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Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Side Jobs by Jim Butcher

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Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to…

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Audiobook review: Dresden Files Series

Book: Side Jobs
Author: Jim Butcher
Narrator: James Marsters
Audio Speed: 1.5x
Series: Dresden Files #12.5
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Mystery
Source: library loan

Side Jobs

After the cliffhanger-esque ending of Changes, I wasn’t sure I wanted to sift through a “side story” rather than going straight to the next book to find out what becomes of Harry. However, I am so glad I took the time to listen to this wonderful anthology from the Dresden Files. The book contains a set of mostly previously released short stories and novellas, ranging chronologically from before the first Dresden book up to a brand new story that takes place after the conclusion of Changes.

The stories cover a variety of subjects and star a range of characters. All but two of the stories are shared from Dresden’s traditional point-of-view, some more humorous than others. I loved seeing Harry react as Harry would in different settings and shorter, less dark adventures. Additionally, much can be learned about those side characters Harry considers friends and family.

While it’s very difficult to pick my favorite of the bunch, the two stories not told from Harry’s POV stand out the most. The first is “Backup,” a novelette told from Thomas’ POV, where he must protect Harry from an ancient evil, without Harry knowing he was doing it. The story shares Thomas’ struggles with his vampire monster, and the reader glimpses how much Thomas actually feels under his tough guy, nonchalant persona.

The other highlight in this anthology is the final, all-new novella, “Aftermath.” Told from Karen’s POV, we find out what happened the hours after the shocking conclusion of Changes. No only was the story extremely adventurous and exciting, but the emotional content was powerful as Karen and Harry’s friends deal with Harry’s disappearance.

Each story is narrated by the fabulous James Marsters, who gets kudos for maintaining consistent voices for a wide range of characters, taking place over the course of several years. I especially enjoyed his work in the two stories not told from Dresden’s POV.

Side Jobs is an amazing treat for fans of the Dresden Files and it SHOULD NOT be overlooked and passed by for the full-length titles. While one could read/listen to it at anytime after Changes (if one wants to avoid spoilers), the timing coming after Changes was ideal. It was a great way to review Dresden’s history and life thus far, because things are going to be much different for Harry from here on out.

My Rating: A
Narration: A

JENsignature

About the Book:

“Restoration of Faith” (read it for free on Jim-Butcher.com!)
Takes place before Storm Front
“Vignette” (read it for free on Jim-Butcher.com!)
Takes place between Death Masks and Blood Rites
“Something Borrowed” — from My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding, edited by P.N. Elrod
Sinister forces interfere with Billy and Georgia’s wedding.
Takes place between Dead Beat and Proven Guilty.
“It’s My Birthday Too” — from Many Bloody Returns, edited by Charlaine Harris
Harry and Molly’s mission to deliver Thomas’ birthday gift goes awry.
Takes place between White Night and Small Favor.
“Heorot” — from My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon, edited by P.N. Elrod
Harry teams up with Miss Gard to find a missing bride.
Takes place between White Night and Small Favor
“Day Off” — from Blood Lite, edited by Kevin J Anderson
All Harry wants is a quiet, relaxing day off…
Takes place between Small Favor and Turn Coat.
Backup — novelette from Thomas’ POV, originally published by Subterranean Press
Harry is being used by an ancient evil, and Thomas must put a stop to it without him noticing.
Takes place between Small Favor and Turn Coat
Note: Side Jobs does NOT include the illustrations by Mike Mignola that accompanied the Subterranean Press release.
The Warrior — novelette from Mean Streets
Reveals what happens to the Carpenter family after the events of Small Favor.
Takes place between Small Favor and Turn Coat
“Last Call” — from Strange Brew, edited by P.N. Elrod
Harry takes on the darkest of dark powers–the ones who dare to mess with this favorite beer.
Takes place between Small Favor and Turn Coat
“Love Hurts” — from Songs of Love and Death, edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois (Released November 16th, 2010.)
Harry and Murphy investigate a series of love spells with deadly consequences.
Takes place between Turn Coat and Changes.
Aftermath — post-Changes novelette from Murphy’s POV, EXCLUSIVE to this anthology!

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