Listen Up! Waiting For Peace Talks – The Dresden Files ReRead
So, remember a few weeks ago when I posted the official Jim Butcher schedule for re-reading the Dresden Files novels plus all the short works in preparation for Peace Talks and now Battle Ground this summer and fall? That schedule has us reading one of fifteen novels each week plus all the shorter works that fall in chronological order between them, between January and August.
Yeah… Percy and I finished the entire re-read before March was over. All the novels. All the novellas and shorts. All the graphic novels that are unique stories.
We couldn’t help it! The series is SO good that neither one of us wanted to slow down!
Thanks to Side Jobs and Brief Cases, just about all of the novellas and shorts are in audiobook format, so if I could find a short work in audio, I listened to it. Since this was hardly my first read of any of the works and not the only body of work I know James Marsters from, I’m probably as intimately familiar with Marsters’s voice as I am my husband’s. Fandom is a weird one-way intimate relationship, isn’t it? Marsters does such an excellent job as Harry and all the other characters that when some of the shorts in Brief Cases aren’t read by him, I get cranky. The ones read by others are told from a POV other than Harry’s, so I understand the logic. But Marsters has established the voices for every character so well that I just can’t help feeling a bit of dissonance.
Percy (my husband) and I don’t often read the same books at the same time, so even though he raced ahead of me (he read in ebook), it was quite fun to talk about the story and our observations as we made our way through the series.
So often, our conversations centered on what a thug Harry was being. Far too often, he is exactly the kind of arrogant, dangerous wizard the world thinks all wizards are. He resorts to force or threats before he tries diplomacy, and he thinks he alone must save the world because no one else really cares. And so often, even when you know he should know better, he tries to protect people by keeping them in the dark, which never seems to work out well.
Though it can be easy to argue with his methods, it’s harder to argue with his morals. He does mean well, which the reader knows because we’re inside his head, but his experience and perspective are narrow compared to many of the other wizards he interacts with. The wizards with more life experience are more familiar with “unintended consequences” of rash actions and factor that into their decision making, whereas Harry is more likely to see the morality of the here-and-now and want to do something, anything, to fix it.
Being very familiar with the story by now, we found a couple of places where a character just spits out the answer, or at least a hint, to a question we as readers have been asking for a while. But it seems like a throw-away line because Harry never reacts to it, and as new readers, it’s hard to recognize the significance of it. But as familiar readers, it’s like a lightning bolt of understanding. X-files did something similar; on a rewatch, you realize you got all the answers you needed in the very first episode. So now I’m even more interested to see if and how those answers get to Harry in the upcoming books.
It’s been hard waiting for Peace Talks. We have our pre-orders ready and are chomping at the bit. But I know the wait will be worth it.
Posted on May 4, 2020, in Ivana's Reviews and tagged Jim Butcher, magic, The Dresden Files, urban fantasy. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
Leave a comment