Friday, June 22, 2012

Series Review: The Dresden Files (Books 1 - 15), By Jim Butcher

Series Review: The Dresden Files, By Jim Butcher Banner Artwork

Series Review: Storm Front (The Dresden Files, Book 1), By Jim Butcher Book Cover ArtBy Jim Butcher

This review covers the first 15 books and Side Jobs (a collection of short stories)
Complete list of books at the bottom of this review.

Harry Dresden is a professional wizard. He lives in Chicago and is listed in the phone book. Normally, business is slow, but in a world full of fairies, vampires, werewolves, and numerous other nasties - It's only a matter of time till someone needs his help.

The Dresden Files combine humor, mystery, and non-stop action with a unique obnoxious tone.
The result: Fast-paced, enjoyable reads that keep your attention from beginning to end. Constant characters and relationship development create a series as enjoyable to read as to listen to.

Series Review: Fool Moon (The Dresden Files, Book 2), By Jim Butcher Book Cover Art   Series Review: Grave Peril (The Dresden Files, Book 3), By Jim Butcher Book Cover Art   Book Review: Summer Knight (The Dresden Files, Book 4), By Jim Butcher Book Cover Art   Book Review: Death Masks (The Dresden Files, Book 5), By Jim Butcher Book Cover Art   Series Review: Blood Rites (The Dresden Files, Book 6), By Jim Butcher Book Cover Art

Content of Series as a Whole

This is an adult series and contains content unsuitable for younger readers. The content listed below varies from book to book. Some of the books are really heavy on sex and light on violence, others are heavy on Violence and light on sex, still others are heavy or light on both. See my reviews of the individual books for specifics on each story.

Series Review: Dead Beat (The Dresden Files, #7), By Jim Butcher Book Cover ArtSexuality

  • Sexually charged observations & general sexual awareness
  • Arousal
  • Nudity
  • Concurrent but non-descriptive sex
  • Sex scenes (several non-descriptive and at least two graphic - total for series)
  • implied oral sex (once)
  • Predatory desires for sex
  • References to past orgies
  • References to pain related sexual activities
  • Animals mating
  • Knowledge of Incest
  • One case also requires Dresden to be near the set of a porn film in the making
Most of the sexual content is brief, implied, or stated in fairly non-descriptive terms but there are a few exceptions. 


Series Review: Proven Guilty (The Dresden Files, #8), By Jim Butcher Book Cover ArtViolence or Gruesome

  • Injuries (non-graphic, mildly gory, grotesque and graphic)
  • Killing (non-gory, ritualistic, violent, gruesome, and otherwise)
  • Bodies being ripped, torn, punctured, burned, slashed, mutilated, gorged and eaten
  • Disembowelment
  • Torture
  • Mangled corpses and graphic images of death
  • Human Sacrifice
  • An Execution
  • Blood drinking and vampire related blood extraction

Some books are heavier on the gruesome images than others.


  • Various language (including the F word and God & Jesus as profanity)
  • Cracks against the Bible
  • Demonic influence
  • Necromancy
  • Drinking
  • Drug use
  • Teen pregnancy

It also contains some interplay between Christian and magical beliefs.

Series Review: Small Favor (The Dresden Files, #10), By Jim Butcher Book Cover Art   Series Review: Turn Coat (The Dresden Files, Book 11), By Jim Butcher Book Cover Art   Series Review: Changes (The Dresden Files, Book 12), By Jim Butcher Book Cover Art   Series Review: Side Jobs (The Dresden Files, Book 12.5), By Jim Butcher Book Cover Art   Series Review: Ghost Story (The Dresden Files, Book 13), By Jim Butcher Book Cover Art



Series Review: Cold Days (The Dresden Files, Book 14), By Jim Butcher Book Cover ArtDo they have to be read in order?

No and Yes. I believe that you can read books 1 through 11 in any order you so choose and find that Butcher provides enough of the essential background information for the story to make sense and be enjoyable. However, if you want to get a good grasp of the over-arching plot, I strongly recommending reading the stories in order.

As for books 12 and on: Book 12 is called Changes, and - true to its name - makes some significant changes to the story and the life of our hero. I don't recommend starting with this book or any after it because, what's the fun of changes if you don't know the way things used to be? Book 12 also provides us with the first cliff hanger ending to be seen in the Dresden Files so be sure to have Ghost Story (Book 13) on hand when you get there!

How many books will there be?

According to Jim Butcher's personal website: He plans to write 20 books, plus an apocalyptic trilogy for a total of 23 Dresden Files, not including anthologies like Side Jobs.

What do we know about the next book?

Peace Talks (Dresden Files, book 16) will be the next book to be released.

See what we know about Peace Talks!

Christianity and the Dresden Files (For my Christian Readers)

The Dresden Files are not christian books, but they do contain angels, the "power of God", and people who believe in Christ (mainly Catholic in background). 

The main character, Harry Dresden, is a wizard who starts out with a rather cynical view of the bible, God, etc, but as the series progresses his views begin to morph and his references to God seem to hold a level of respect.

The power welded by the angels and Christians in these books is used for specific purposes and shown at times to be significantly more powerful than magic.

Dresden File books in Chronological / Reading Order

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