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Side Jobs: Stories from the Dresden Files PDF, ePub eBook


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Title: Side Jobs: Stories from the Dresden Files
Author: Jim Butcher
Publisher: Published October 26th 2010 by Roc
ISBN: 9780451463654
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

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Here, together for the first time, are the shorter from Jim Butcher's DRESDEN FILES series — a compendium of cases that Harry and his cadre of allies managed to close in record time. The tales range from the deadly serious to the absurdly hilarious. Also included is a new, never-before-published novella that takes place after the cliff-hanger ending of the new April 2010 h Here, together for the first time, are the shorter from Jim Butcher's DRESDEN FILES series — a compendium of cases that Harry and his cadre of allies managed to close in record time. The tales range from the deadly serious to the absurdly hilarious. Also included is a new, never-before-published novella that takes place after the cliff-hanger ending of the new April 2010 hardcover, Changes. Contains: + "Restoration of Faith" + "Vignette" + "Something Borrowed" -- from My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding + "It's My Birthday Too" -- from Many Bloody Returns + "Heorot" -- from My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon + "Day Off" -- from Blood Lite + "Backup" -- novelette from Thomas' point of view, originally published by Subterranean Press + "The Warrior" -- novelette from Mean Streets + "Last Call" -- from Strange Brew + "Love Hurts" -- from Songs of Love and Death + Aftermath -- all-new novella from Murphy's point of view, set forty-five minutes after the end of Changes

30 review for Side Jobs: Stories from the Dresden Files

  1. 5 out of 5

    Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

    Nice, well rounded short story collection featuring some of the side characters from the series. I liked seeing the growth of the author as well as some other POVs. Made me hungry for more Harry!!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Phrynne

    This is an excellent collection of short stories, all part of the Harry Dresden universe, and each one introduced by the author showing where it fits the overall story line and why he wrote it. The final one, Aftermath, is a massive spoiler for his book Changes, but as long as you have read past there then it is not a problem:) I have read the whole series and wait each year in anticipation of the next book so this was an ideal read for me. All of the stories are good, some short, some long, some This is an excellent collection of short stories, all part of the Harry Dresden universe, and each one introduced by the author showing where it fits the overall story line and why he wrote it. The final one, Aftermath, is a massive spoiler for his book Changes, but as long as you have read past there then it is not a problem:) I have read the whole series and wait each year in anticipation of the next book so this was an ideal read for me. All of the stories are good, some short, some long, some serious, some very funny. Some are not even told from Harry's perspective although he is still there. Notable for this is Backup, told from Thomas's point of view and great for giving a whole different view on Thomas, Harry and their relationship. If you like the Dresden Files then you will enjoy this.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lyn

    This is a series of short stories listed as Dresden 12.5 and after his 12th Dresden novel Changes. These are a collection of shorter works from throughout the Dresden files but many are around the time of Changes, Turn Coat and Small Favor. Thematically, these are not just short stories related to the series, but actually tie in to the series and build the storyline. That said, I kind of messed up and gave myself some spoilers by reading since I am not that far in the series, so: Dresden fans, RE This is a series of short stories listed as Dresden 12.5 and after his 12th Dresden novel Changes. These are a collection of shorter works from throughout the Dresden files but many are around the time of Changes, Turn Coat and Small Favor. Thematically, these are not just short stories related to the series, but actually tie in to the series and build the storyline. That said, I kind of messed up and gave myself some spoilers by reading since I am not that far in the series, so: Dresden fans, READ THESE IN ORDER. OK, so since I’ve spoiled some of the fun moving forward for myself, I have at least saved many a Dresden fan from some spoilers. BTW: I am a victim of one of the most egregious spoiler alerts of all time. It is the summer of 1980 and a friend and I are in the theater watching Empire Strikes Back. I had not previously seen the film and we were in the pre-internet Ice Ages so I was literally watching and learning as the film reel wound out. At the time we are somewhere during the Hoth scenes. No Kidding, I could not make this up. My friend leans over, we’re both about 11 or 12 at the time and says, “Oh! You know Darth Vader is Luke’s father right?” To this day, almost 40 years later, I have not forgiven him. So anyway, these are good stories, ranging from the mildly humorous: “Something Borrowed” and “Day Off” to the somber “The Warrior” and “Aftermath”. Taking place between the novels throughout, these function to add depth and characterization and world building to the Dresden universe. Two stories break with tradition and are told not from Harry’s perspective but from Thomas’ and Murphy. Good fun and an anthology that Dresden fans and will not want to miss, BUT after you’ve read all the way through Changes.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Stacey

    The most important thing is that I got my Harry Dresden "fix." Everytime I read one of these books, I tear through it like a hyperactive child in a bulk candy story. Well, this anthology, the thing that is supposed to get me to the next release... it was okay. Some of the stories were better than others. "Aftermath," the anticipated novella told right after the ending of Changes, was a disappointment. The story itself was a typical Dresden universe tale, with the requisite slime, kicking, intrig The most important thing is that I got my Harry Dresden "fix." Everytime I read one of these books, I tear through it like a hyperactive child in a bulk candy story. Well, this anthology, the thing that is supposed to get me to the next release... it was okay. Some of the stories were better than others. "Aftermath," the anticipated novella told right after the ending of Changes, was a disappointment. The story itself was a typical Dresden universe tale, with the requisite slime, kicking, intrigue and bad guys. Sadly, Murphy's voice sounded exactly like Dresden. She had the exact same self-deprecating tone, same observations, same descriptions of events; the only thing that was substantially different is that she didn't say "Hell's Bells" every third page. *sigh* C'mon people, learn to swear! The rest of the stories were a mixed bag, one was the first Dresden story Butcher ever wrote, and as such, it was rough, but entertaining. All (except "Aftermath") were released in prior anthologies, or on the web, prior to Side Jobs, with the exception of "Back-up," which was originally a very limited release from Subterranean Press. Readers should note that if you are not entirely caught up on the series, there are spoilers galore throughout the collection, especially in "Aftermath." If you are enthusiastic about The Dresden Files, DO NOT READ this one until you have finished all the regular novels. File this one under "Guilty Pleasures," (for which I still need to make a shelf,) and I'm glad I was able to borrow it from a friend. This assuages my guilt over being a fangirl for one of the most chauvinistic (but in a "nice" way,) popular characters in fiction.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lightreads

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Dresden Files short stories. Jim Butcher’s capacity to write about sexual assault and rape without having any idea that he’s doing it will never cease to amaze me. That’s the uniting theme of this collection – Harry Dresden, magical slugfests, and rape culture, woo! I think my favorite bit was Harry getting turned on by watching Murphy make out with another woman on the magical equivalent of a date rape drug, and then lying to her about what happened later because it would just bother her to kno Dresden Files short stories. Jim Butcher’s capacity to write about sexual assault and rape without having any idea that he’s doing it will never cease to amaze me. That’s the uniting theme of this collection – Harry Dresden, magical slugfests, and rape culture, woo! I think my favorite bit was Harry getting turned on by watching Murphy make out with another woman on the magical equivalent of a date rape drug, and then lying to her about what happened later because it would just bother her to know. Awesome. Oh, wait, wait, no, my favorite was really when Thomas unloads all his vampire angst for pages and pages, then uses his mojo to rape a woman to death. No, I’m wrong. My absolute favorite has to be when a woman who was once mind-whammied into having a relationship with Harry that she wouldn’t have otherwise later apologizes to Harry for it. The fact that she’s a rape victim doesn’t actually make Harry a rapist, but it makes her apologizing incredibly fucked up. Perhaps nearly as fucked up as Jim Butcher not having any apparent idea he’s doing any of this shit. . . .Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play? Oh, you know, it’s Jim Butcher. The emotional palate hits a peak complexity somewhere around the eleventh grade boy level, and most conflicts get resolved by a metaphorical dick-measuring contest, and I quite enjoyed a few of these stories. Like you do sometimes.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller

    [4.5 stars] All the Dresden fun, but with a few alternate POV’s like Murphy and Thomas to sweeten the deal – sign me up! I enjoyed this compilation of novellas immensely – maybe even slightly more than the last couple of novels. Every story brought something new and interesting to the table, and I kind of wish I had read them alongside the novels chronologically. Overall, I’d say don’t skip this one – it’s every bit as worth your time as the main series itself. Via The Obsessive Bookseller at www [4.5 stars] All the Dresden fun, but with a few alternate POV’s like Murphy and Thomas to sweeten the deal – sign me up! I enjoyed this compilation of novellas immensely – maybe even slightly more than the last couple of novels. Every story brought something new and interesting to the table, and I kind of wish I had read them alongside the novels chronologically. Overall, I’d say don’t skip this one – it’s every bit as worth your time as the main series itself. Via The Obsessive Bookseller at www.nikihawkes.com

  7. 5 out of 5

    Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)

    I picked up this audiobook read by James Marsters (Spike from "Buffy" and "Angel") because I enjoyed listening to "Death Masks" so much on audio. He has a great voice. Marsters takes you into the world of Harry Dresden in a fully immersive fashion. I always wonder how voice actors remember how to keep the different voices consistent, and Marsters is awesome at it. His pitch and cadence for each character, particularly Dresden, is spot on. He doesn't lose the thread from story to story. I like th I picked up this audiobook read by James Marsters (Spike from "Buffy" and "Angel") because I enjoyed listening to "Death Masks" so much on audio. He has a great voice. Marsters takes you into the world of Harry Dresden in a fully immersive fashion. I always wonder how voice actors remember how to keep the different voices consistent, and Marsters is awesome at it. His pitch and cadence for each character, particularly Dresden, is spot on. He doesn't lose the thread from story to story. I like that despite the gender and age, the voice is fitting for the character. Some thoughts on the stories (in general): I didn't take notes on each story because I was too busy, so I'll have to keep things a bit less descriptive. Some of the stories, I've read before in other collections. Some were new to me. I havent' read by "Death Masks" so I did spoil myself slightly, but I can live with it. It wasn't a deal breaker. That's something I would warn readers about if they pick this up. If they are sticklers for reading books in order, this would be an issue. Story order (Thanks, Wikipedia!) "A Restoration of Faith" This takes us back to when Harry was still apprenticing to get his PI license and he saves a girl who goes missing from a Troll that literally lives under a bridge. I freaking love that in this book, there are real trolls in Chicago. I'm geeky about fae and mythical creatures like that. This also shows when Dresden met Murphy, what a portentous event in his life. I liked seeing Harry as a raw newbie. "Vignette" A very short piece of fiction in which Harry discusses what should go on his business card with Bob, the fire spirit that lives in a skull in his lab. Gives you an accurate perspective of Harry's personality. "Something Borrowed" I read this in "My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding". It was nice to hear the audio version. There's a lot of story in this, from showing Harry's relationship with people who he's helped in the past, or who have fought with him, to a rematch with a very dangerous and vengeful enemy that Harry's encountered, out for blood and destroy him and those he loves. "It's My Birthday, Too" I have a thing for Harry's brother Thomas. He's hot! I liked seeing them interact in this book, and there is a whole lot of action. Harry's apprentice Molly is a big part of the story, along with some shoe cobbler elves. Yes, you heard me right. Let's not forget the vamp LARPers and real vamps as well. "Heorot" This is was new story to me. Wow, it was super creepy, and a very interesting way to integrate beer into a story. This one is from "Strange Brew," which I haven't read yet. The monster in this story was oh, so gross, and has some neat literary/folkloric origins. Harry's fighting alongside Gard, a bodyguard for the mobster Marcone, who is a lot older than you'd think. "Harry's Day Off" So much for getting time off. Harry was supposed to be taking it easy and getting ready for a date, but he has to help his wolf shifter friends end up with a case of magical mites, and Molly tries to blow up his lab. This story was written with a specifically humorous focus. I think that Dresden has a lot of nice sarcastic humor spread throughout the narrative, but the goofy factor is a little more amped in this story. "Backup" Backup is strictly from the view of Thomas Raith, and I wasn't mad about that. Thomas is very intriguing. The ultimate bad boy. He has a dark beast simmering beneath the surface, ready to pounce and take control at any moment. Marsters created a voice that is absolutely perfect for Thomas and very singular and different from Harry. I highly recommend listening this on audiobook. "The Warrior" I listened to this one in "Mean Streets" not too long ago. Loved it both times. For those Dresden fans (including myself) who have a soft spot for the Carpenters, this a story for you. It's very much about Michael and his family and the power of being a warrior for the light, even when outside people don't get the sacrifice it entails. It also shows how small acts can have such monumental results. Harry learned that being a warrior for the light isn't always about picking up a sword. "Last Call" If you ever watched Season 2 of True Blood, you will find that story arc very relevant to this story. It's about a creature who uses her relationship with Bacchus/Dionysus to control others mentally through beer. I liked this one a lot because I always like when Harry and Murphy team up. "Love Hurts" A strange story that puts the undertones to Harry and Murphy's relationship in the spotlight due to unique circumstances. I wasn't 100% satisfied with the resolution. (Review in Progress) "Aftermath"

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dan Schwent

    Side Jobs is a collection of Harry Dresden short stories. A Restoration of Faith: Harry goes on a missing persons case and winds up tangling with a troll. Not a bad story but not particularly good either. It's the first Dresden story Jim Butcher wrote and it shows. While entertaining, it has some glaring flaws, like the ten year old talking like she's 25 and the existence of a manhole on a bridge. I may be ignorant of some things but I don't imagine a lot of bridges have manholes on them. Still, a Side Jobs is a collection of Harry Dresden short stories. A Restoration of Faith: Harry goes on a missing persons case and winds up tangling with a troll. Not a bad story but not particularly good either. It's the first Dresden story Jim Butcher wrote and it shows. While entertaining, it has some glaring flaws, like the ten year old talking like she's 25 and the existence of a manhole on a bridge. I may be ignorant of some things but I don't imagine a lot of bridges have manholes on them. Still, all the Dresden hallmarks are there. It even introduces Murphy. Vignette: Harry and Bob discuss Harry's business card. This was less of a short story and more of something that got snipped from a novel. Something Borrowed: Billy and Georgia, the Alpha werewolves are about to get hitched when something goes amiss. This felt like a genuine short story and was the first one in the book I reallly liked. Jenny Greenteeth was pretty scary. It's My Birthday, Too: Harry goes to visit Thomas on his birthday and winds up interrupting a LARP game, which is then interrupted by Black Court vampires. Another winner. I'm beginning to think I like Harry Dresden in smaller doses. Heorot: A man's wife gets kidnapped at a beer festival and Harry is on the case. But what does it have to do with a keg of stolen mead and Gard, Marconi's lady enforcer? Dresden goes up against a monster straight out of Norse myth in this one and gets his ass handed to him in Dresden fashion. Not bad but Harry's mouth gets on my nerves after a while. Day Off: Harry Dresden tries to enjoy a day off with Anastasia. Hilarity ensues. This one was great. It start with Harry playing Dungeons and Dragons with some werewolves and just gets better. All manner of humorous catastrophes befall Dresden as he gets ready for his date. Backup: See my review of the Backup novella. The Warrior: Someone's targetting Michael Carpenter and it's up to Harry to stop him. Or are things much more complicated than they seem... Set after the events of Small Favor, The Warrior features the return of Michael Carpenter to the scene, as well as the rest of the supporting cast attached to him, including the two holy swords that Butcher ignored for a couple books. The story is much more intricate than it first seemed. Last Call: A trip to McAnally's reveals that the place has been trashed and magically tainted beer is to blame. Can Harry get to the bottom of things? This is one of those stories that makes me think Jim Butcher and I wouldn't hang out if we knew each other. I probably would have enjoyed it if I hadn't just read all of these other Dresden short stories but after a few stories in a row, I just can't turn a blind eye to the sexism. The same way I get the idea that Jim Thompson wasn't all there, I get the idea that Jim Butcher is a misogynist who thinks he's hilarious. Love Hurts: Couples turn up dead and Harry and Murphy track them to a state fair. Once again, Butcher teases the Murphy-Dresden love affair but leaves us hanging. The story isn't too bad though. Aftermath: In the aftermath of Harry's disappearane at the end of Changes, Murphy struggles to fill the void as she tracks down Georgia, a missing werewolf and uncovers a lot of other supernatural activity. Ok. This one was great and makes me want to read the next Dresden Files book. The power vacuum left by the demise of the Red Court has all sorts of possibilities, some hinted at in this story. Best story in the book. So, that's it for Side Jobs. I liked some of the stories and hated others but it convinced me to stick with Jim Butcher through one more Harry Dresden novel.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    First read Oct-Nov '10; read again Dec '10; re-read "Day Off," "Backup," "Something Borrowed," and "The Warrior" Oct '14; re-read "The Warrior" 6/6/15; re-read "It's My Birthday, Too" Valentine's Day 2017. Re-read front to back 2018. Listed in the order I first read them, according to my whim. "Vignette" -- Interesting to see an early draft similar to several Harry-Bob conversations that made it into books. "Restoration of Faith" -- Cute. I enjoyed seeing how Harry and Murphy met. Despite the apolog First read Oct-Nov '10; read again Dec '10; re-read "Day Off," "Backup," "Something Borrowed," and "The Warrior" Oct '14; re-read "The Warrior" 6/6/15; re-read "It's My Birthday, Too" Valentine's Day 2017. Re-read front to back 2018. Listed in the order I first read them, according to my whim. "Vignette" -- Interesting to see an early draft similar to several Harry-Bob conversations that made it into books. "Restoration of Faith" -- Cute. I enjoyed seeing how Harry and Murphy met. Despite the apologetic preface about this story being a beginner’s effort, I like it more than either “Last Call” or “Love Hurts.” "The Warrior" -- Love it. It's interesting to see Michael finally (and justifiably) lose his cool. See review for Mean Streets. "Backup" -- Interesting, although not quite what I'd expected. The plot adds a new layer to the problems of the Dresdenverse and Thomas' life, and getting a look inside Thomas' head makes me more sympathetic toward him than ever. "Something Borrowed" -- Fun. I especially love how Harry deals with the wicked step-mother-in-law, but the chaos at the wedding and the twist on the fairy tale are good, too. "It's My Birthday, Too" -- Perfect reading for Halloween, although it's set on Valentine's Day. The part about the shoe store is adorable, and I always like it when Harry and Thomas work together. "Heorot" -- Very good. Despite having an English degree, I never took Old English and have never read all of Beowulf (nor seen the recent movie), so I had to look up "Heorot" and "Geat." So I learned something because of this story. :-) Good action-adventure. “Aftermath” -- Very good. Lots of action and a good way to transition from Changes to the next book to come. I really enjoyed seeing things from Murphy’s POV. I liked learning more about how she’s learned to get along in a man’s world, including her understanding and use of ‘guy language.’ Also interesting to get her thoughts about Harry. However, there are a few places where I thought Murphy's voice sounds too much like Harry's. I know people's speech patterns can rub off on each other over time, though, and Harry and Murphy have been friends for at least ten years. I’ve always liked Will (Billy) the werewolf, and his interaction with Murphy is interesting. Gard is becoming an increasingly intriguing character. “Day Off” -- Funny and a bit naughty. It's not really much of a stretch to do a Dresden story that’s mostly comedy, since there are a lot of hilarious things in the books. The only difference with this story is that, for a change, no one’s really trying to kill Harry. The Molly portion of this story is especially funny. "Last Call" -- Rather weird, even for the Dresdenverse. Butcher just had to do something to Murphy I'd rather he hadn't. But how Harry finally takes out his attackers is funny in a cartoonish kind of way. "Love Hurts" --Something about this didn't quite work for me.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mike (the Paladin)

    Note: On advice from Sandi, thank you Sandi, I make note here that if you haven't read Changes you should read it before you read (at least the final story in) this book as it will give away the end of said novel. Also it has been advised that I warn you not to read the synopsis of the next Dresden book, due to be released this April. Thanks again Sandi for the heads up. This may have been the closest to a 4 star rating I've come for a Butcher Dresden effort. This is a collection of short stories Note: On advice from Sandi, thank you Sandi, I make note here that if you haven't read Changes you should read it before you read (at least the final story in) this book as it will give away the end of said novel. Also it has been advised that I warn you not to read the synopsis of the next Dresden book, due to be released this April. Thanks again Sandi for the heads up. This may have been the closest to a 4 star rating I've come for a Butcher Dresden effort. This is a collection of short stories/novelettes that have (except for one) appeared else where. I didn't get into the story that featured Thomas much...just me. I'm probably just a Dresden addict. Because of that I briefly considered a 4 but then I went on and I believe the story Day Off decided me on the 5 star rating. I laughed out loud in an empty room...alone but for a cat I laughed so hard it was, well, laughable :). I must admit to one fault here... I opened the book to the back first and read Aftermath, which takes place just after the end of Changes. I'm holding on not wanting to "wish my life away" as my mother would have said (especially at my age) but dying for Ghost Story to be released. So, great book some action, some laughs, some details about Harry you might not have picked up if you've only read the novels. We get a little insight into Mac, see a little more about Murphy and Harry and...all in all get a good read. I'm going 5 stars and recommending this one also.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Julianna

    Reviewed for THC Reviews When reading anthologies, I usually pick up one novella here and there to fill in gaps between longer books and rarely read them straight through. With that being the case, I've decided to post reviews of each story as I finish it. Reviews on the remaining novellas and the overall book rating will be forthcoming.:-) *newest review for this anthology A Restoration of Faith - Restoration of Faith is a short prequel novella in the Dresden Files series. It's only about the le Reviewed for THC Reviews When reading anthologies, I usually pick up one novella here and there to fill in gaps between longer books and rarely read them straight through. With that being the case, I've decided to post reviews of each story as I finish it. Reviews on the remaining novellas and the overall book rating will be forthcoming.:-) *newest review for this anthology A Restoration of Faith - Restoration of Faith is a short prequel novella in the Dresden Files series. It's only about the length of a chapter and tells the story of a case Harry worked before becoming a full-fledged private investigator. At the time he and his partner, Nick, ran Ragged Angel Investigations, an agency that searched for missing children. This was an aspect of the story that I really enjoyed, and I thought Harry was very good with the girl he rescued. He seemed to have a kind, gentle side that I hope to see more of in the full-length novels of the series. There wasn't much in the way of magic in this novella, so I'm not sure precisely how Harry's powers work. The battle with the troll was fun, but Harry defeated him using his wits more than anything else. I'm not certain whether he hadn't come into his full powers yet or if his powers simply have limits, but I'm definitely interested in finding out more about this intriguing character. I also don't know if any of the secondary characters in this short story show up again in future books, but I wouldn't mind seeing more of them if they did. Restoration of Faith was my first read by Jim Butcher. It may have been brief, but it gave me enough of a taste of his writing style to know that I like it and look forward to reading more. Restoration of Faith can be read for free on Jim Butcher's website and is also available in print as part of this anthology. Star Rating: **** Vignette – Vignette is a really short three-page story that is exactly what the title implies, a brief vignette in Harry's life, in which he and Bob discuss possibly making changes to Harry's ad in the phone book. Their interplay is crisp and funny as the two argue over what the new ad should say. Of course, Harry wants to keep it simple, while Bob wants to spice things up a bit. Overall this was a fun, little slice of life story from the Dresden Files series. Vignette falls between Death Masks and Blood Rites in the series chronology. It can be read for free on Jim Butcher's website and is also available in print as part of this anthology. Star Rating: ****1/2 Something Borrowed - Something Borrowed is a short, thirty-page novella that falls between Dead Beat and Proven Guilty in the Dresden Files series chronology. It features the wedding of Harry’s friends, Billy and Georgia, the leaders of the Alphas werewolf pack. Harry is the best man, so when Billy can’t reach Georgia and is caught up in appeasing his soon to be monster-in-law, he sends Harry to check on her. Much to Harry’s dismay, he finds their apartment trashed, Georgia missing, and traces of fairy activity. Using a tracking spell, Harry, with the help of Murphy and Bob, must rescue Georgia and get her to the wedding before Billy unknowingly marries the wrong woman. This was a really fun novella that I very much enjoyed reading. The interplay between Harry, Murphy, and Bob was sharp and witty, while Murphy’s introduction to Bob was great for a laugh. Harry and Murphy always work well together, and the attraction between them (at least on Harry’s side) is slowly building, making me wonder what might happen in future books of the series. It was great to see Billy and Georgia get their happy ending, even though it didn’t exactly go as planned. But it did have a touch of fairy tale magic in an evil stepmother and true-love’s kiss, which I loved. Overall, this was a great little foray into Harry’s world that leaves me wanting to revisit it soon. Something Borrowed was originally published in the multi-author anthology, My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding, but was later reprinted in this single-author anthology. Star Rating: ***** It's My Birthday, Too - “It's My Birthday, Too” is a really fun short novella that falls between White Night and Small Favor in the Dresden Files series chronology. It appears that it may pick up immediately after the graphic novel story, Down Town, as it opens with Harry and Molly just returning from a battle with a slime golem. In this one, it’s both Valentine's Day and Thomas’s birthday. Harry wants to celebrate by giving Thomas a gift, but Thomas isn’t home. As it turns out, he’s at an otherwise deserted shopping mall, taking part in vampire LARPing with one of his employees. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Dresden Files story without some supernatural baddie interrupting all the fun, and in this case, it’s a real Black Court vampire who, in her human life, used to be one of the LARPers. Now she’s out for revenge against the rest of the group for making fun of her. I really enjoyed this novella. Thomas being a real vampire, pretending to be a vampire was utterly amusing, as is his continued facade of being a gay French hairdresser. The former nerd turned vampire come back for revenge on those who did her wrong was a convincing touch of villainous genius. There was the obligatory supernatural battle that all but decimates the poor shopping mall, but as usual Harry is in fine form, despite not having most of his wizarding tools at hand, because this was supposed to be family time. I loved his ability to improvise and the help he received from the Little Folk who live in the shoe store at the mall was awesome. I adore the little fairies and love it when they appear in one of these stories. Harry’s apprentice, Molly, was on hand, too, and provides some additional help, but she’s still not powerful enough to counter a villain as strong as a vampire of the Black Court. All in all, this was an entertaining story and I very much enjoyed this foray into Harry’s world. “It's My Birthday, Too” was originally published in the anthology, Many Bloody Returns and was later reprinted in this single-author anthology. Star Rating: ***** Heorot - “Heorot” is a short novella in the Dresden Files series that falls between White Night and Small Favor in the series chronology. It’s a fairly simple story in which a young woman disappears from a beer festival on what is also her wedding day. Harry’s friend, Mac, owner of McAnally’s Pub where all the supernaturals congregate, is on hand, recognizes something from the spooky side afoot, and calls in Harry to investigate. As he’s using a tracking spell to find the young woman, he’s joined by Ms. Gard, John Marcone’s supernatural security consultant. Since she’s already tracking the grendelkin, the creature who took the girl, they team up and head into Undertown to find them. There are some tense moments and a big battle, but in the end they save the day – and the girl. I enjoyed the story, just not quite as much as some of the other novellas in the series. I think the most interesting part is that we learn a new tidbit about Gard and who she really is. But since she’s not one of my favorite characters of the series, I wasn’t as engrossed as I might have been if it was Murphy or Thomas or perhaps someone else acting as Harry’s sidekick. Harry’s other helper this time was Mouse and I always love him. The grendelkin is a disgusting new supernatural baddie that we’ve never seen before and that’s based on the mythology surrounding Beowulf. I’ve never read Beowulf, but those who have might find this novella a bit more intriguing than I did. It was still a good story and a fun read, but perhaps just not as memorable as some of the others. “Heorot” was originally published in the anthology, My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon, and was later reprinted in this single-author anthology. Star Rating: **** Day Off - “Day Off” is a fairly short story of only about twenty pages that falls between Small Favor and Turn Coat in the Dresden Files series chronology. In it, Harry has an extremely rare day off, where he has no wizarding business to take care of. He’s looking forward to spending it going on a date with fellow warden, Anastasia Luccio. But things go awry when a group of young half-baked, wanna-be wizards show up at Harry’s apartment, making threats, then a pair of lusty, naked werewolves appear at his door, claiming to have fleas, but are clearly under the influence of some magical force. Meanwhile his apprentice, Molly, is busy blowing up his basement laboratory. This was a really enjoyable story that’s very light-hearted with no big baddies to conquer or genuinely life-threatening situations for Harry to deal with. But I do feel rather sorry for the guy. He simply can’t seem to catch a break from all the magical mayhem, even on his day off. I enjoyed seeing a few of the werewolves from the Alphas pack again. In fact, it all starts out with the fun of Harry having a game night with them. What’s really hilarious, though, is when Andi and Kirby, a young werewolf couple, show up at his apartment the next morning, and in between bouts of lustiness, end up on a merry chase with Mouse and Mister, around Harry’s apartment, while Molly creates chaos in the basement lab. It was all thoroughly humorous fun. “Day Off” was originally published in the anthology, Blood Lite, and was later reprinted in this single-author anthology. Star Rating: ***** *Backup - “Backup” is a novellette that falls between Small Favor and Turn Coat in the Dresden Files series chronology. It’s unique to the series in that it’s told entirely from the POV of Thomas, Harry’s vampire half-brother. In this one, Thomas is contacted by his sister, Lara, and asked to rendezvous with her representative to receive important information. That representative ends up being Justine, the only woman Thomas has ever loved, but the one woman he can’t be with, because to do so would kill her. The information she brings is that Harry is in danger from an ancient evil known as the Stygian Sisterhood who want to unleash demonic forces. One of the sisters has tricked Harry into helping her, so Thomas must ride to the rescue. But he cannot reveal his presence, because that would also reveal his involvement in the centuries-old Oblivion War, a secret that no one must know. I’ve loved Thomas as a secondary character in the Dresden Files since he showed up on the page. It was really fun and interesting to get a peek inside his life while he’s not helping Harry with cases. Needless to say, Thomas is keeping a few secrets. I also loved his brief but bittersweet reunion with Justine. I’m still rooting for something to happen that will make it possible for these two to be together one day. I think that “Backup” proves that Thomas is an interesting enough character to carry his own story, and although there don’t appear to be any more stories from his POV in the series to date, I would definitely be up for more. This one barely whetted my appetite. I don’t know if the events depicted in this novellette will have any bearing on the larger books of the series, but I kind of hope so. I’m very eager to learn more about the Oblivion War and Thomas’s involvement in it. “Backup” was originally published as a stand-alone novellette with illustrations (though not a graphic novel) by Subterranean Press, but was later republished, sans illustrations, in this anthology. Star Rating: **** The Warrior - Last Call - Love Hurts - Aftermath -

  12. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    This book is a collection of stories which span from the beginning of Harry's career to just after the novel "Changes". Many things that are mentioned in passing in the novels are told in these stories. The first story tells of Harry's first meeting with Murphy. Another story tells the tale of Billy and Georgia's wedding. Although all of these stories are very good I think that the best is "The Warrior". The reason that I paused in reading the novels at this point is because the last story,"Afte This book is a collection of stories which span from the beginning of Harry's career to just after the novel "Changes". Many things that are mentioned in passing in the novels are told in these stories. The first story tells of Harry's first meeting with Murphy. Another story tells the tale of Billy and Georgia's wedding. Although all of these stories are very good I think that the best is "The Warrior". The reason that I paused in reading the novels at this point is because the last story,"Aftermath", takes place just a few hours after "Changes" and about 6 months before the next novel,"Ghost Story". Although it isn't necessary to read these stories to enjoy the novels, I recommend that you do as they are very entertaining on their own and fill in some of the gaps between novels.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Assaph Mehr

    This is an anthology of short stories, that take place throughout the Dresden Files series (in between novels). The writing and tone are on par with the rest of the series, and make up a good read for Dresden fans waiting for the next full novel to come out. While the stories in this collection are not directly related to the arcs, they do happen in between major events and thus make more sense when you know the background. Conversely, there some references in the main novels that refer to events This is an anthology of short stories, that take place throughout the Dresden Files series (in between novels). The writing and tone are on par with the rest of the series, and make up a good read for Dresden fans waiting for the next full novel to come out. While the stories in this collection are not directly related to the arcs, they do happen in between major events and thus make more sense when you know the background. Conversely, there some references in the main novels that refer to events from the short stories - though in the novels these are passing references, and do not detract from the reading experience. I read this after binge reading the series. It's as good a way to read the shorts as any, but if you chose to read them while reading the main novels there's a note at the beginning of each story when it takes place (between which novels). Make sure you read in the right order, coming back to the shorts only after the main novels. Otherwise expect some accidental spoilers. Two of the stories aren't from Dresden POV, but told (still in first-person) from the view points of Thomas and Murphy. It's cool to see things from this different perspective. Summary This is a great collection to while the time away until the next main novel comes along - don't take it as an a way to get introduced to the series. Like the rest of the series, Butcher draws great characters, fast-paced action, and balances darkness and humour. -- Assaph Mehr, author of Murder In Absentia: A story of Togas, Daggers, and Magic - for lovers of Ancient Rome, Murder Mysteries, and Urban Fantasy.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Katy

    Book Info: Genre: Urban Fantasy anthology Reading Level: Adult Recommended for: Fans of Urban Fantasy, the Dresden Files My Thoughts: This is a book of short stories in the Dresden-verse, put into chronological order, and starting back during Dresden’s training with Nick Angel. The stories are: “Restoration of Faith”: in which Harry finds a missing girl, but it’s never as simple as it seems. Butcher complains about the lack of quality in this story, but I think it’s really awesome. It’s also where H Book Info: Genre: Urban Fantasy anthology Reading Level: Adult Recommended for: Fans of Urban Fantasy, the Dresden Files My Thoughts: This is a book of short stories in the Dresden-verse, put into chronological order, and starting back during Dresden’s training with Nick Angel. The stories are: “Restoration of Faith”: in which Harry finds a missing girl, but it’s never as simple as it seems. Butcher complains about the lack of quality in this story, but I think it’s really awesome. It’s also where Harry meets Murphy, plus a troll, so bonus! “Vignette”: This story is just a short piece where Bob and Harry talk about his Yellow Pages ad, and why Harry does what he does. “Something Borrowed”: Billy and Georgia’s wedding. Georgia’s stepmother is a real piece of work. Wow. “It’s my Birthday Too”: It’s Thomas’s birthday. And he’s taking part in a LARP. And then real vampires show up. “Heorot”: Mac brings Harry in to look for a woman who has gone missing. I'd like to point out that the whole “police won't look for a missing person until 24 hours has gone by” thing is a misnomer; they will take into account unusual circumstances and go looking sooner. This is the story in which we learn the truth about Miss Gard. Malks are involved. And it explains why Mister is never involved. “Mister didn't come with me on cases, being above such trivial matters, but he found me pleasant company when I was at home and not moving around too much, except when he didn't, in which case he went rambling.” “Harry’s Day Off”: In which Harry eagerly anticipates a day off to spend with Luccio, but everything that can go wrong does. “Backup”: See my review on the book's page (here, where formatting permitted) “The Warrior”: Michael is retired, but are all his enemies taking that into consideration? Or, for that matter, his so-called friends? This story is all about the unintended consequences of our actions, and is very good. I became all choked up while reading it. “Last Call”: When the forces of darkness try to mess with Mac's brew...? Harry don't play dat... “Love Hurts”: When people are killing themselves in suicide pacts, Harry decides that there is probably mental manipulation involved. People are being forced to fall in love. “Aftermath”: This is an original novella written for this anthology and not available anywhere else, unlike all the others, which are published in other anthologies. It takes place right after the end of Changes and will bring me into Ghost Story. This one is told from the point of view of Murphy, who came to meet with him and found a bullet hole and blood all over the Water Beetle when she arrived. Anyway, the story, despite that, isn't about looking for Dresden, since Billy shows up and puts Murphy in the middle of a situation where apparently small-time magic users are being abducted, including Georgia, Billy's wife. Disclosure: I picked up this book on my own. All opinions are my own. Synopsis: Here, together for the first time, are the shorter works of #1 New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher—a compendium of cases that Harry and his cadre of allies managed to close in record time. The tales range from the deadly serious to the absurdly hilarious. Also included is a new, never-before-published novella that takes place after the cliff-hanger ending of the new April 2010 hardcover, Changes. This is a must-have collection for every devoted Harry Dresden fan as well as a perfect introduction for readers ready to meet Chicago's only professional wizard.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    Alrighty... I've been working on this one as I go along in the series, so technically I've been reading this book for the better part of 4 months. But I have enjoyed it quite a lot, and so I never really felt that draggy "Am I done yet??" feeling that I often do when books sit on my Currently Reading shelf for a long time. There were some stories in here that were better than others. Some that you could tell were very early stories in the Dresden canon, but they all were enjoyable, and all were Alrighty... I've been working on this one as I go along in the series, so technically I've been reading this book for the better part of 4 months. But I have enjoyed it quite a lot, and so I never really felt that draggy "Am I done yet??" feeling that I often do when books sit on my Currently Reading shelf for a long time. There were some stories in here that were better than others. Some that you could tell were very early stories in the Dresden canon, but they all were enjoyable, and all were nearly perfect examples of what short stories should be: short, plotted, engaging, and resolved. They all fell into the series pretty well, and while I think there were times that they could have explained just a little more about the situations that led to the story (like the wedding one), I never actually felt like anything was missing. I also really liked seeing stories from other characters' perspectives. It was a nice change of pace. I loved the story from Murphy's perspective, and would have liked to see more of them. She has really grown on me as a character, from when I could not understand or like her in the first few books, to now when she's definitely a favorite. So, overall, I really enjoyed this one, and now I'm itching to pick up the next book in the series to see what happens. O_O

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sonja Arlow

    3 stars I have read 11 books in this series and have developed a soft spot for Harry Dresden but never once considered listening to this series in audio. That is until a GR friend wrote a glowing review of how much fun the audio versions are. I now understand why. James Masters does an excellent job narrating this popular series. I also enjoyed the short intro by the author before each story, explaining why he wrote this or where the idea came from. I won’t go into detail about each story as they 3 ½ stars I have read 11 books in this series and have developed a soft spot for Harry Dresden but never once considered listening to this series in audio. That is until a GR friend wrote a glowing review of how much fun the audio versions are. I now understand why. James Masters does an excellent job narrating this popular series. I also enjoyed the short intro by the author before each story, explaining why he wrote this or where the idea came from. I won’t go into detail about each story as they may contain spoilers for anyone who have not read up to book 12. All I can say is my favourite was “Day Off” I actually laughed out loud in my car during peak traffic like a demented person. I will now go and get the audio for the rest of the books in the series because this is too much fun to pass up on.

  17. 5 out of 5

    ☼♎ Carmen the Bootyshaker Temptress ☼♎

    This book was a great way to give you snippets of information in between the other books and the people, Harry, Michael, Butters, Murphy and others.

  18. 5 out of 5

    The Flooze

    Firstly, I appreciate this type of anthology. Even though I'd read some of the stories before, it's nice having everything gathered in one volume. Secondly, Butcher is quite talented at the short-story format. He crafts believable, contained, complete plots that add much in the way of character development without becoming required reading. Granted, there are certain references within the novels that aren't clear without delving into the shorts, but they generally aren't vital enough to throw of Firstly, I appreciate this type of anthology. Even though I'd read some of the stories before, it's nice having everything gathered in one volume. Secondly, Butcher is quite talented at the short-story format. He crafts believable, contained, complete plots that add much in the way of character development without becoming required reading. Granted, there are certain references within the novels that aren't clear without delving into the shorts, but they generally aren't vital enough to throw off the main plot. I also enjoyed the intros to each tale. They give a glimpse into Butcher's creative process and into the man himself. And thankfully, he seems like a rather cool, down-to-earth guy. One who's a lil too gleeful over all the chaos he chucks at Harry... A Restoration of Faith - *4* Short, sweet, and a good introduction to Harry. Murphy goes a little too easy on him compared to the officer we see in the beginning of the series proper. Vignette - *4* Very brief, somehow reminding me of how much more cynical Harry has grown over the course of the series. Something Borrowed - *4* Great story involving Billy and Georgia and a nasty fae plot. It clarified a comment I didn't understand in Small Favor. Seems like forever since Harry's mentioned these two, though perhaps there's something I'm forgetting? The scene where Harry calls out Georgia's evil stepmother is absolutely priceless. It's My Birthday, Too - *4.5* I'd read this one in the original anthology, but I think it was before I'd gotten into the series (spoilers, grrr). Well plotted, swift moving, and definitely emotional in its own way - the latter something I couldn't appreciate fully the first time around. Heorot - *3.5* Mac calls for help, which is shocking enough in and of itself without following it up with an attack from a hairy scary horny creature of lore. This one includes Miss Gard, whom I find very intriguing - all the moreso after Small Favor. Her musical choices now make perfect sense. Day Off - *4* Oh, poor Harry. In the introduction, Butcher mentions feeling quite gleeful about throwing as many catastrophes as possible at his character. All the better for us that he's such a sadistic man, because this story is hilarious in its chaos. Backup - *5* Loved seeing Thomas in action. Hearing about his Hunger first-hand and learning of his own personal crusades really rounds out his character. And his voice is Harry-like - shoring up their connection - but still distinct. The Warrior - *5* Amazing follow-up to the events of Small Favor, with a scene so emotional and tense and human I stopped breathing for a moment. Fantastic, thoughtful ending, too. Last Call - *3* The weakest thus far. A quick investigation with Murphy that results in forced emotions and an unlikely moment of vulnerability for the Sergeant. Love Hurts - *2.5* Call me Blasphemer, but I'm just not a believer in the Harry/Karrin Meant-To-Be-ness. I think they empathize well with one another and balance each other out, but I've never felt the remotest bit of romantic chemistry between them. So stories like this annoy me. Stop with the forced sexual tension! Aftermath - *4.5* An excellent, engaging story that gives me a whole new perspective on Murphy. Seeing her through Harry’s eyes has always been hard. Too often, Butcher doesn’t do a capable enough job of distinguishing her voice from the wizard’s, making her more of a flat sounding board for exposition. Though she’s come far over the years, and no one would ever doubt her ability in a fight, it’s been difficult to get a proper feel for the woman. To fully appreciate her as a separate entity. Aftermath changes that. Suddenly, she’s a far more layered personality, distinct from Dresden and coming into her own. As Sanya repeatedly proclaims, she is tiny, but fierce, and the concept is true right down to Murphy’s very core. Teaming up with Billy (sorry, don’t know if he’ll ever be Will to me) to find the once again kidnapped Georgia (can the girl get a break?), we are treated to the purely human side of dealing with an investigation. Murph laments her inability to divine facts out of thin air as Dresden can, but she’s quick-thinking, logical, and cool-headed. Only we the readers know how hard-pressed she is to keep herself together. We get an insight into her cop mindset -- the posturing she’s incorporated into her every interaction, an affectation she’s developed over her fifteen years on the force. She lays it all out in no uncertain terms: as a woman -- and an extraordinarily petite one at that -- she’s learned that she can never back down, that she’s walking in a world where body language and things left unsaid hold more power and weight than anything else. She’s built up an armor around her, and enhanced it by training her body as strictly as she’s disciplined her mind. Her will and focus are tremendous…and that helps explain why Harry had such a difficult time overcoming her denial of the supernatural in their early encounters. Seeing Murph through Harry’s eyes does her a disservice. The wizard is well-intentioned, but his self-proclaimed blindness when it comes to women, his focus on their supposed soft-heartedness, lessens her. He’s always peering into her depths, trying to convince us that beneath the hard cop exterior there lurks a gooey center. He’s not wrong, of course: Murphy is thoroughly good people and her heart is nothing like stone. But in Aftermath we come by that knowledge comfortably, an undercurrent of sorrow and determination -- courage battling despair, as Gard states -- that pervades the piece rather than being forced upon us in offhand observations. Being in her head finally allowed the hard edges and the finer emotions to combine into an understandable and relatable whole. It helps that we’re seeing Murphy do what she does best: defending her city from an abhorrent threat. Butcher showcases her fighting talents in a sequence that has her going at her attackers hard, but smart. Or as smartly as she can with what she’s facing. She uses her instincts and her training. She uses all the lessons she’s learned from previous supernatural encounters. She brings to bear the knowledge of magic her friend has bestowed upon her. She‘s no slouch, this woman. And seeing a “vanilla mortal“ face the monsters head-on, seeing her come out on top? It’s exceptionally gratifying. Considering the emotional strain she’s under, it’s also remarkable. But (view spoiler)[losing Harry (hide spoiler)] has given her a sense of renewed purpose. Her devotion to Chicago and its citizens radiates throughout the story. Her belief in the example Harry has set is a fantastic testament to his influence, to the resilience and defiance he’s inspired in others. Experiencing all of that first-hand, from Murphy’s point of view, makes her so much more than a fierce ally to have at one’s back. It makes it abundantly clear that she’s a warrior. A survivor. And a damned good friend.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    It's been a year and a half since I listened to a Harry Dresden book. I have to laugh here because my next statement is such a book-nerd statement. I really really missed HARRY in my life. I love this series for so many reasons....the world building, the creative characters, the NARRATOR of the audios, just to name a few. This book is a collection of short stories. Now short stories is a genre I can only handle in moderation but this collection was perfection. There were a couple of stories that It's been a year and a half since I listened to a Harry Dresden book. I have to laugh here because my next statement is such a book-nerd statement. I really really missed HARRY in my life. I love this series for so many reasons....the world building, the creative characters, the NARRATOR of the audios, just to name a few. This book is a collection of short stories. Now short stories is a genre I can only handle in moderation but this collection was perfection. There were a couple of stories that weren't told from Harry's POV, and I thought that would bother me (given my Harry crush), but I liked them, especially Murphy's story. Well done.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Roy

    This was different. Short stories some even from different POVs. Funny, serious, some evern really short like 3 pages haha but still enjoyable. Only read if youre a fan otherwise give it a miss.

  21. 5 out of 5

    David Sarkies

    Harry's Other Adventures 10 April 2017 I’m not really sure if I can say all that much about this book, namely because it really didn’t seem to sit well in the flow of things, and like a lot of rather dull books that I have read in the past I started finding myself becoming rather bored with it, especially when I got to the last story, or rather novella. The thing is that while I have appreciated the adventures of Harry Dresden up until this point, these ‘side jobs’, or adventures that he has had Harry's Other Adventures 10 April 2017 I’m not really sure if I can say all that much about this book, namely because it really didn’t seem to sit well in the flow of things, and like a lot of rather dull books that I have read in the past I started finding myself becoming rather bored with it, especially when I got to the last story, or rather novella. The thing is that while I have appreciated the adventures of Harry Dresden up until this point, these ‘side jobs’, or adventures that he has had in between the main adventures, really didn’t seem to stack up all that much. Okay, he did appologise for the first story being really, really bad, but I personally thought it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as he claimed it was – anyway, he did use it to introduce Karen Murphy. A part of me is starting to wander whether Butcher is basically a one trick pony. Well, that is probably being a little harsh since he has expanded his writing talents beyond the Dresden universe, but one of the things that I discovered in this book was that when he was writing from the point of view of a character that wasn’t Harry Dresden, it still pretty much seemed like it was Harry Dresden. Okay, when he is giving us a glimpse through the eyes of Karen Murphy there are aspects of her personality that is simply not going to be anything like Dresden’s, but in a way I still felt as if she was basically a female, non-magical, Harry Dresden. Still, I can’t really criticise Butcher for taking the opportunity to write some short stories, especially when he is offered the opportuity to have them published in a collection or some magazine (though I wonder whether magazines such as Amazing Stories are still being produced – there was a time when science-fiction/fantasy seemed to be dominated by short stories appearing in such periodicals). The thing with short stories though is that it does give him an opportunity to experiment, and to explore some other aspects of Harry’s life, and Harry’s universe. For instance we have the aforementioned story where we see inside Karen Murphy, and we have another one where we are allowed inside Thomas. Oh, and we can’t forget the story where Harry simply wants a day off, and just can’t get a break. Maybe I’m being a little harsh on this book with the rating that I have given it, and it does give us a bit of a broader view of the world in which Harry lives. Also, it does take us away from the main action a bit, and gives us a bit of a breather. In a way it is good that Butcher did collect the other stories that he had written into this volume, particularly since many of us may not have had the opportunity to read these stories, but the problem was that in the end they are short, and a while it is enjoyable to finish a story in a single sitting, sometimes when you have to have a break (such as needing to go to work), one, or at least myself, can lose track.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Arnis

    https://poseidons99.wordpress.com/201... Merged review: https://poseidons99.wordpress.com/201... Merged review: https://poseidons99.wordpress.com/201... Merged review: https://poseidons99.wordpress.com/201...

  23. 5 out of 5

    Anita Reads

    This is the first collection of short stories set in the Dresden Files universe. You can read the entirety of this book once you've read Changes (if you want to avoid spoilers). I highly enjoyed this collection. Especially enjoyed the stories from Thomas' and Murphy's POVs. It was nice to see Jim Butcher in short form as well. Below I'll write a few sentences about each story of the collection. #0.2 RESTORATION OF FAITH This was a short prequel story, which was nice to see. I enjoyed seeing Harry This is the first collection of short stories set in the Dresden Files universe. You can read the entirety of this book once you've read Changes (if you want to avoid spoilers). I highly enjoyed this collection. Especially enjoyed the stories from Thomas' and Murphy's POVs. It was nice to see Jim Butcher in short form as well. Below I'll write a few sentences about each story of the collection. #0.2 RESTORATION OF FAITH This was a short prequel story, which was nice to see. I enjoyed seeing Harry meeting Murphy for the first time, and Little Faith was a great character. ★★★★ #5.5 VIGNETTE This was a very short story, but it involved Bob - so obviously I enjoyed it a lot ★★★★★ #7.5 SOMETHING BORROWED This was the story of Billy and Georgia's wedding, and so involved the wolves. We don't see them often, and it was nice to see this. It was a lot longer than the previous 2 novels and I really liked how this story unfolded. ★★★★★ #9.2 IT'S MY BIRTHDAY, TOO This is a story where Harry goes to visit Thomas on his birthday, which is interrupted by Black Court vampires. I highly enjoyed this story, too ★★★★.5 #9.3 HEOROT This was a story about a man's wife being kidnapped from a beer festival, and because of circumstances, Harry is put on the case. It involved a Norse Mythology creature, which was interesting. This was not my favorite in the collection, but still enjoyable. ★★★★ #10.1 DAY OFF This was a funny story about Harry trying to have a day off, but things doesn't always happen the way you want them to. ★★★★★ #10.4 BACKUP This was a story from Thomas' POV, and it was a nice change seeing a Dresden story from another perspective a story in which Harry himself is part of, too ★★★★★ #10.3 THE WARRIOR This is a story where someone is trying to target Michael Carpenter - a good friend of Harry's, and Harry does everything he can to get to the bottom of it and save Michael. ★★★★.5 #10.6 LAST CALL This story was about a creature who uses her relationship with Bacchus/Dionysus to mentally control them through beer. Murphy and Harry team up to try and solve this problem. Not my favorite, but still interesting ★★★★ #11.5 LOVE HURTS This was a story where Butcher teases us with a Harry/Murphy story again, but I honestly loved how this turned out. ★★★★★ #12.5 AFTERMATH This story is from Murphy's POV right after what happens in the final chapters of changes. Changes ends on quite a cliffhanger, and I enjoyed seeing this story from Murphy's POV. She's one of my favorite characters from the whole universe, and so I loved this. ★★★★★ Avg. rating: 4.64 so I round it up to 5 with Murphy and Thomas' stories being so great.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Darren

    Well, it took a while - read this in chronological order (in between the appropriate stories) as I worked my way through the first 12 books of the Dresden series these past few months - but it was worth it. I am a fan of backstory and the exploration of secondary arcs, and this compendium of shorts and novelettes delivered. I've captured my thoughts below for each of the individual stories: "Something Borrowed" An interesting jump into Billy and Georgia's "challenged" vows. I enjoyed how these st Well, it took a while - read this in chronological order (in between the appropriate stories) as I worked my way through the first 12 books of the Dresden series these past few months - but it was worth it. I am a fan of backstory and the exploration of secondary arcs, and this compendium of shorts and novelettes delivered. I've captured my thoughts below for each of the individual stories: "Something Borrowed" An interesting jump into Billy and Georgia's "challenged" vows. I enjoyed how these stories linked between the books. It's especially gratifying when you can draw upon the detail provided when only a fleeting mention is given in the novel series (e.g., Harry confronting Maeve in Proven Guilty (Ch.20) about the wedding and Jenny Greenteeth's "part" in it). "It's My Birthday, Too" I enjoyed the pace, tension, closer look into the Harry/Molly 'padawanship' and another side of Harry's desire to hold onto whatever aspects he can of his only family in this world. Also really enjoyed the cobbs (10" folk dressed for Oktoberfest) and of course... earthcrafting (author subtext: I've got magic system envy). Gravitus! "Heorot" This was an interesting tale. I enjoyed the play on mythology and the weaving back into the main thread of the series. Not exactly the type of antagonist I was expecting Harry to run into, but after reading the lead up to why the story was written in the first place, it all made good sense as to why Butcher went the route that he did. "Day Off" My least favourite tale in all of Side Jobs: Stories From the Dresden Files. A short story taking place between Small Favor and Turn Coat Definitely wasn't one of my favourties in Side Jobs, by a long shot. I understand the premise was to craft a story detailing what Harry might do on a "day off" but it just didn't hit the mark for me. "Backup" See my review for Backup - was not one of the stronger stories in this collection. Decent, but not great. "The Warrior" I enjoyed this ~15k word short from Mean Streets. All about unintended consequences, especially coming to light in the last quarter of the piece. Some excellent easter eggs involving the church and a certain sword and warden that I still believe has s future story coming up (fingers crossed) in the remaining books in the series I have yet to read. Butters continued to impress :) "Last Call" An entertaining short involving Mac and his most sought after custom creation. A little glimpse into what could mean more sparks are on the way for Harry and Murphy... maybe? [note: I got that question answered in the next short, Love Hurts] "Love Hurts" An interesting little tale that explores something I've been wanting to see more of between Harry and a certain tiny jiu-jitsu master. More "cute" than anything else. "Aftermath" Well, there's not much to say here. Better yet, there's not much I want to say here in order to avoid spoilers from Changes. I enjoyed a shift in the POV character and what that particular individual was trying to accomplish. I think it suffered from a rather weak conclusion, however, which left my overall impression of the story as underwhelming. I had hoped for something with a little more punch, especially given where this story picks up from. *** All told, I felt that while the stories themselves were interesting (some more than others) and provided some connective tissue into the larger arc of the series, the overall feel of the collection was average. I feel like I should point out that the stories were written over many years, years where Butcher was maturing as a writer (I can attest to getting more connected to Dresden as the books these stories related to advanced), so perhaps that's why I'm left with my overall impression and rating of... 3 stars.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Wayland Smith

    I'm a huge Dresden Files fan, I'll admit that up front. This is a fantastic collection of short stories that take place between the various novels that make up the series. It ends with a new one that takes place after the major cliffhanger at the end of Changes. It's fun seeing some of the minor things Dresden deals with between his major adventures. Dresden's trademark sarcasm, geekiness, and determination to do right are in every tale. If you like the adventures of Chicago's resident wizard, y I'm a huge Dresden Files fan, I'll admit that up front. This is a fantastic collection of short stories that take place between the various novels that make up the series. It ends with a new one that takes place after the major cliffhanger at the end of Changes. It's fun seeing some of the minor things Dresden deals with between his major adventures. Dresden's trademark sarcasm, geekiness, and determination to do right are in every tale. If you like the adventures of Chicago's resident wizard, you should really check these out. I suggest you do read it after you've caught up as far as Changes since there are some spoilers to that point.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Paulina

    I usually end up rating short stories a star lower than the rest of a series because they are usually too short to adequately portray characters or include and interesting enough plot. But Butcher manages to add more depth into his characters with each of these stories, and makes them interesting enough to engage you throughout this collection. None of these stories has a major effect on the main series (they are, as the title describes, "side jobs"), but they are occasionally referred to in pas I usually end up rating short stories a star lower than the rest of a series because they are usually too short to adequately portray characters or include and interesting enough plot. But Butcher manages to add more depth into his characters with each of these stories, and makes them interesting enough to engage you throughout this collection. None of these stories has a major effect on the main series (they are, as the title describes, "side jobs"), but they are occasionally referred to in passing in the series. The stories are fun, silly, and sometimes heartbreaking - and not all are told from Harry's POV, which helps give even more insight into the characters we've grown to love.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Timothy Boyd

    I loved these in-between-the-novels short stories. Lots of good attention on some of the secondary characters and their behind the scenes parts in the overall storyline. As always top notch reads. you won't go wrong reading the Dresden Files books. My highest recommendation

  28. 4 out of 5

    Steven

    Great collection of short stories. The best was the last one, for sure. I love Karrin Murphy. I really liked those from other characters' perspectives. It was nice to see through someone's eyes other than Harry's!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ranting Dragon

    http://www.rantingdragon.com/review-o... In addition to the novels, graphic novels, television show, and role playing game, there are The Dresden Files short stories and novelettes. The majority of these are collected in Side Jobs, which was published in 2010. It contains a story set before Storm Front and Welcome to the Jungle, and ends with a novella set just after Changes. When we were initially discussing our The Dresden Files extravaganza, Garrett and I talked a bit on how we wanted to review http://www.rantingdragon.com/review-o... In addition to the novels, graphic novels, television show, and role playing game, there are The Dresden Files short stories and novelettes. The majority of these are collected in Side Jobs, which was published in 2010. It contains a story set before Storm Front and Welcome to the Jungle, and ends with a novella set just after Changes. When we were initially discussing our The Dresden Files extravaganza, Garrett and I talked a bit on how we wanted to review Side Jobs. Because of timing in the publication schedule and the sheer amount of other Dresden material we collectively got our hands on, I only get one review to do for Side Jobs, not the potential three I could have taken up. So instead of talking about how much I loved each of the entries in Side Jobs, you’ll get a brief synopsis of some of my favorites. “Something Borrowed” It’s a big day: Billy and Georgia are getting married, and Harry is filling in as best man after Kirby lands in the hospital following Dead Beat. Except the bride is late, and no one can get a hold of her. Did she just get cold feet, or has something nefarious happened? As usual, there’s no one better than Harry to find out. “Something Borrowed” was initially published in the anthology My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding. “Day Off” Here’s the question asked in “Day Off,” originally published in the anthology Blood Lite: what does a professional wizard and member of the White Council get up to on his day off? Well… a lot of things that have nothing to do with rest and relaxation. While nothing Earth-shattering happens, Harry has to fight off a wanna-be wizard, help out a pair of Alphas, and just generally never get around to doing the things he wants to do. This is farcical on a scale that the Dresden Files seldom gets to, and it’s a lot of fun. “Day Off” takes place between Small Favor and Turn Coat. “Backup” “Backup” is a novelette that was originally published by Subterranean Press in a limited edition hardcover illustrated by Mike Mignola. For those who don’t like trawling eBay for like-new books, it’s included in Side Jobs. “Backup” is from Thomas’s point of view on a day he secretly follows Harry around and saves his bacon, all without letting Harry know that he’s even there. It’s one of two entries in the Dresden Files that do not feature Harry as the narrator, and chronologically fits between Small Favor and Turn Coat. “The Warrior” Originally published in the anthology Mean Streets, “The Warriror” is yet again set between Small Favor and Turn Coat. (With all that Harry gets up to between those two books, there should be a full novel in there somewhere!) Harry gets information that Michael Carpenter, former Knight of the Cross, and his family are in more danger than normal. Someone has their eye on the sword Amoracchius, and Harry’s not about to let some thief terrorize a house full of children (not to mention one of his friends) when the Carpenters don’t even have the sword anymore. This story has a definite theme running through it of the unintended consequences, both good and bad, that our actions have on other people. “Aftermath” This was a real treat. “Aftermath” takes place immediately after Changes and is from Murphy’s point of view. Harry has just been shot and there is little hope that he survived. Unfortunately, instead of investigating with her team, Murphy is forced to sit this one out while she’s under suspension for her actions during Changes. Instead, Bill of the Alphas knocks on her door and lets her know there’s trouble, and without Harry, it’s up to them to pick up the pieces. This is the second of two Dresden pieces that feature a narrator other than Harry, and it’s a wonderful treat to get into Murphy’s head. Why you should read this book Because somehow you haven’t gotten enough of The Dresden Files and need more things to feed your addiction. Also, because these are a lot of fun. Harry gets to go have adventures that may not be as life-and-death as what we usually see in the books, and Butcher gets to spend some time developing his extraordinary cast of secondary characters. And if at the end of this you’re still looking for more, Butcher has published some more Dresden shorts since Side Jobs was published. You can find a list of the next seven stories on Jim Butcher’s website, as well as an undated announcement for a future compilation entitled More Jobs.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Newland

    I’ve never enjoyed short stories as much as novels, though I couldn’t give you any rational explanation of that. I bought Jim Butcher's Side Jobs: Stories From the Dresden Files as soon as it was available, promptly read the last story in the collection (which occurs immediately after the stunning event that ends Changes) to see what new would be revealed, then put the book on the shelf and ignored it. Over the next couple months my neighbor, also a Harry Dresden fan, kept asking if I’d read any I’ve never enjoyed short stories as much as novels, though I couldn’t give you any rational explanation of that. I bought Jim Butcher's Side Jobs: Stories From the Dresden Files as soon as it was available, promptly read the last story in the collection (which occurs immediately after the stunning event that ends Changes) to see what new would be revealed, then put the book on the shelf and ignored it. Over the next couple months my neighbor, also a Harry Dresden fan, kept asking if I’d read any more of the stories. I always said no, that there were other things I’d prefer to read; I don’t really like short stories that much. Recently I’ve decided I need to try my hand (fingers?) at writing a few short stories. The motivation is purely self-promotional: I want to give people a taste of the world I’ve created in my novel, but I don’t want to self-publish the novel. I also want to give people a reason to come back to my website: not just to support me or to hear about what I’m doing, but to get something for their time. Short stories, being by definition short, can be written faster than a novel. My plan is to write a story a month, posting it in weekly installments. In order to get my short story on, I figured I better read some of them. Just because they’re shorter, doesn’t mean it’s easier to write them. So I picked Side Jobs up off the shelf and gave it a try, figuring I already knew and liked Butcher’s style. I really enjoyed the collection. It was particularly interesting for me to read the first story, a project he assembled for an MFA program, showing an early piece of writing by an author who has come a long way commercially. The rest of the stories were very enjoyable, each one giving me a dip into Harry’s world and lasting just long enough to be satisfying. I’d still take a Dresden Files novel over more short stories, but if you are, like I am, waiting for the next novel to drop, I would highly recommend you give yourself a booster-shot of magical ass-kicking in short story format in the meantime.

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