Title: Side Jobs
Author: Jim Butcher
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Quality Rating: 9
Content Rating: R
Read First: The Dresden Files (all of them, starting with Storm Front)
The Dresden Files is a series of books that fell in the blackhole of last year, meaning when I read a ton of books and didn't write reviews for any of them. Side Jobs is actually a book of short stories about Harry Dresden (the main character). I don't usually write book reviews for anthologies I read, but I thought this would be the exception. Really instead of writing a book review of side jobs, I'm writing a book review for the entire Dresden Files series.
So how do I sum up the Dresden Files? Intense. Uber intense. Harry Dresden is a PI in Chicago, a PI who also happens to be a wizard (and advertises that he is). What starts out as a series about Harry's random and unrelated cases escalates into an all out war between the wizards and well...another group (I don't want to give it away).
The Dresden Files is almost non-stop action. Seriously. It's to the point where I get stressed out reading the books. When Harry finally gets a break to talk to Michael or Thomas, I feel like I'm getting a break. When Harry is winded, I feel winded. It's extremely intense.
Vampires actually do play a major role in The Dresden Files (this will be to the surprise of my friends, who know I despise vampires). However, I can deal with them for the most part, since they're more like Dracula (as in evil and not sparkly--with the exception of Thomas, who almost convinces me that sexy, good vampires can exist. Almost.)
So if you want a series of high action, mystery, intense emotions, betrayals, conspiracies, mind control, monsters, love (romantic, parental, platonic, and brotherly), and secrets, then I recommend The Dresden Files.
As for the content rating, I have to go to R because of the intense and realistic violence. We're not just talking about swords. We're talking about guns. Bazookas. And the occasional clove of garlic. The Dresden Files also has demons--like of the Biblical sort, which earns it R points because demons really just freak me out. It also has some pretty intense sexual scenes. Not a lot, (as Dresden himself occasionally laments) but enough that I would not recommend it for our younger readers. However, I definitely recommend it for the older ones. That is, if you can stomach three different types of vampire.