Grave Peril, by Jim Butcher (16 November)

Man, what a crappy weekend for reading. I mean, it was a good one in that I read about 700 pages and finished two books this weekend, but I was really disappointed by those books.

This one especially! Grave Peril is the third in Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series, and I very much enjoyed the first two books. Sadly, this one just did not work for me.

The plot here is that Harry Dresden, a wizard for hire, gets drawn into a case where ghosts are attacking people, someone is probably attacking the ghosts, and there’s a demon that attacks people in their nightmares. Not a bad premise.

But! There are about eleventy bajillion red herrings in the book that don’t all sort themselves out in the end, there’s at least one continuity error, and in the end everything is solved by love or something stupid like that. Butcher is an engaging writer, for sure, and I definitely wanted to know what happened in the end, but then it was stupid and I was sad. It’s sort of like when VeggieTales is on TV and you know that there’s going to be a corny tie-in to God at the end of the episode, but those vegetables are just so darn cute that you keep watching it anyway.

I’ll probably pick up the next book in the series in the hopes that it will get better, but if it doesn’t I guess I’m done. Sigh.

Rating: 6/10

Fool Moon, by Jim Butcher (30 July − 3 August)

This is the second book of the Dresden Files series. The supernatural culprit this time is werewolves, as you might have guessed by the title. A few people show up dead, ravaged by not-quite-wolves, and Harry is called in to figure things out. He is first lead to a gang called the Streetwolves, nerdy college types who have decided to become werewolves and who are led by a not-at-all-human werewolf called Tera with a proclivity for walking around naked. He also finds a businessman who is cursed to become a wolf at the full moon and who has irked the mob boss from the previous novel. Also, a misunderstanding leads his cop friend to arrest him as an accomplice, making finding out which wolf did it a little more complicated.

Rating: 8/10

Storm Front, by Jim Butcher (4 July − 6 July)

This is the first book in a series called The Dresden Files, about a wizard who investigates paranormal crimes. It was recommended to me by a librarian, and I quite enjoyed it.

The wizard is called Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, and he’s got a lot of baggage − he has killed a few people in his time, had some uncomfortable interactions with black magic, and has a pretty crappy love life. In this book, he’s out on two weird cases: in one, people are dying by having their hearts explode, and in the other, a guy who is sort of into magic disappears and his wife wants him found. The Chicago mob gets involved, and also demons, and a skull that contains a spirit who knows all about potions. It’s a little bit all over the place, but it’s totally fun. I’ve got the next book in the series lined up on my shelf.

Rating: 8/10