Saturday, March 07, 2009

Backup by Jim Butcher

Though this book qualifies as more of a novella than a novel (I don't think it was even 100 pages long) it was still a kick in the pants for all the Dresden File fans who've been wondering about the background of Thomas, Harry's succubus-vampire brother.
This bit of a book has it all, in terms of quality reading material. There's a hilarious explanation of magic, (Harry loves it and practices it precisely, Thomas just uses it and doesn't care for the niceties or details) a look behind the scenes at Thomas's daily life as a high-end salon owner and adventures taken on as duties owed to his vampire family, there's a fun scene with Bob, the cynical and leering thousand year old skull, and there's a bit of romance and a satisfying ending with alls well that ends well, and Harry's assumption that he saved the day, when in reality, Thomas saved him from devastation and procured the item he owed his family at the same time.
As usual, Butcher's writing is muscular and his plot forthright. He gets down to business and doesn't futz around with pretty descriptions or convoluted plots. He gets it done,and done with style. Harry usually gets beat up several times in any given Dresden Files novel, but since this is Thomas' turn to shine, we are spared the painful reveue of sword wounds, head cracking and lacerations. Thomas' wounds are all on the inside, as he struggles, as do most modern vampires, with their need to feed vs the cruelty of using humans as cattle/food source.
I recommend this book for any Dresden File fans who want a glimpse into Harry's world from the inside out.

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