reader.

Word on the internut is that the books keep improving. On that basis, I'll keep reading them. Most are in mmpg, so easy/cheap to acquire.

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#4 User is offline   McLovin 

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 09:14 PM

I think I saw a commercial for a series based on these books coming to SciFi.
OK, I think I got it, but just in case, can you say the whole thing over again? I wasn't really listening.
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#5 User is offline   bora_horza 

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 10:09 PM

Abyss, have you heard of or read the 'Charlie Parker' novels by John Connolly? Sort of P.I/horror with growing elements of the supernatural.. Very well written IMO, the guy has a way with language. Anyway, a bit more info at http://www.johnconno...com/novels.html
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#6 User is offline   ObsoleteResolve 

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 02:37 AM

Yup, I think it's a made-for-Sci-Fi-Movie type of thing, right now, longhorn. It could be good, it could be bad, I'll wait and see.

That said: I like the books. Do NOT read his straight fantasy (Codex Alera)- it's bad. I honestly couldn't stand it.

However, the Dresden Files? I enjoy them enough to buy them in Hardcover, it hasn't devolved like Anita Blake, Sex Fiend has, and it's a fun read.

I also like Harrison, as well- she's pretty decent in that sub-genre.
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Posted 22 October 2006 - 05:04 PM

I like them they are good fun reads. Like has been pointed out don't read them if your looking for Gene Wolfe but if you want a fun read thats a real page turner you might want to try them out. His writting also gets better as the series goes on IMO.

Sci-Fi is doing as series and it airs in January of 2007 so not that long now. I am as yet not completly convinced it will tranfer to screen well. I guess we will see in a few months time.
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#8 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 04:00 PM

Linkt to article re series...

http://www.zap2it.com/tv/news/zap-dresdenf...ap-tv-headlines

Good news... Bob will be there!

- Abyss, now on book 3.
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#9 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 20 November 2006 - 07:06 PM

Not that there's any inherent value in a thread occupied mostly by moi ranting about this series, but i just finished Book 3 and damn! that was a lot of fun.

This time we have vampires (and thankfully, Butcher dodges the LKHamilton/Rice trops for a satisfyingly different take), tortured ghosts, Michael, possibly the best supporting character in the series so far - a genuine Knight of God who carries a sword forged with one of the nails from the crucifixion, Faerie Wild Hunts...

The book opens with Dresden and Michael racing sunset and the cops in a beaten VW to stop a ghost from mass baby murder, and wraps up with a staggering series of big finish climaxes.

Dialogue/humour is especially strong, with tidbits like...

"Oh hell, we are truly f**ked now."
"You know i don't like it when you swear."
"Sorry. Oh heck, we are truly f**ked now."

and

"Oh Jesus Christ, can this get any worse!?!"
"He didn't mean it, Lord!"

Anyrate, my love for this series continues to grow. Still recommended.

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#10 User is offline   Morgoth 

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Posted 21 November 2006 - 10:52 AM

hmpf.. Will have to pick up a copy then. If I don't like it, you'll be held responsible, Abyss.
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#11 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 21 November 2006 - 02:43 PM

Morgoth;137208 said:

hmpf.. Will have to pick up a copy then. If I don't like it, you'll be held responsible, Abyss.


I accept the risk. :D
It's more clever-fun than awe-inspiring-reread-demanding-SE, but if you like the first one, keep going, as so far, the series keeps getting better.

If you don't like the first one, you are cold and dead inside and i cannot be blamed.

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#12 User is offline   Wry 

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Posted 21 November 2006 - 04:42 PM

I've read them all and i have to agree with abyss, they get better too... very enjoyable.
ďArm yourself, Watson, there is an evil hand afoot ahead"
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#13 User is offline   Tamilyrn 

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Posted 22 November 2006 - 10:06 AM

Yup - they get my vote.

Contrary to a few series I know they are actually getting better and better - I just love the Lasciel thing .

Complete sideways shift but have just finished a book by a new author, Tom Lloyd, called 'StormCaller' which was surprisingly good. If anyone is like me and spends far to much time scrabbling around on Amazon for authors to read this one is worth a shot.
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#14 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 07:14 PM

The TV series now has an imdb listing...
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0486657/

Harry is being played by the guy who was the big bad Saunders on 24 Season 3. Hopefully without the accent.

Curiously, according to the listing, Susan, a hispanic character, is being played by a caucasian blond, and Murph, blond/white, is being played by a hispanic.

Nic Cage is listed as an executive producer, god help us and save us.

The director David Carson is responsible for such TV highlights as RUNAWAY, BIRDS OF PREY, WITCHBLADE and a few SMALLVILLE episodes. The effects team is pretty b-list as well.

We can but hope the material raises the bar.
Sci-fi will be showing it in the US, SPACE in Canada, in Jan.

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#15 User is offline   Falco 

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 05:15 AM

Hmm, I read the first LKH Blake book and it didn't do it for me. I was hoping for a 'Buffy' in book form, and it never quite struck the right notes. If I see this in a library I might pick it up.
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#16 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 02:43 PM

The setting is vaguely LKH, but really, aside from a 'world where magic/vampires/werewolves/demons are real', and that both books are written in the first person, there's very little in common between the two.

Hamilton's characters spend a LOT of time bemoaning their inner monster, whining and having group sex. Butcher's characters are bit happier, less conflicted, and while there is sex, it doesn't read like the author is transposing their own thinly veiled fantasies. Thank god.

Both authors do a good action scene, tho i'm starting to lean more towards Butcher for sheer mad brilliance after the fourth book.

Speaking of the fourth book, SUMMER KNIGHT, just finished it. This time we have vampire, wizard and faerie politics, a werewolf sidekick, a homicidal ogre, and a murder mystery. It keeps the same level of quality, and doesn't really raise the bar... Until the last 50 pages or so, at which point the bar hits the stratosphere...

Spoiler


There is a level of wit that is Buffy'esque, tho. Actually, i suspect Buffy fans would be more likely to enjoy the books than Anita Blake fans.

- Abyss, laughed to point of pain more than once.

This post has been edited by Aptorian: 22 October 2008 - 01:57 PM

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#17 User is offline   Falco 

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 03:01 PM

Sweet. Will deffo keep a look-out, I trust your judgement.
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#18 User is offline   polishgenius 

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 02:48 AM

I was looking at these in the shop today, but having no info (I didn't see this thread before) I got a KJ Parker book instead.
I suppose I'll pick some up next time.

Also, though I don't know how this compares to it, obviously, fans of this kind of paranormal investigation stuff should look into Mike Carey's budding 'Felix Castor' series (the first two books were released this year). It's also a smart fun read.
Though I think the 'other world' stuff is a little more overt, in that within the novels it's no secret that such things happen.
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#19 User is offline   ObsoleteResolve 

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 03:41 AM

Just don't read (did I say this before? Aw, fuck it) his Codex Alera fantasy- it has none of the glory of the Dresden Files.

Abyss: just wait till Lasciel comes along. Lasciel and the elements that introduces rocks. Lotsa pathos.

I can't wait for the next book. I'll buy that one in Hardback, too. (Have the latest three books of the Dresden Files in hardback.)
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#20 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 07:00 PM

Noted. At the moment i only know Lasciel by ref in DEATH MASKS, (which was, btw, an AWESOME read). I have books 6 and 7 sitting on my shelf, and just ordered hardbacks 8 and 9 with my Reaper's Gale pre-order.

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