Dresden Files: Small Favor - Mania.com

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  • Novel: Dresden Files: Small Favor
  • Author: Jim Butcher
  • Publisher: Roc
  • Pages: 420
  • Price: $14.37

Dresden Files: Small Favor

"For once, the future looks fairly bright. But the past casts one hell of a long shadow..."

By Pat Ferrara     April 15, 2008

The Dresden Files: Small Favor by Jim Butcher(2008).
© Roc

In the blustery streets of downtown Chicago Harry Dresden once again comes to life, battling demons and walking the tight rope of supernatural politics in Jim Butcher’s latest urban fantasy escapade.

Following the events of White Night, paranormal private eye Harry Dresden is back on the beat and investigating a new mystery, one surrounding Chicago’s infamous crime boss Gentleman Johnnie Marcone. A spell of epic proportions has ripped open one of Marcone’s apartment buildings, leaving the Chicago Police Department scratching their heads at Marcone’s sudden, and more than a little coincidental, disappearance. Harry is happy to prosecute the mob boss, but when Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness and monarch of the Winter Court, calls in one of three promised favors Dresden is forced to find and protect the syndicate leader.

Now the street savvy wizard is up to his waist in fae politics and he’ll need all the help he can get to keep his head above water. As he nears the truth he’ll have to battle the Champions of Summer and unravel a puzzle constructed by the terrifying Denarians, a group of demon-like faeries armed with centuries of knowledge from none other than the Fallen angels of Heaven.

Jim Butcher’s Small Favor continues to deliver a unique variety of fantasy that’s unparalleled in the genre. By combining the best of urban fantasy and mystery fiction, Butcher is able to spin tight, fast-paced yarns that highlight pop culture without neglecting the time-honored staples of speculative fiction. Nowhere else will you find paladins, vampires, werewolves and other ghastly ghouls mixed with a plot that features “war councils” at Burger King and referential nods to Patrick Stewart for his role as Captain Picard.

And yet it all works. A big problem in contemporary fantasy is overcoming the disconnect between the portrayal of modern life and the entrenched paradigms of the fantasy and horror genres. Not only does Jim Butcher infuse Chicago with stirring mysticism, he also cultivates his stories with a wholly distinct style that makes the Dresden Files an instant classic, and he does it all with seemingly effortless bravado.

Being the tenth volume in the series, there’s a lot of backstory on Harry that factors into the plot. That isn’t to say that Small Favor alienates new readers, however. Butcher’s delightfully conversational tone warmly invites you into Harry’s world, a world realized with taut narrative and evenhanded wit. The novel has as many gory moments as it has laugh-out-loud jokes, yet even its humor doesn’t detract from the sobriety of its tense action sequences. All of these ingredients add up to a thrilling, genre-based mystery…and one hell of a fun read.


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Dazzler 4/15/2008 4:44:49 AM
This should be a tv movie instead of a book. Maybe it will turn into a tv movie?
Pendragon0 4/15/2008 10:46:05 AM
This'll be my third attempt to make a comment, so here goes. I read the first three chapters of the book last night, excellent blend of fantasy and reality that I've come to expect from Butcher. My idea for putting Harry on the small screen is to use to books as the basis for story acrs. Tell a book in four-eight episodes, depending on its length and what goes on.
kaybar 4/15/2008 1:53:50 PM
I've been having a lot of problems adding comments as well Pendragon, you're not the only one! I agree that these books would work great as TV miniseries. I think it is doable to translate a Dresden novel into one stand-alone movie, but it might be a tight fit.
shogunpimp 4/15/2008 5:00:33 PM
You guys realize this has already been adapted as a TV series by Sci-Fi, right? Unfortunatley it only lasted one season and was canceled. Sad too, because the show actually pretty good.
Moz72 4/15/2008 8:36:05 PM
I Love the Dresden Files books. I am currently reading White Night. I highly recommend this series if you've never heard of Harry Dresden!
MonaLS 4/15/2008 8:58:01 PM
I truly enjoyed Small Favor, this one seemed jam packed with lots of interesting tidbits behind the main action that kept me interested through a couple of re-reads. This one, like the rest of the series, is a keeper. :)
kaybar 4/16/2008 11:00:09 AM
Hey Moz, check your profile!
todd890 4/19/2008 12:38:47 PM
The tv sereis was very good. It doesn't have to end. Just because it was cancelled doesn't mean it isn't the end of it. Why can't a series be turned into a mini series or made into tv movies? It had a good run, now the novels should be shown in a different light. Better actors and focus on the story a bit more.


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