Side Jobs

I am a fan of Harry Dresden. How can you not love him? And there is no arguing with the fact that Jim Butcher is one of the best Urban Fantasy authors writing. That being said, however, SIDE JOBS: STORIES FROM THE DRESDEN FILES was, well, I am torn. It’s super and it’s a little disappointing.

On the plus side – if you are a fan – and this book really is only for fans, there’s a lot here. Most of these stories are reprints, so if you have been hording your copies of the various editions, horde no more. You are free! Here they are collected in one volume with, the best part for me, a little intro from Butcher on each story. Oh yeah and the biggie, (not to give away any spoilers) there might be a little bit of sequel to the heart stopping end of his last novel Changes. No, not everything is answered, but it is there, emotion-packed and gripping and worth the price of admission for fans.

I guess the biggest thing for me was the fact it is a collection of short stories, and as I said, many of them published elsewhere, and honestly, I am not a huge fan of short stories, even from favorite authors. For some reason, books like this always include a story from the “before they were big”, and those should be left out completely. I guess it’s nice to know that all authors go through a growing period, but really, I think we know that. He even admits that it wasn’t good enough for professional publication, so why then are we tormented?

Side Jobs is not the Butcher book to buy if you don’t know Harry and his world. The tales are told from an outsider point of view and while they give fans insight, if you aren’t familiar with the world you will be holding the book going, “Uh, yeah, what is going on here?”

So, the rating kind of leaves me a little torn on this book. If you are a Jim Butcher and Harry Dresden fan, this is a four-star book, if you aren’t a fan it’s maybe a three (or possible a little less), because you really do need to know what’s going on before these stories really shine. It puts me in a hard place, to recommend or not. Here’s what I can do, if you love Harry run, I say, run out and buy Side Jobs: Stories from the Dresden Files! And if you want to be able to run out and buy this, run out and buy Changes or another full length Harry Dresden novel first.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars | Publisher: Roc Hardcover | Pages: 432 | Source: Purchased | Buy on Amazon

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