The Dresden Files

The Dresden Files is a series of popular novels written by Missouri writer, Jim Butcher. The series follows the adventures and exploits of a modern-day American wizard-detective, Harry Dresden, who lives and works in Chicago in a world where most people do not realize that the worlds of Spenser (The Faerie Queen) and Stoker (Dracula) are still present in our own. Currently, there are fourteen novels and more than a dozen short stories in the series, and in them Harry is pursuing a quest against evil but finding that it is extremely difficult to fight evil (much less be victorious over it) without being tainted by it.

Storm Front is the first novel in the series and introduces the main character; Bob, his roommate, a spirit of intellect; his police buddy, Murphy; his girlfriend, Susan; Chicago crime lord, John Marcone; and his White Council probation officer, Morgan; and the main conflict: that evil seems to be moving into Chicago and somehow only Harry can see it and stop it. The second novel of the series, Fool Moon, revolves around Harry's suspicions that werewolves have moved into Chicago, and in the third novel, Grave Peril, Harry finds himself not so sanguine regarding his chances against a group of Chicago vampires. All three of these novels are available together in the Science Fiction Book Club's Wizard for Hire.

Harry Dresden, Dan Dos Santos
from the Illustration Exchange

You can review the books of the series at Jim Butcher's website, as well as read sample chapters there to decide which novel you'd like to read for class. My personal favorites are Blood Rites (#6) where he acquires a new ally in his fight against evil and Small Favor where his investigations lead him to the John G. Shedd Aquarium, one of my favorite places on earth. Indeed, part of the charm of the series is Harry's first person reflections about, descriptions of, and interactions with famous Chicago destinations. These books are available digitally for Nooks (Barnes & Noble) and Kindles (, as well as in audiobook form. They can be fun to listen to driving to and from school, especially if you do not live in town.

Of course, The Dresden Files is also a television series based on Butcher's novels, although it veers from the books in terms of character, universe, and magical philosophy--as well as in plot. It is still, however, very fun to watch. Currently at, when you select an episode from the former series, you can usually watch it for free on the Internet thanks to Hulu and Hulu's advertisers. You do need to watch at least one episode (if not for Paper #3 then for Paper #5), but which one (or more) you watch is up to you. Please keep in mind that both the books and the TV shows are intended for adults; they do contain content that can be considered inappropriate for young children. The Dresden Files are adult (perhaps young adult) texts.



Concrete Background from, black leather jacket texture from, staff from