Jim Butcher - Brief Cases

I am a huge fan of Harry Dresden. I've managed to read all 15 Dresden Files books in one year when I didn't even read a lot yet. It was a great year. But now I'm waiting for Jim Butcher to finish Peace Talks. To help me endure the waiting, he released a collection of short stories called Brief Cases.

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Just like Side Jobs, this collection allows us to experience the Dresdenverse from different perspectives. Given all the stories that are already there, Butcher really deserves credit for still coming up with original and creative storylines. Like Jury Duty, which is in a setting I would never have expected, the stories show that the author is not yet done with his characters and has many more in store for the future of Harry Dresden.

I always blabber about character development. Well, what I like about these short stories is that not all are from Harry’s point of view. Instead, Butcher chose to include Molly, Maggy, Marcone, Luccio, Butters and even Mouse! It shows not only the development of those characters but it also enables us to see the changes inflicted on their life by meeting and hanging out with our favorite professional wizard.

Butcher has a great sense of humour. He writes a paragraph, there has to be some sort of joke in it. Okay, maybe that’s a bit exaggerated but it’s the feeling I get. And the jokes aren’t misplaced, nor bad. They help us get through the walkthrough of magic that we already got a lot of times. Somehow Butcher is able to explain the setting of his world again and again without it getting boring. That, people, is an art!

There must have been something that I disliked, I hear you say. Yes. There were a few things. First off, these were short stories. They can be a lot of fun but still, it’s not like it has the complexity of a novel like Skin Game. And I’ve come to appreciate that complexity. So the number of tie-ins and characters participating is rather limited. Secondly, I have some characters that have not yet been a lot in the series and would love to see more often. And they don’t appear in this collection. There are others and new characters, only expanding the already enormous Dresdenverse, but not the ones I’d love to read more about.

While writing this review I had an idea. Butcher has put a lot of work into tying all the stories in nicely. Would it be an idea to have a Susan Rodriguez short story? I know, I literally complained about the stories being short one paragraph above, but bear with me. She put up an awesome fight against the red court vampires. Since the character is basically no longer used (why? Read all the way up to Changes and you’ll find out) it allows Butcher more space and freedom. Might be the worst idea I ever had, or the most brilliant one in years.

It’s hard for me to honestly review this book. I am biased: I am a real Harry Dresden fan. After some time, I’ve gotten so used to Butcher’s writing that I immediately 5-starred all the Dresden books. Even Side Jobs received 5 stars from me. This actually gives me not a lot of choice… I mean, I can’t point any bad thing out except that this is not Peace Talks yet! Instead, it’s a ✩✩✩✩✩ collection of Harry Dresden stories. Easy to follow and extremely enjoyable.

Did I mention I was a fan already? What about you? Have you read stories of the Dresden Files? Did you like them? Are you also dying to read Peace Talks? Let me know in the comments section!