Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ch,Ch,Ch. Changes...

I read my first Jim Butcher book recently. 'Changes' is the most recent installment of the Harry Dresden Files series. You may have heard of this from the show on the scifi channel a few years ago. Dresden is one of the leading Urban Fantasy series out there written with a male voice. (a large preponderance of Urban Fantasy slips easily into the 'paranormal romance' or 'chicklit')

For the unenlightened among you, Urban Fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy where mythic elements are found in an urban setting. It could be any time period, just set in an urban environment. You usually find elves, dwarves, fairies, magic mixed with the modern world. The second hellboy slipped into an urban fantasy.

I think I should have started at the beginning with Harry though. As with most series the author needs to up the ante as the character goes along, right? Changes is #12, so the events, rather than being the story of a wizard in a modern setting (which sounds clever), turn pretty quickly into epic battles between a vampire army, along with every mythic figure, from norse, to celtic to aztec, that I have ever heard of. Butcher is a competent writer, his first person narrative is believable and he has an interesting premise. I can see why he has a following. I wasn't a fan of the all-in and kitchen sink approach to fantasy though. It felt like a long mixed metaphor, but understandable if all of the characters had been introduced over the past few years.

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