Dresden Files – Blood Rites

I very recently finished reading Blood Rites, book six of the Dresden Files novels by Jim Butcher. I got interested in the books after watching the SciFi Channel’s TV show The Dresden Files. Although the series was canceled, I discovered it was based upon a series of novels about the same character. I started reading them sometime in January, and I’ve been hard pressed to put them down since.

Blood Rites, like the others in the series, picks up and continues the ongoing saga of excitement and tribulation that is the life of Chicago’s only professional wizard, Harry Dresden. From the opening line, I was hooked; Butcher starts the story with action, and it does not relent throughout the book. Of course, this book details a new case for the wizard/detective that leads into more supernatural turmoil. Harry’s previous troubles with the Red Court vampires are well-documented in earlier novels, but Blood Rites reveals much more on the Black Court and mysterious White Court.

Along the way, threads from previous books are woven together, including more information on Harry’s family and his relationship with his mentor. Old enemies raise their stinking, rotting heads once again, and unexpected allies appear. All of this happens to the narration of the witty, sometimes over reactionary, Wizard Dresden. Jim Butcher continues to improve with each novel, and Dresden’s unique personality and humor have completely come into their own. Sometimes you think, “Harry, don’t behave that way”, but you already know that he won’t be able to help himself.

The novel ends, like the other Dresden books, with lots of loose ends and looming threats. Butcher has mastered the subtle cliffhanger—you know your questions will be answered, but Butcher does not simply plod along revealing secret after secret. Each is woven into the background, and you discover your answers throughout the novels, not just from one to to the next.

I highly recommend this series for anyone interested in a modern supernatural thriller. Dresden has a sense of style and humor unlike other “heroes” you will find. It reminds me of a combination of Spider-Man’s sarcasm and biting wit meshed with the stoic determination and drive to do the right thing, no matter the cost, of Batman. The books are not for a very young audience, including lots of violence and some sexual content. It seems Wizard Dresden cannot help but attract the murderous attentions of flying purple-furred flaming-poo-flinging monkey demons. All in a day’s work.