At long last, I got to read Side Jobs, Jim Butcher’s collection of short Dresden stories! I’ve been waiting in my library’s queue for months.

While it didn’t displace any of my current favorite Dresden books, I definitely enjoyed it! The series has been getting darker and edgier for a while now – and while that makes the stories themselves more exciting and gripping, a lot of the original fun and quirky humor is rapidly disappearing under the continued barrage of “serious”. Side Jobs has a lot of the old lightheartedness in it; something that I appreciate immensely.

I think my favorite short story in there is “Day Off” for the sheer wackiness of it all. Psychic parasites, alchemical experiments gone awry, the trials of a pet owner, and a looming first date show just why Harry can never catch a break. It’s rather Three Stooges-esque in its silliness and craziness, but I think that’s kind of the point.

Other good ones are, “Backup”, “Last Call” and “Aftermath”. “Backup” is told from Thomas’ point of view and the additional insight into our favorite White Court vampire is quite fun. “Last Call” is just fun – not quite as silly as “Day Off”, but it still will make you chuckle. And “Aftermath” is told from Murphy’s point of view. It’s quite serious, but exceptionally well-written – makes me really impatient to read Ghost Story (still number 47 in the queue).

This is a fun book and a good addition to the series. I definitely plan on buying it when it comes out in paperback!

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