Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Side Jobs Side Jobs
by Jim Butcher

Supplied for review by Hachette New Zealand

Reviewed By: Jan Butterworth

A bunch of stories featuring Harry Dresden are in this book. Both unpublished stories and ones featured in an anthology are compiled in one place for the first time. Each story has a prologue explaining the origin and where they fit chronologically in the series. Many characters that appear in the Dresden world get a bigger role to play and you learn more about them. They are all fun stories, funny, comedic, serious, and the last is ... well, it made me sniffle.

The first story, A Restoration of Faith, takes place before Storm Front and shows Harry when he was just starting out as a detective. He searches for a little girl (Faith), a troll is involved, and he crosses paths with Murphy. Despite Jim Butcher protesting the story is unpolished, it is really good and gives a glimpse of who Harry is and his character.

Backup is a story from Thomas Raith's POV, which was previously published by Subterranean Press. Thomas protects his brother from an old enemy, who is using Harry as bait. Thomas gets advice from Bob (the Skull), and saves the day, without his little brother knowing about it. Thomas also appears in It’s My Birthday Too, where Harry meets him at a mall where an RPG is taking place.

Aftermath is the last, a novella from Murphy’s POV, which takes place hours after the cliff-hanger ending of Changes. No answers are given but there are plenty of teasers. It’s more about how Murphy deals with the aftermath of Changes

This is a must read for any Dresden fan, though you need to be familiar with the Dresden world to get these stories. They all have the action, comedy, and awesomeness of the books as well as minor side information that was not included, such as Gard’s true nature. If you haven’t read any of the Dresden Files, you could start with the first story then flip back and forth between this collection and the books, reading in proper sequence.

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