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review 2018-06-30 21:40
Brief Cases (The Dresden Files #15.1) (Audiobook)
Brief Cases (Dresden Files) - Jim Butcher

Another fun compilation of short stories and novellas set in the Dresden universe. I finished my read of the currently available books almost three years ago and have been waiting impatiently for Peace Talks ever since, along with everyone else. So I was happy to see this come out to break the dry spell a bit - and also impress upon me the need to do a relisten at some point in the near future. :D

 

A Fistful of Warlocks - 3 stars

 

I spent the first half of this trying to remember who Luccio was. Whoops. She never made much of an impression as a character, so it took me awhile to place her, especially since I heard19th century and got excited that maybe we were getting a story about Ancient Mai. Alas, no. Still, Wild West, Wyatt Earp and Warlocks - what's not to love?

 

Cassandra Campbell narrates this one.

 

B Is For Bigfoot - 4 stars

 

Harry must deal with bullies targeting Bigfoot's kid. Irwin is pathologically pacifist, and Harry's intent on making him understand that he can still stand up for himself. As ever, Butcher takes what should be a fairly straightforward issue and complicates the hell out of it. Plus, it's about time Sasquatch makes an appearance in this world.

 

AAAA Wizardry - 4 stars

 

Harry's again playing mentor, this time to young wizards. Harry shines when he's taking care of kids and teaching others how to be better. The classroom setting is intertwined with a case that Harry worked where things ... wait for it ... went wrong. I know! That never happens to him, right?

 

I Was a Teenage Bigfoot - 3 stars 

 

Irwin's again in trouble, and Harry's sent to help out. This one is fairly straightforward, on the Dresden scale, and we don't get as much interaction with Irwin this time around. And you will NEVER guess the motive for this one. :D

 

Curses - 5 stars

 

I actually never heard of the Billy Goat curse, and the way Butcher comes up to explain it is classic Dresden, whimsical and offers some of the most hilarious moments in this collection. 

 

Even Hand - 3 stars

 

Oh, Gentleman Johnny Marcone. I don't care for him, but he's hardly the worst villain out there. He reminds me a lot of Xanatos from Gargoyles, actually. Unrepentantly evil, but with his own moral code and rules. The best rule being "no kids." So when Justine come to him asking for help protecting a child, well...what's a cold-blooded mafia-type man supposed to do?

 

Jim Butcher narrates this one. And...well...Hermoine would approve his narrative style. His pronunciation is always very proper and precise - and as a result a little on the stilted side. 

 

Bigfoot on Campus - 4 stars

 

Bigfoot Irwin's all grown up and in college and has a girlfriend whose not what she seems. What could go wrong? Harry's got a condition on this one though: Papa Bigfoot has to meet his son, who is more than a little ticked off for being kept on the sidelines his whole life.

 

Bombshells - 4 stars

 

Molly's trying to fill the shoes of Harry after the event in Changes, and she's finding it to be quite an overwhelming task. I've always liked Molly, so was happy to see her POV and get inside her head. She's made some questionable decisions, and seeing how she navigates the world of wizardry as a result of those decisions and what she's learned since was fascinating. Plus, she gets company of Justine and Andi while she tries to figure out how to save Thomas. (I forgot Andi was dating Butters.)

 

Cold Case - 5 stars

 

Two Molly POVs in a row! And this one hurt. Molly's first assignment as the new Winter Maiden pairs her up with Carlos as they go up against monsters Alaska, and it doesn't go anything like she thought it would. Her new "mom" Mab is as cold and vicious as always, and a stark contrast to Charity. Mab's not here for sentimentality. She's here to fight a war. She does offer Molly the opportunity to find a better way to fight that war though, so hopefully that means Molly will be able to do that someday.

 

Julia Whelan narrates both of Molly's stories, and she does a great job.

 

Jury Duty - 4 stars

 

Harry Dresden has been found - by the government! Dun dun DUUUUNNNN! Jury duty happens. Wackiness ensues. Good fun.

 

Day One - 4 stars

 

BUTTERS! I love Butters - and totally forgot he was a Knight now. Whoops. He's called to his first mission as a Knight of the Cross and he does an excellent job of it. Oliver Wylan does the narration on this one and he captures Butters perfectly. 

 

Zoo Day - 5 stars

 

Harry spends his first full day with his 10-year old daughter Maggie and it's adorable. Of course, this is Dresden Files, so it can't just be a nice family outing. There's a lot going on here, and we get to see not just Harry's POV, but Maggie's and Mouse's too. Yes, you saw that right. Mouse gets his own POV here. Maggie's an amazing little kid, and Mouse's POV was charming as hell - in between all the horror, lol. 

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review 2018-06-12 02:07
'Scuse me while I unleash my inner fanboy
Brief Cases (Dresden Files) - Jim Butcher
Being a wizard is all about being prepared. Well, that and magic, obviously.


Generally, when I start a book, my question is: how much am I going to like this? (Occasionally, the question is: I'm not going to hate this, am I?) But there are a few authors that I ask a different question with: How much am I going to love this book? Jim Butcher is probably at the top of the latter list, and the answers are typically: a lot, a considerable amount, and WOW, SO, SO, SO MUCH. I make no bones about it, I don't pretend to be anything like objective. I know he's not everyone's cup of tea, and I'm not looking to convince anyone to give him another shot (but I'm willing to give it a shot if someone wants me to), but for many, many reasons, I'm an unabashed and unashamed Jim Butcher fan and Brief Cases gives several reasons why I continue to be one.

 

Incidentally, I started this collection assuming the answer would be "a lot." It ended up being on the other end of the spectrum of love. I'll explain that shortly.

 

This is not a novel (alas!), it's another collection of short stories and novellas, like Side Jobs. It's been awhile since I've read or thought about that collection much, but I believe that this is a stronger batch on the whole. I've only read "Cold Case" from Shadowed Souls before, so this was a lot of new material for me -- and I enjoyed it immensely. It was great spending a few days in the pages and world of probably my favorite ongoing series.

 

Five of the twelve stories here were told from the point of view of a supporting character in the series. Anastasia Luccio told "A Fistful of Warlocks” about a little adventure she had in Dodge City, which opened the collection on a fun note; we got to know "Gentleman" John Marcone a little better than we wanted to in "Even Hand," (which doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the story). Molly got to shine in "Bombshells" and the aforementioned "Cold Case." And Waldo Butters' opening lines to "Day One" -- the tale of his first adventure as a Knight -- will go down as one of my favorite opening lines of 2018. I really got a kick out of all of these -- "Bombshells" and "Day One" were probably the most effective for me, but I'm not going to complain about any of the rest. Actually, after reading "Day One," I figured I got most of my money's worth just for that one.

 

Which leaves us with seven others from Harry's perspective -- there are the three Bigfoot stories that were published in various collections and then in Working for Bigfoot. I've been kicking myself for a while for being too budget-conscious to get that collection when it came out, yet unable to bring myself to get the e-book. Thankfully, I have them now -- and they were great. Not worth the $80 that used copies seem to go for now, but still pretty good. I really liked the characters in these stories and would gladly see them again. “Curses,” was a lot of fun; “AAAA Wizardry,” was a good story that I'm glad I read, but I can't say it was great; and “Jury Duty” was okay, but had its moments.

 

Which leaves us with "Zoo Day" -- the only original piece in this anthology, a novella about Harry taking Maggie and Mouse to the Zoo. And it was great. Just great. I know I've got a healthy dose of recency bias working here, but I think in 5 years if you ask me for my favorite pieces of Butcher writing that it will be in the Top 10 -- maybe Top 5. Watching Harry try to figure out how to be a good dad, while watching Maggie try to not drive him away, while Mouse just wants the two of them to understand each other . . . it just melts your heart. Yes, there's still supernatural and dark things afoot -- many of which we've never encountered before that could really mess things up for all three of these characters (and the rest of the Dresden Files cast, come to think of it) -- and there's at least one scene that creeped me out in a serious way. But mostly? I just loved the characters interacting with each other. My "Day One" affection and excitement remain intact, but they pale compared to what I thought about this novella. My notes (again, recency bias may play a role here) read, "A little slice of perfection. I didn't know a 50 page story could make me so misty-eyed and so happy all on its own." But it did, and I feel the heart-strings being tugged again as I write this.

 

Simply, this was a joy for me, and I imagine most Dresden Files fans would feel the same way. If you haven't read Jim Butcher's books about a Wizard P.I. yet, and have somehow read this far into the blog post, you really, really should. This collection isn't the place to start -- but it's a great place to hurry up and get to.

 

Loved it, loved it, loved it.

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2018/06/11/brief-cases-by-jim-butcher-scuse-me-while-i-unleash-my-inner-fanboy
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review 2018-06-11 09:49
Brief Cases by Jim Butcher
Brief Cases (Dresden Files) - Jim Butcher

This is a beautifully written collection of short stories that deals with side issues in Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series.  I don't think there was a weak story in the whole collection.  Some stories were more serious than other, but the whole book made for entertaining reading.  Some stories are from Harry's perspective, other stories tell of events from another characters perspective, such as Molly's first assignment as Winter Maiden and Butter's first mission as a Knight.  Mouse and Harry's daughter get some page time too.  This anthology also includes the three BigFoot stories. 

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review 2018-06-09 02:44
Brief Cases by Jim Butcher
Brief Cases (Dresden Files) - Jim Butcher

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I had a great time with this book. I knew that this was going to be a book that I would need to read as soon as I saw it. I have been a fan of The Dresden Files for quite some time so spending a bit of time with Harry Dresden and company was something that I was quite eager to do. I went into this book with pretty high expectations simply because I have come to expect great things from this series. I am happy to say that this book met every one of those expectations.

Of the 12 stories included in this collection, 11 have been previously published. I was lucky enough to have missed all but one of the stories so almost everything was new to me. The one story that I had read previously was one that I really enjoyed the first time so I decided to go ahead and read it again and ended up enjoying it just as much the second time around.

I loved how varied and original each of the stories were while giving me the taste of much loved series that I was looking for. Some of the stories feature Harry as the lead character but we do get the chance to see other characters take that role including Molly, Butters, Maggie and Mouse, and Warden Luccio. I loved getting the chance to see these other characters take the lead and enjoyed spending a moment hearing some of their thoughts.

When I pick up a collection of stories, I have discovered that I will probably like some of the stories more than others. I usually come across a few that I don't really care for as well but that didn't happen with this book. I really liked all of the stories pretty equally and can honestly say that every story in the group is solid and if rated individually, I would give them all either 4 or 5 stars.

I would highly recommend this book to others. These stories take place at various spots within the series but I think readers new to the series would appreciate this book. Fans that are up to date with the series will enjoy seeing favorite characters as we remember them. I can't wait to read more from this amazing series!

I received a digital review copy of this book from Berkley Publishing Group via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts
I enjoyed this book of stories. Even though most of the stories in this collection have been previously published, I had only read one of them prior to picking up this book. I liked that there was a short introduction from the author before each story to set everything up. It was great to spend some time with Harry, Molly, Butters, Maggie, and the rest of the gang.

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text 2018-05-16 18:30
*grabby hands*
Brief Cases (Dresden Files) - Jim Butcher

So... starts off with a Weird West story featuring a young Luccio... and an introduction that Butcher now has an idea for a series focusing on her.

 

WANT!

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