Cover illustration by: Chris McGrath
Side Jobs: Stories from the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
Series: The Dresden Files (Book #12.5 of 25)
Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 434 pages (US Kindle edition)
Published: 14th April 2011 by Orbit (UK) & 26th October 2010 by Roc (US)
Back Up, The Warrior, and Aftermath were the only noteworthy stories in Side Jobs for me.
“Whenever it gets too dark, think of the good things you have, the good times you’ve had. It will help. I promise.”
This is a short review. Side Jobs is a collection of short stories and novellas in The Dresden Files series. The title of this collection says it all already; these stories are side jobs, and most of them are, in my opinion, forgettable. Although I do enjoy reading novellas occasionally, I must admit that novellas and short stories rarely proved to be satisfying for me. Why am I reading this then? Simple, I love The Dresden Files, and my completionist side won’t let me back down from reading every available story in this universe without an honest attempt. Unfortunately, I really didn’t enjoy reading this collection. I did schedule myself into reading two stories per day to ease the boredom, but even with that method, only three titles were at least worth the read. The point of a collection of short stories in an already established universe is to develop the side characters or world-building further, and I didn’t get that satisfaction here. Butcher did mention at the beginning of each title that there’s a specific theme to each of them. However, it all proceeded in a very similar “Harry want to do something to Harry getting in trouble into Harry winning.” I won’t be doing a short review on any of them; the three stories that made an impression on me were Back Up, The Warrior, and Aftermath—I enjoyed these because they offered a deeper look into Thomas, Michael, and Murphy’s character. The rest? I’ll probably forget them within a week or two.
“Harry Dresden. Saving the world, one act of random destruction at a time.”
Overall, I think Side Jobs will be worth the money only for those who are super diehard fans of the main series. I loved The Dresden Files; it’s a great series, and Changes was absolutely incredible, it was easily the peak of the series so far for me. But I guess my fanboyism of the series hasn’t reached the level where I would be glad to just read about the characters doing the same old thing in a different situation non-stop. I’m not sure whether I’ll be able to finish the next collection of stories—Brief Cases—or not yet, but I’ll at least give it a try and see whether it improved for me or not first.
Picture: Side Jobs by Vincent Chong
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