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.
Aliens and vampires – a combination that I never expected, thought of, or have experienced before. Yet, it is something that worked brilliantly in Infestation. Actually, I was really disappointed when this ended – I wanted to know more about the slightly weird, hippy-style main character. And I wanted to know how this epic war of aliens that left us with killing-machine vampires actually turned out. Did he win the war in the end? Did he bring back his creepy sounding captain?
I love stories about Tricksters – they are completely amoral, always entertaining and beautifully symbolic of the balance between good and evil. Plus, where they travel, chaos follows. Which is always entertaining, and provides great conflict in and of itself. The introduction to Thurman’s Trickster series is no different.
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.
The use of the tale of Adam, Eve and Lilith was a unique way to approach of tale of paranormal fantasy. A lot of mythologies and beliefs seem to inform fantasy stories, but very few utilise the Christian faith and stories to do so. The use of Lilith, and even the name Delilah have its roots in Christianity and the use of the two sisters’ names in their characterisation was a great reminder of the importance in naming one’s characters.
I don’t know if it’s because I’m in University, or if there is something about the potential that it represents, but any story set here tends to grab my attention. This, combined with the young love between Connie and Irwin is such a nice reminder of the potential of these young years of discovery. This was also my first introduction into the Dresden Files and the writings of Jim Butcher, and a very welcome one at that.
I loved the humour and wit in this short story – the shenanigans and difficulties of Dresden’s journey all result from his desire for a drink. Something which he constantly laments as he pursues the cause of violence. The dry humour in the narrator’s (Dresden’s) voice made this short story flash by as he runs after felons in pursuit of justice, and a nice, cold drink. It is this sass and obvious enjoyment throughout the tale that makes it impossible to put down and ignore.