I have not read Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series—I’ve heard it’s good, I’ll get to it someday—but I don’t like it, and here’s why: time spent writing Codex Alera is time not spent writing the Dresden Files. (If you’re not up to speed on Dresden, Melissa can give you the background).
One new Dresden book per year is just not enough, Jim Butcher, do you hear me?
If, like me, you devoured all ten print Dresden books, you can tide yourself over with the graphic novel prequel, Welcome to the Jungle. And if you have foolishly put off reading the series, then go ahead and start here for a nice introduction to Chicago’s only practicing professional wizard, Harry Dresden.
The book features all the hallmarks of the series—the over-the-top villains, the wisecracking jokes, the hardboiled detective work—in a completely new story, in which Dresden hunts for the person who murdered a zookeeper—although “person” isn’t really the right word. We soon discover that the killer is a hag, a nasty mythical creature masquerading as a human.
I can’t say I enjoyed the prequel as much as the print novels, especially the latter ones (Butcher’s writing has improved over the years), but it was a nice way to get my fix. Even if I didn’t completely approve of the artwork—Dresden’s jaw is too square, same for Lt. Murphy—I enjoyed seeing the artistic interpretation of Dresden’s Chicago. Should be appropriate for most teens and adults; there’re some ookey scenes of violence, but no sex or strong language.
Check the WRL catalog for The Dresden Files: Welcome to the Jungle