Friday, December 26, 2008

"Backup" by Jim Butcher

In some of the reviews, this has a subtitle, "A Story of the Dresden Files". And story is the key word there because this is really nothing more than a prettily packaged short story. Not a bad short story, but nevertheless, a short story. And if you actually purchased this book, you'd be out at least $20 for something that might - MIGHT - take you an hour to read.

But if you love the Dresden books, and if you have the money, you might just do it anyway.

I can't really give a plot line because the story is, well, so short. Suffice to say that this book is not about our beloved wizard, Harry Dresden, but about his half-brother, Thomas Wraith. Thomas, if you'll recall, is a vampire. He helps Harry on occasion, but they try to keep their relationship on the down-low, lest the wrong entities stumble over the truth. Family ties can be used against you, you know. Thomas is called into action by his sister, and it seems the main reason he goes along with the plan is to save Harry's life. A good reason, but I didn't buy into Harry needing that kind of saving.

As I said, it's a very short story, and not entirely satisfying. The one thing I really did like about it was that it gave me a bit of insight into Thomas's vampire hunger, something we haven't really gotten a handle on through the Harry books. It was like reading about an addiction, and it made me feel for Thomas that much more. Overall, I think this story has a place, probably in a collection of other such stories (ooooh, wouldn't that be interesting? A whole collection of shorts told from the sidekicks' points of view!). But it didn't really deserve it's own individual pressing.

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