By Jim Butcher
Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Roc, 2001
Genre: Fantasy, contemporary fantasy, urban fantasy, dark fantasy, mystery, paranormal
Series: The Dresden Files; 2
Intended audience: Adult
Number of pages: 342
Setting: Chicago, IL and outskirts (Chicagoland)
Time period: Fall 2000
Plot summary: Work has been slow for Harry Dresden, the country’s only practicing wizard – so slow that he’s been living off of ramen noodles and spaghettiOs for months. When a friend offers him a steak dinner in exchange for some information, he can’t say no, at least not until he realizes the level of danger his friend will be in with the information she is seeking. Following an awful exchange, Harry’s evening gets worse. After months of the cold shoulder, Karrin Murphey from the Special Investigations unit of the Chicago PD finally reconnects with Harry about a case. But it’s a gristly case and Dresden needs to address Murphey’s lack of trust in him.
Pacing: Incredibly fast paced. After the first few chapters, Dresden literally doesn’t have time to think through his actions before having to face some new danger.
Characterization: Told in first person through Harry. A few familiar characters reappear from the last book, including Murphey, Susan, Marcone, and (my favorite) Bob, the skull.
Frame: Gristly murders, Chicago politics, and more werewolves than one can shake a stick at make this an incredibly dark story. But Harry’s humor and demeanor lightens the dark much like a fat, full moon illuminates a night landscape.
Story line: A fast, funny, dark story about good and evil, friendship, magic, and werewolves.
Supernatural — Fiction.
Werewolves — Illinois — Chicago — Fiction.
Similar authors: Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs, Laurell K. Hamilton, Kim Harrison, Rob Thurman, Charlie Huston, Charlaine Harris
Personal notes: So far I’m loving this series! Had a couple laugh out loud moments when reading this book (the most memorable on p. 42 – probably funnier for me from having lived in the Chicago area). I also really enjoyed the scene where Harry converses with his subconscious. I’m curious to know more of the details of Harry’s dark past, but that’s part of the hook of the series – we only learn a little bit in each book.
Other (themes, diversity): Diversity – Wizard, female detective, werewolves, demon, spirit, organized crime boss