Rating: 3Q, 4P
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A P.I who just happens to be a wizard. Good thing Harry Dresden is on the case.
It is just another day for Harry Dresden at his PI office when he receives a mysterious phone call from a frightened woman. She seems to have an idea that Harry is a wizard, which immediately intrigues him. He makes an appointment for her to come by to discuss her case. However, almost immediately, he is called away to assist the police in a murder case. He is a consultant for the police on unexplained or paranormal cases. They do not know that he is a wizard but know he has a knowledge in the occult. He arrives at the scene of the case and finds the murder of a man and woman whose hearts had exploded. He knows immediately that this is the work of a powerful wizard but hide his true findings and investigation from the police. He is quickly accosted by a mob lord and threatened not to pursue the case. Harry decides to keep investigating and takes the woman’s case as well. As he investigates further, he begins to realize that there’s more to the cases than he thought and that his life and those around him are in danger.
This isn’t normally the type of book I would read. I’m usually not interested in hard-boiled detective stories, but I found myself liking this book. Harry is an interesting character. I enjoyed his sense of humor and how tough he could be. The fantastical elements are handled well and don’t feel overdone. The reader slowly learns about the world rather than through a massive exposition dump at the beginning of the novel. I also liked some of the side characters, such as Karrin Murphy, who had a nice rapport with Harry. The writing was very straight-forward and simplistic, which I thought fit with the overall tone and theme of the book. Overall, I thought it was a nice change of pace. Butcher did a wonderful job mixing the fantasy and mystery genres.
Fast-paced, quirky, YA appeal
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• Discuss the role of women in the novel.
• Discuss the genres of fantasy and mystery. Is Butcher successful in blending the two?
Justification of Selection
I don’t read a lot of fantasy nor mystery, so I thought this would be a good way to get both. It sounded like a very interesting blend of the two and Harry seemed like a very interesting character. They are somewhat popular in my school library, so I thought I would give it a try.