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DanSchwent

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Side Jobs: Stories From the Dresden Files - Jim Butcher 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.