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That Wizard, Harry

If I told you about I was a fan of Harry the Wizard some of you might think of the other Harry. You know who I'm talking about. Yeah, that stripling who tromps off to Wizard school (Warthogs, was it?) and goes on zany adventures with his friends. Well, I hate to tell you, I'm not really fan of Harry Potter. I'm a fan of Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden.

Jim Butcher's Dresden Files books are excellent when they are “OK”. That's only because there are a handful of Dresden books that are truly awesome. (Or as the kids say “pure win” . Whatever that means.)

The latest book, Small Favor, left me breathless. Small Favor also featured some of my favourite Dresden-verse villains and Harry was backed up by an all-star cast of his close and not-so-close comrades.

There are very few series that keep my attention for very long and very few series where I would the next book sight unseen.

I'm quite in awe at how the author manages to escalate the conflict from book to book. The stakes keep getting higher and higher: both the personal stakes for Harry and the people he cares about and the supernatural threats to the city (and the rest of the world). The escalation rarely, if ever, feels forced. Kudos to Jim Butcher for managing such an incredible feat of writing. The books come to an end that is logical given the characters, their choices and the events presented in each book. If they don't, Jim Butcher has really pulled the Major Cloak Suspension of Disbelief +5 over my head.

Is it a bit repetitive? Perhaps so, I admit the admit there's a bit of a formula in there. And, as a fan, I willingly embrace the formula but I can't wait to see what new shiny bits the author throw my way. Besides, the books' serial and formulaic nature is not necessarily a bad thing in the right hands. Fans KNOW they will be in for a treat when a new Harry Dresden book rolls off the presses.

The actions and choices of the character's are not without consequence. While there is plenty of action within the covers of each book, there is some change in the characters as one follows them from one book to another.

If I told you it's taken me about two years to go through the 10 books in the series thus far, don't be misled. It's taken me that long only because I go through two or three novels in a short period of time, then I go off to read some other things for a few months only to come back to haul back another couple of novels back from the book store. Then the Harry Mania comes back. In full force. And it doesn't stop until I've turned the last page.

Once I pick up a Dresden Files novel, I'm hooked. I tear through it at great speed (at least for me) - staying up late to read through a good chunk of the book, rub my eyes and look at the clock reminding myself I have to get up early, down the book, turn off the lights, figet in bed for a good ten minutes only to turn the lights back on, pick up the book and read on. Just one more chapter, then I'm off to bed. I promise.