Butcher starts off this short story by pointing out that this was one of the first short stories he’d ever written, and as such, it wasn’t his best work. But here, I must disagree. Or at least, not quite agree. I loved this fantastic short story, and I thoroughly enjoyed the introduction to Harry Dresden’s apprenticeship days.
Casinos are a great location for mystery and subterfuge – they’re all about tricking the senses and convincing people to stay and act against their will. The idea of a sorcerer using this against the system to meet their own ends worked really beautifully, as did the description of such a location as a maze to trap people into spending their money. After all, they’re designed to contain everything and anything that we could want so that we don’t want to leave. Contrasting this view of those who want to win with a woman who works for the system and finds it rather tedious and boring was a great approach in this short story.
This is an awesome start to a new series, with a great chief protagonist and an awesome premise for a magical police agency – the SPI. I liked the way that Shearin overlays the idea of SPI on top of our everyday lives and makes the idea of Leprechauns running wild through the streets plausible and believable. The hints provided throughout this short story are a great preclude into the actual SPI Files books and I can’t wait to see what’s on the horizon for Mac.
The name of this story is brilliant – high stakes, stakes as in vampires. I had way too much of a giggle over this. The story title, combined with the great and engaging plot line has inspired me to buy the first book in the Chicagoland Vampires series, and I can’t wait to meet the rest of the cast and crew of this interesting vampire series (and I don’t normally like vampire books, Twilight kind of ruined that for me…).
Sunny was a very sweet heroine in Ginger, and a great counterpart to her far more volatile cousin. The balance between these two characters was enjoyable, and Sunny’s ability to hold her own (even when she doubts that she can) reminds us that strength comes in all shapes and sizes. Even in those who are naturally meek and uninterested in conflict of any shape or form.
Everyone loves a good bargain. And, although I can’t imagine what it is like to go shopping at a Walmart or some such shop, it was still quite amusing reading about Maddie’s (once again) chaotic experience of shopping. The appearance of Lucifer, and Beezle’s snappy comments just helped to increase the enjoyable feeling of mayhem that I know I experience when I have to go to the shops.
It’s kind of difficult to find the time, not to mention the money to spend a night out on the town. And I don’t have supernatural duties and forces to contend with. Maddie and Beezle’s night on the town, although it had a happy ending had the same catastrophic, chaotic style that well, all of her stories do. It made me feel a lot better about my own hermit-like existence at times…