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 Post subject: Re: Harry Dresden, Wizard
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:45 pm 
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Hmm I'm going to disagree on the slow development (or more appropriately stated - if this is slow development then I'm a little scared!). I'm on the final two chapters of Storm Front now and already ordered the next 2 books from Amazon. The pace has been good, and the ongoing character and world development has been pretty constant. The whole scene with Harry fighting a demon and Susan drinking the wrong potion was incredibly funny, if somewhat predictable. I'm not as blown away as I was when I read "Something from the Nightside", but I'm sufficiently interested to keep going.

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 Post subject: Re: Harry Dresden, Wizard
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 5:27 pm 
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Minor spoilers, nothing too specific I hope.



I'm about halfway through the fourth book and enjoying the series, but there is one key difference I've observed in the Dresden Files series compared to the Nightside. The author loves to beat up his main character. Going into the final two or three chapters Dresden is many, if not all, of the following:
- out of magic
- out of resources
- have the cops after him
- recently had the snot beat out of him
- fallen into a trap of one form or another
- vastly outnumbered with no allies

In a way it's good, it gives the main character a more real/less godlike aura, but it's also a little tiring to watch the supernatural detective version of "There's Something About Mary", where anything that can go wrong WILL go wrong, but it's still all good by the time the credits roll. John Taylor, on the other hand, may have the crap kicked out of him over the course of the story, but by the time he goes toe-to-toe with the big bad, he's ready to throw down, and doesn't need a Hail Mary pass to win the game. Different novels overall, good in their own way, but my personal preference will always be the dark heart of London.

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 Post subject: Re: Harry Dresden, Wizard
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:43 pm 
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Wow, I didn't realize how long it's been until I returned to this thread. I'm almost done with book 12 "Changes" (out of the currently published 13, not counting the collection of short stories). I'm not a fast reader by any means, and I'm easily distracted, so unless its something particularly gripping I rarely sit down and focus on it (which means anything by SRG is read in only a handful of sittings!).

Anyway, it's been a pretty good series so far. The characters have remained interesting (which is saying something 12 books in), the stories, although mostly self contained, have showed the main character continuing to grow and change, and there's never a "return to the status quo" ending. The Rogue's Gallery continues to grow, and no two villains ever have the same objective in mind (other than, you know, "kill Dresden"). There were a couple of slow spots (I had a lot of trouble getting through "Proven Guilty" and "White Night"), but the pacing always picks up after the halfway point. Overall I'd highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoyed the Nightside books.

On a side note, the TV show failed to really grasp what made the novel work. It was more "inspired by" rather than "based on" the novels. I would strongly discourage avoiding the novels just because you didn't like the show.

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 Post subject: Re: Harry Dresden, Wizard
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 5:31 pm 
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I bought one of these ex-library but lent it out to ... someone, before I'd read it.

I also read the short story in mean streets and that was quite fun.

I nearly picked up one of these today at Waterstones for £2.99 but then remembered the cough50cough books that are sitting unread in the living room so put it back down again.

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 Post subject: Re: Harry Dresden, Wizard
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:54 pm 
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... and done.

Whew, what a ride. The twelfth book, "Changes", really got to me. The climactic battle at the end was a real emotional rollercoaster, and even though I knew what was coming afterwards (my wife is quite unlike River Song, "Spoilers sweety!") it still had me whirling in its wake.

It's hard to avoid comparisons between the Dresden series and the Nightside series, so I feel comfortable saying that if you like one you will most likely enjoy the other. The storyline was interesting, the author never established a "status quo" so changes were inevitable from novel to novel, and plenty of dangling plot threads to keep you reading and wondering what will happen in the next book.

Like Kingerfisher said, I'd put these novels on my bookshelf next to the SRG novels. Good reads all around.

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 Post subject: Re: Harry Dresden, Wizard
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:35 am 
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I love the Dresden series. I really should have read this post before I went into it on the favorite series post...

Jim Butcher deserves his own thread.

:D

Suffice it to say I am all the way caught up and still waiting for Cold Days, which he hasn't even STARTED yet. Gahh! Ghost Story came out last July!

I love you Jim, but why can't you keep feeding my habit at the same time every year!

:cry:

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 Post subject: Re: Harry Dresden, Wizard
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:25 pm 
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I definitely agree that if you like the Nightside that you can (most probably?) like the Dresden books however there are definitely caveats to that. The first is I'd say it's more a Secret Histories style than a Taylor one.

The Dresden books are definitely more linear than most of what Simon writes. Go here, do this, get beaten up, do that, small surprise, fix this, find out twist, save the day. Even in the worst Nightside books Taylor doesn't get lead around by the nose quite in the same way. Taylor can get distracted for a chapter or two and you can feel as if he is ready to start wandering away from his case to deal with something that has caught his attention at any point yet I never felt this with the Dresden books.

But they aren't a bad read and they're nice to think "what if..." on the boring days when you suddenly wonder if Dresden is hiding from Taylor's evil eye.


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 Post subject: Re: Harry Dresden, Wizard
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:02 pm 
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Ha good call Fineous, the only worse publishing pace would be Jean Auel, my wife's favorite author to gripe about. 12 years between two novels, and then 9 more until the next!

I agree Owin (or is it Mr. Foot?) that the style of the novel would be more akin to the Secret Histories books, since Dresden tends to do a lot of his work alone just like Eddie, whereas John surrounds himself with allies and works with them as more than just muscle. But at the same time, Eddie trips all over the globe, and John (with the exception of A Hard Day's Knight) just stays in one city, same with Dresden and Chicago. Lots of similarities between the three series.

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 Post subject: Re: Harry Dresden, Wizard
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:20 pm 
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I'm only Mr Foot if a Mr Hand is in residence. :lol:

Do you think the Dresden books are a little mixing Nightside and Secret Histories and then using most of the weak stuff and leaving the better pieces out or is that a little unfair?


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 Post subject: Re: Harry Dresden, Wizard
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:17 am 
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I think that is very unfair. They are totally different styles of writing. And the first Dresden does predate the first Nightside by about 3 years, so you can't really say it is a copy in any sense of the word.

JT is, basically, a god. You never expect him to lose. You KNOW he can always get out of virtually any situation because his power is just that good. Yes, he downplays how powerful he is, because if there is one thing that has been proved over and over in Simon's books, eventually ANYONE can be beaten. So he doesn't walk around talking about how badass he is. That would just be asking for trouble.

Dresden is different. Yes, he is a member of the council of white, which makes him in the top 20 or 30 most powerful wizards in the world. But there are other equally badass critters out there. And Dresden's particular Forte is not in out and out energy flinging spur of the moment conflict. He is much more vulnerable, and therefore more noble character than Taylor is. Taylor really has to think about things when it comes down to what needs to be done. With Dresden there is never a moment's doubt. He will fling himself into the middle of things to stand between the innocent and those that try to use them, even to his own detriment, even though it might cost him dearly.

Taylor is a little too alien to us. He is a product of the Nightside. He is Power in the world, even if he doesn't necessarily admit it to himself. You can see it in the way others react to him, especially those who knew who, and what, his mother was. Dresden, over the course of 12 books, is beginning to claw his way up to being a Power in the world, but he didn't start out that way. He did it with much more grit and determination. He did it by being human, and not by embracing his inhuman gift.

I love both series, for totally different reasons. I think comparing them to each other does them both a disservice. The worlds are different, the power levels are different, and the storytelling is different. Neither is a weak copy of the other. They both have their own merits and flaws.

If I had to compare, JT is more like Superman. You never really expect him to lose. You KNOW he can't be defeated, but that isn't the same thing as being able to defeat the bad guy. He can be worked around.

Dresden is more like the old TV series character Columbo. Somehow he is going to work his way to the solution, often by taking steps that seem bumbling to us, yet through it all he never really loses sight of who he is, and what he is protecting. He will ALWAYS do the right thing, because he is, at his heart, a true hero, though his shining armor is becoming more and more tarnished by wear as the books go on.

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