Title: Side Jobs: Stories from The Dresden Files
Author: Jim Butcher
Release Date: October 26, 2010
Publisher: Roc Hardcover
Genre: Fantasy, Short Stories
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4 out of 5
Side Jobs is a collection of short stories from The Dresden Files that take place before and in between the books. All of the stories and novellas contained in the book have previously been published except the last novella of the book, “Aftermath”, which takes place just hours after the shocking events in the latest Harry Dresden novel, Changes.
In this collection of short stories from The Dresden Files, the reader gets a glimpse of what wizard Harry Dresden is up to in between the large, crazy events of each of the books. Some of these stories are small and quiet, others are just as epic and monstrous as the books. Some are more entertaining than others, which is typical of the short story format. My personal favorite was “Aftermath”,” if only because I am dying to know what happens next in Harry’s story, and this novella gives readers a small taste of that.
If you’re a fan of the series, you certainly won’t be missing anything in the larger storyline of the novels if you don’t pick up this book. However, I really enjoyed Side Jobs. These stories are a chance for author Jim Butcher to utilize more of the secondary characters in the series – Billy (later Will) and Georgia, Thomas, Murphy, and Marcone are just some of the people who are featured. It was great to visit with them as I’m (not-so-)patiently waiting for the next novel in the series. Plus, since they were short stories and not as vital to the overarching plot of the books, I was able to consume it in audio.
I’ve heard amazing things about The Dresden Files on audio, and after listening to it, I really want to go back and “reread” all these novels through the audiobook format. The narrator is James Marsters, and he does an incredible job. In my mind, he is Harry Dresden. He does Harry’s deadpan sense of humor perfectly and really captures Harry’s complicated emotions. I can’t say enough good things about Marsters’ narration and the audio production in general. While I probably won’t be listening to new releases in audio, just because the books are complicated and I tend to absorb less while listening than while reading, I am a big fan of this audio version.
Side Jobs was a fun and interesting detour. I don’t think anyone who has not read the books or is not current in the series should pick it up, as the endings of certain books might be ruined, but if you’re a fan like me waiting for the next book, then definitely consider picking this one up.