My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Side Jobs is perhaps not absolutely critical reading for a fan of Jim Butcher and the Dresden Files. Most of the stories herein are ones which were previously published in various other anthologies, with the shining exception of Aftermath, the novella that takes place immediately after the novel Changes–and which was the first thing I’d ever seen Mr. Butcher write from a female point of view, at least in the Dresden Files. For that alone, and for an opportunity to see Murphy react to the way that novel ended, I was myself quite happy to snap this one up.
Fortunately, I hadn’t actually read most of these stories before, so the collection was primarily new to me. And there’s definitely some good stuff in here, taking place over quite a wide range of the Dresden timeline. Aside from Aftermath, my favorites were “Last Call” and “Love Hurts”, just because of fun mileage with McAnally’s, and again with Murphy. I certainly squeed quite a bit for the “Love Hurts” story in particular. I’d already read Warrior from the Mean Streets anthology, but that one’s a good solid story as well. And if you want to go way, way back in Harry’s timeline, “Restoration of Faith” takes place before Storm Front; that one’s available to read for free on Jim’s site, but it was good to see it here, too, and good to see the collection ranging from very early Harry to (as of the time of this collection’s release) current Harry.
Critical? No. But definitely fun, and if you’re like me–a big fan of Jim’s work but not one who normally reads anthologies or collections–you should go ahead and pick this up. But for the love of all that’s holy, do not read Aftermath unless you’ve already read Changes. Because oh my yes the spoilers. Four stars.
So if like me you were anxiously awaiting the release of jimbutcher‘s Ghost Story, and promptly devoured it the moment you got your mitts on it with its release this week, come on back behind the fold for some spoilery discussion!
This isn’t a proper review post–I’m behind enough on my reviews that the proper review post will be a while–but I wanted to go ahead and get this up so that it’d be timely! So hit me with your discussion thoughts, y’all!
But if you haven’t read Ghost Story or any Dresden at all, for the love of god, stand back and stay out of the comments. For here be spoilers OH MY YES.
- Huntress, by Malinda Lo. YA/Fantasy. Already picked up electronically; this is the print copy! Because woo for supporting queer YA novels.
- Nightkeepers and Blood Spells, by Jessica Andersen. Paranormal romance. Books 1 and 5 of the Final Prophecy series. I’d actually already bought Nightkeepers before, but B&N had refunded it to me by accident, so I’m re-buying it to have it properly in my library again.
- Consider Phlebas, by Iain M. Banks. SF. Grabbed it because it’s currently available for .99 on the B&N site, and because Banks has been recommended to me.
76 for the year, now.
Currently reading Side Jobs by jimbutcher, since I saw that worthy gentleman tweeting that he’s finally finished Ghost Story–which reminded me that OH HEY I HAVE UNREAD JIM BUTCHER. And given that he’s showing up for Norwescon and stuff, I felt compelled to do something about that. 😀
Queued up right after that is going to be a library checkout of The Last Hot Time by John M. Ford, since Jo Walton keeps writing tor.com reviews for interesting-sounding books that are damned hard to find and buy. So library checkout it is!
It seems Fictionwise is still capable of grabbing my attention, even if a lot of their inventory vanished once the agency model of ebook pricing took effect this past April. This weekend, though, they’re having a big ol’ 50 percent off sale, in effect through Sunday. (Use the coupon ‘spooky2010′.)
Turns out several of the titles on my ebook wishlist were still in their database, so I’ve nabbed ’em. To wit:
- A Far and Deadly Cry, by Teri Holbrook. Mystery, re-buy to replace previously owned print copy.
- Recursion, by Tony Ballantyne
- Measuring the World, by Daniel Kehlmann. General fiction, was recommended by janne.
- Blue Moon, by Cindy Lynn Speer. Ebook re-buy of a print copy I already own, since the print copy is large and unwieldy and I can read the ebook better.
- Morevi: The Chronicles of Rafe and Askana, by Tee Morris & Lisa Lee. Another ebook re-buy of a print copy I still own, again because large and unwieldy print book I don’t want to carry around.
- Blood Engines, by T.A. Pratt. Actual purchase of a free PDF I’d gotten before from when Tor.com came online; decided to go ahead and buy this copy since the PDF is 5 MB in size.
- Mob Rules, by Cameron Haley. Urban fantasy, a recent release from Luna.
- The Mysteries, by Lisa Tuttle. Fantasy. Picked it up due to a review by Jo Walton on Tor.com.
- Spellbent, by Lucy A. Snyder. Urban fantasy. Picked up because of her participation in the CoyoteCon panels run by Drollerie Press earlier this year!
- Total Oblivion, More or Less: A Novel, by Alan DeNiro. This one got a good amount of buzz a while back so I’m finally checking it out.
- The Tomb of Zeus, by Barbara Cleverly. Re-buy of a book I’d previously owned. Mystery.
- Deadly Slipper, by Michelle Wan. Mystery.
- Black and White, by Jackie Kessler and Caitlin Kittredge. Because SUPERHEROES, and because I’ve been meaning to read this one for a while now!
And meanwhile, because it was Absolutely Necessary, I picked up jimbutcher‘s shiny new Dresden Files anthology, Side Jobs, from Barnes and Noble! I bought it in both ebook and hardback, actually–ebook for me, and hardback to give as a present to kathrynt, who will need it to occupy herself before her baby boy makes his arrival in the world Any Day Now, and hopefully as she’s resting after as well. So I get to count that one twice! 😀
And OH OH OH I must also add this, since it showed up in my mailbox today: Writing Out the Notes, the new book by Bob Hallett, is another acquisition! That would be the Bob Hallett of my very own beloved Great Big Sea, who’s written himself a combination memoir and musical portrait of St. John’s. I’m quite looking forward to reading it, as Mr. Hallett’s always been the most thoughtful and introspective of the B’ys, based on what they’ve all posted in their various posts on their site.
Grand total for the year: 334!
I am a diehard Dresden Files fan, and with each successive book, I’ve gone in expecting to be thoroughly entertained. This time around I was not.
I was absolutely mindblown.
ETA: Putting a cut tag in here because while I’m not revealing anything that isn’t revealed on Jim’s own site in the blurb for the novel or the preview chapter he posted, if you want to remain absolutely spoiler-free, you’ll want to skip this review post.
So I just finished jimbutcher‘s latest Dresden Files novel, Changes, and I have one thing to say: AUGH! *^_^*;;
This here is not a proper review post; it’s a spoiler-laden discussion thread! If you’ve also read the book and you want to talk about it, drop a comment! Gush or wail or both to your heart’s content! And needless to say, if you haven’t read it yet, stay far, far, far away from the comments until you do. You’ll thank us later.
My own reactions behind the cut!
And I totally need to get me a proper book!Harry icon, although tv!Harry will do for this purpose.