Jun 242011

While Backup is definitely not the story to start with if you are interested in Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series, it’s an excellent addition to the series from a new perspective.

[Here there may be spoilers for some.]

Harry Dresden’s half brother, Thomas, is having a difficult time of it lately. Because of this, he has thrown himself into his work as a stylist because it helps him feed his very particular “Hunger” as a vampire and it keeps him from becoming a danger to people he loves.

Harry and Thomas share a mother. Thomas and Lara Raith share a father, and Lara Raith is the current head of the White Court. Thomas is doing his level best to have nothing to do with his brother or his sister these days, but when Lara sends him an email with the subject line of “Re: Ob.11.v1.0n.” He realizes that his ability to detach from his family isn’t going to last. The Stygian Sisterhood is after Harry, and they have targeted Harry’s weaknesses: women and children who need help.

It’s not that Thomas doesn’t think his little brother can’t protect himself. He has this to say about it:

Harry’s a wizard. A genuine, honest-to-goodness wizard. He’s Gandalf on crack and an IV of Red Bull, with a .44 revolver in his pocket. He’ll spit in the eye of gods and demons alike if it needs to be done, and to hell with the consequences – and yet somehow my little brother manages to remain a decent human being.

Thomas has every reason to doubt his sister’s good intentions, but the information she sends him leads him to believe that Harry is in danger, and he’s the one best placed to help.  This is a difficult thing to do when you’ve cut yourself off from most of the people who care about you.

With a cameo appearance from Mouse the Foo dog (see the stylized version of Mouse below) and a little help from Bob the skull, Thomas manages to provide the help Harry needs without Harry ever realizing he was involved.


How did he do it? Check the book out! It’s well worth it.

In light of last week’s column on how we read, I’m going to note how I read books for the columns I write for a while. Today’s book was a hardcover Subterranean Press edition, first published in 2008.

About Ashley Crump

Ashley and her minders, two very strict black cats, make their home on the bayou. One fine day, Ashley finally realized she did not want to write the Great American Novel -- she wanted to understand how writing worked. She set about doing this, and you are seeing her results. It's a long-term project. Enjoy! [The cats do her proofreading...]

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