Saturday, December 29, 2007

"Fool Moon" by Jim Butcher

Jim Butcher's sophomore effort in the Dresden Files, Fool Moonseries suffers a bit from too much. There are too many types of baddies, too many baddies themselves, and not enough focus. It's not entirely bad, as Butcher seems to bring most of the plotlines into play by the end. We begin to see some formulaic aspects come into play as once again, Dresden creates two potions, gets beaten like a redheaded stepchild, and is stripped naked once again.

This is almost like Die Hard 2. Clearly derivative, but still not bad. Plus Dresden gets his ass beat like John McClane.

Well, the reason we have formulas is because they work. I'll be interested to see what Butcher does with the next book in the series.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

"Storm Front" by Jim Butcher

Storm Front reminds me of the early books of Laurell K. Hamilton, but not in a bad way. Indeed, a lot of the excesses and nonsense that have come to characterize Hamilton's latest work are absent in the first book in Butcher's "Dresden Files". Gone are the two chapter-long sex scenes and instantly killed villains with the ever-escalating power levels (like a bad episode ofDragonball Z) and in are the slowly escalating levels of stress and danger for the protagonist. Though the book feels derivative now (with Harry Potter and the aforementioned Hamilton) the plot is handled deftly and moves quickly, with no fatty unnecessary bits.

I can't remember who said it, but someone said: "Strand your hero in a tree, and then throw rocks at him." Butcher takes this to heart. There's no letdown. Harry Dresden, quite simply, gets his ass kicked, but somehow comes out on top.

I'm looking forward to reading more of Butcher's work. I'll keep you up to date.