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  #31  
Old 09-08-2011, 01:08 PM
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And a lot of that is because Dresden isn't a Mary Sue-ish character by the time of the later books (well, sort of, but a lot of the pride and arrogance gets kicked out of Dresden by the time Dead Beat rolls around) simply because Butcher treats him like an actual character and has him grow and change. There are some genuinely terrible things that happen to him and those around him over the course of the novels and the latest two books are really interesting from that standpoint alone.

But yeah, even if it is pulpy detective noir stuff in a fantasy setting, it's still better than pretty much everything else in that same category once you get a few books in.
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  #32  
Old 09-09-2011, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by sraymonds View Post
Someone should run the Dresden Files RPG...
One-a-these days. I only have two things standing in my way:
  1. There are a lot of Dresden Files books, and I haven't read any of them.
  2. The RPG rules are nearly doorstopper-worthy. In my case, it's not the FATE jargon but all the extra stuff they bolted onto it that I need to get through.
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  #33  
Old 09-09-2011, 10:15 AM
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[*]The RPG rules are nearly doorstopper-worthy. In my case, it's not the FATE jargon but all the extra stuff they bolted onto it that I need to get through.[/LIST]
The extra stuff is, as usual for Fred Hicks, simple applications of the simple core FATE concepts over-explained with far too many words that get in the way. To boil it down, if you already know FATE:
  • Powers are like Stunts, but give you more bang for your buck. They rarely significantly break the rules.
  • Evocation is "magic for Conflicts". You choose how many shifts of power you're employing, then must beat that on a Discipline roll or Bad Things Happen, and you always take Mental Stress based on how far past your Conviction the shifts you're conjuring go (minimum 1). It allows you to attack (Weapon: shifts), block (strength: shifts of power) or create armor (Armor: shifts/2 or something), and maneuver (3 shifts), and you can spend extra shifts to make blocks and maneuvers last longer than your next turn, on a one-for-one basis.
  • Thaumaturgy is basically everything else. It takes time and preparation, depending on how much the power of the effect exceeds your Lore. It's conceptually the same as making a mundane skill roll, except its trappings are "Things Magic Can Do".
  • Magic items are a little more complicated, but really just boil down to "use magic in downtime to make a limited number of hot-swappable Stunts".
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  #34  
Old 09-09-2011, 10:55 AM
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I like the changes to stress, too. I'm definitely going to pick up the books someday, but I don't have time/money right now. I did just order the song of ice and fire rpg, though, because a friend has said that she's interested in trying it (note: she's not interested in RPGs in general), and before school starts is about the only window of opportunity.
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  #35  
Old 09-14-2011, 03:26 AM
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I just finished Proven Guilty and, while I liked it, it kind of felt like the last quarter of the book or so was dedicated entirely to setting up future plotlines rather then solving anything.

...that being said, I am interested in seeing how having Molly as an apprentice develops.
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  #36  
Old 10-26-2011, 02:59 PM
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Okay, so I decided not to buy Ghost Story so as to leave a few easy choices for friends and family looking for Christmas gifts.

And, of course, Changes is the only book in the series that ends on a friggin' cliffhanger.

Dag. Nab. It/
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  #37  
Old 10-26-2011, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Octopus Prime View Post
Okay, so I decided not to buy Ghost Story so as to leave a few easy choices for friends and family looking for Christmas gifts.

And, of course, Changes is the only book in the series that ends on a friggin' cliffhanger.

Dag. Nab. It/
Awww... you have to wait two months on a cliffhanger. Now go read Side Jobs.
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  #38  
Old 10-26-2011, 03:55 PM
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Awww... you have to wait two months on a cliffhanger. Now go read Side Jobs.
SIDE JOBS IS ALSO NOT BOUGHT FOR THE SAME REASON!
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  #39  
Old 08-16-2012, 05:12 PM
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Just like a certain character, this thread rises from the dead.

Anyway, good news, Cold Days, Nov. 27 2012.

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  #40  
Old 08-16-2012, 05:15 PM
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Ooooh, I know what Santa is bringing me!
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  #41  
Old 08-20-2012, 02:30 PM
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Yeah, Dresden Files! I share the same opinion as most people here - they're not necessarily intelligent books or the best books, but they're fun and so are the characters! I still haven't read Changes or Ghost Story yet though.

I agree that the titles are awful. I can't remember my favorites either. I think I liked Summer Knight? Meh. I know that Thomas and Luccio are the best characters, though!

Also yeah, the books seem super misogynistic and sort of are even when Butcher is trying really hard to make it just seem like it's Harry acting that way. And then that stops happening all of a sudden. The most prominent example is... what's Michael's wife's name again? Charity? Her. She's cool.

Also, yes, I get so fucking tired of the first 50-100 pages of every book being stupid plot point summary. Ugh.
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  #42  
Old 08-20-2012, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by SpoonyBardOL View Post
Yes Dresden is a Mary Sue, yes the series has spotty writing, yes it has a pretty bad start, but I still find it fun. I can still enjoy stuff like Dresden AND stuff like ASOIAF without really having to justify it
I don't think it's accurate to call Dresden a "Mary Sue" unless you intend to broaden the term to a point where it loses touch with its original meaning. He's not invincible, he repeatedly and consistently -doesn't- get the girl(s), makes all manner of serious mistakes that come back to haunt him over time and which he is forced to confront and learn from...

As far as misogynism goes, about the strongest thing you can say about the series is that Butcher's descriptions definitely have a consistent "male gaze" thing going on...which is both in keeping with the character and pulpy detective fiction. Dresden does have somewhat paternalistic (though not misogynstic) attitudes and values that change somewhat over the first few books, and even then it's always very clear that it's -Dresden's- attitudes and plenty of characters call him on it, the most frequent and obvious being Karrin Murphy. In the sequence which the author of that blog cites, Dresden is basically citing the whole "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" cliche and the love nest locale and circustances to support his assertion that the killer was probably a female, because women are better at holding grudges and jealousy and such. Karrin's response is, to quote: “Christ, you are a chauvinist pig, Dresden. Is it something that only a woman could have done?” And Dresden is forced to admit that it's not. And a good thing too, since as it turns out he was entirely wrong. A woman was involved with the group of killers, but her emotions were focused in an entirely different direction. Victor Sells' emotions were the one fueling the spell against Jennifer Stanton and Tommy Tomm, and then it was rage because Stanton threatened to go to the cops or Marcone.

Finally, as far as -writing- goes, I'll agree that the first one or two are "workmanlike" or "spotty". On the whole, though, I'd compare butcher favorably against anyone else writing in the Urban Fantasy genre.
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  #43  
Old 09-12-2012, 01:58 PM
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As the only nerdy girl at my job, some of the guys here are trying to get me to read this while they catch up on The Walking Dead comics so that I have someone to talk about them with. I'm on the fence about it.
Someone convince me!
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  #44  
Old 09-12-2012, 02:22 PM
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The first few books aren't the best writing, but the whole series is quite enjoyable, and has lots of "haha! heck yeah!" moments of enthusiastic character empathy.

The series is also known to turn the geeky awesome all the way up to 11 at times.
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  #45  
Old 11-27-2012, 07:09 PM
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Holy crap you guys, Cold Days does some crazy fucking things to the status quo.

Obviously Massive Spoilers ahead, don't look until you've read it.

Let's start with the whole Demonreach reveal. The fact that it is a massive prison for some of the nastiest things in existence and now Harry is in charge of it. That is scary on so many levels. The funny thing is that when it;s being described I had in my head an image of the episode of Angel "Hole in the World", where the cast encounters a similar thing.

Then the whole Summer/Winter Court. I can see why the working title of this one was originally Winter Knight, since it's basically Summer Knight turned up to eleven. Also I should note that the Charity Literature Pin-up calendar that Butcher volunteered in, since I don't know if anyone else has ordered, hints at Molly's fate in it, as it's a pin-up of the Soulgaze Harry does in Proven Guilty, where Molly's possible futures are shown as stained glass murals and the one shows her with snow white hair and in a winter setting.

And as for amazing moments, still nothing to top Sue, but Harry smacking down Cringle (actually secretly ODIN) and the Erlking and leading the Wild Hunt against the Outsiders was amazing.
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  #46  
Old 11-27-2012, 07:32 PM
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I've only read the first book, so I haven't gone through this thread to verify since I want to avoid any possible spoilers. However, given JFink's post above, I'm going to presume this thread should be in the dead trees forum. Yes? No?
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  #47  
Old 11-27-2012, 07:36 PM
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Looks like it. I might be the only person here who liked the short-lived TV series, but that doesn't seem to be what people are discussing.
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  #48  
Old 11-28-2012, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Matchstick View Post
I've only read the first book, so I haven't gone through this thread to verify since I want to avoid any possible spoilers. However, given JFink's post above, I'm going to presume this thread should be in the dead trees forum. Yes? No?
Thanks, there was only the one season of the show, while the books are number 14. I actually looked in the Dead Trees subforum first for this thread.
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  #49  
Old 11-29-2012, 07:32 PM
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Finished Cold Days. For whatever reason, the climactic events just didn't hit me near as hard as the ones around Changes, but still it raises a lot of questions about where the series goes from here. I was expecting Harry to shuck the mantle by the end of the book for one thing. And yeah, if I was a 'shipper' or whatever the term those crazy kids these days use, I'd totally be favoring Molly/Harry over Karrin/Harry, but I think Butcher's going to draw THAT out for...well, pretty much forever. I don't really expect there to ever be a nice solid resolution for that, if only because that's not his strong suit as a writer.

Still, he did it again. Months of nail-biting frustration waiting for the next installment, and already I'm climbing the walls waiting to see where we're going from -here-.
I don't know about that, the climax of Changes was much more shocking but the climax of Cold Days probably killed another much loved character but in a slower, much sadder way. The sad part of it is that the Molly that we've seen in the last half dozen books is going to be slowly over-written by the Winter Lady persona much in the same way Lily was in the 10 or so years since Summer Knight. Now one of the Mothers, Summer I think it was, told Harry that it's possible to resist succumbing to it, but almost everyone who it happens to, Summer or Winter, Knight, Lady, or Queen, succumbs. Harry probably could resist, since he resisted Lashiel for so long, but Molly? The same Molly who was a warlock, who was damaged by the events of Changes and Ghost Story? She's gone.
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  #50  
Old 11-29-2012, 07:53 PM
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RE: Romance from the other thread.

I dunno? I mean, the writing's on the wall for both Molly AND Karrin. Molly's feelings for Harry might be the only thing that keeps her from turning entirely Winter and vice versa if the big lump would admit to it (I've noticed that he spends an awful lot of time 'noticing' Molly compared to the other women in his life in the last few books, and they don't really have a master/apprentice relationship anymore). And it feels like Karrin's about to pick up the Swords and become a Knight of the Cross, as she's no longer the guardian of Chicago precisely, and the conflict between the ideals and faith necessary for that and what Harry is and is becoming is a pretty big sticking point. Not to mention the whole relative immortality bit Harry's got going (which Karrin mentions in the book).

So yeah, choices with an increasingly closer deadline methinks.


Otherwise, I think Ghost Story needed to be the way it was to act as a bridge between the first half (or chunk/etc) of Harry's tale and this second half, as it's sort of the halftime show hinting at things to come. I also find it strange (and perhaps telling) that Lea of all people doesn't show up in CD directly at all, given what happens. But uh, yeah, I'm pumped for the next book. It sort of feels weird that the next big damn epic fantasy is a series that started out as schlocky neo-noir urban fantasy.
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  #51  
Old 11-29-2012, 11:20 PM
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Molly? The same Molly who was a warlock, who was damaged by the events of Changes and Ghost Story? She's gone.
I think you're calling it too early on that one. Yes, there was Bob's initial statement and Harry's first impression of Lily after not seeing her for years, but if there's one thing the climax demonstrated is that not only both ladies, but even Mab herself are still profoundly shaped and affected by their mortal selves. Lily wasn't -gone-, she was still very much there. It was her human history and human personality flaws that informed and determined her behavior and death, and while we can't be sure since we've never actually seen the "uninfected" Maeve assuming she was infected shortly after Bianca's party, her reactions to Mab at the end strongly imply some very human, pre-mantle imperatives driving her thoughts and actions too.

Between all that and Harry's own experiences, plus the fact that apparently he will continue to be there for Molly as an emotional and psychological touchstone, I wouldn't make any assumptions about how that's going to turn out. Of course, I expect that to be one of the new excuses: "Oh no, Molly, we can't be together. That's just the Mantles talking, and therefore we must resist."

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RE: Romance from the other thread.
Decision time coming closer, probably, but I don't expect any resolution in the next 2-3 books, assuming RL doesn't throw any monkeywrenches into the steadily building pace and stakes in the series writing, of course. I didn't feel the way you did about Ghost Story because I've really -enjoyed- the other characters around Harry, and I found looking at the way the world had changed while he was gone fascinating, but I agree that it was something of an interregnum as far as -his- story goes.

And yeah, I spent all of Cold Days wondering where the hell Lea was.
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  #52  
Old 01-06-2013, 03:03 PM
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Finished Cold Days earlier today. At first I didn't think the status-quo could have possibly changed that much after learning of Demonreaches purpose, and that Harry had effectively given himself the ignition key to start armageddon, then the book just kept going.

I did like that revealing the existence of Nemesis effectively means that the whole Black Council thing was basically totally negated, since even if they DO exist (and Nemesis' nature kind of implies that if they do, they're just pawns at best). Its not like anyone was actually sure that they existed anyway.

And while Santa Claus leading the Wild Hunt to attack an army of Outsiders was pretty damn kickass, I'd say my favorite part was Molly using "We Will Rock You" to help Harry shake off an Outsiders psychic attack while also hitting him with a boat.


That... was pretty okay, I feel.
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  #53  
Old 01-06-2013, 06:33 PM
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Well more accurate to say it was Harry and the Erlking, since Kringle had to stay behind to use his crazy "around the world in one night" Time Powers to keep the rest of the Wild Hunt in Normal Time.

And am I the only one who pictures the Erlking (aka the Goblin King) looking like David Bowie in Labyrinth whenever he's described without his helmet?
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  #54  
Old 01-06-2013, 06:39 PM
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Well more accurate to say it was Harry and the Erlking, since Kringle had to stay behind to use his crazy "around the world in one night" Time Powers to keep the rest of the Wild Hunt in Normal Time.
Well, yes, but at the end he mentioned fighting too.

Quote:
And am I the only one who pictures the Erlking (aka the Goblin King) looking like David Bowie in Labyrinth whenever he's described without his helmet?
I certainly hope that you are not.

Also, is anyone going to be surprised if Mac ends up being being connected to the Outsiders in some way, or if Cowl winds up being a still-alive Kemmler?
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  #55  
Old 01-06-2013, 06:47 PM
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Well, yes, but at the end he mentioned fighting too.



I certainly hope that you are not.

Also, is anyone going to be surprised if Mac ends up being being connected to the Outsiders in some way, or if Cowl winds up being a still-alive Kemmler?
True, but I figured that was well after when Harry broke up the ritual and he just helped in the mopping up of the stragglers.

Mac, yeah, he has some big damn secret that's going to be important. And is probably the reason his beer is so damn good.

Cowl, on the other hand, I'm thinking is a still alive Justin DuMorne, Harry's first mentor that he was betrayed by. My theory is that he was one of the ones behind the curse that killed Harry's parents. It also explains how Cowl knew all about Bob in Dead Beat and how he knew that Harry was in possession of Bob. And if Elane survived that night, I'm pretty sure Justin could too.
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  #56  
Old 01-06-2013, 06:56 PM
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Yeah, Harry's recollection of those particular events is a combination of teenage wishful thinking paired with all kinds of remorse, survivor's guilt and hatred so his assumption that some uppity teenager could take out a badass black wizard like DuMorne apparently was(is?) is a bit of a steep climb.
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  #57  
Old 01-22-2013, 12:06 PM
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Finished Turn Coat last night, which is a pretty good action-adventure type yarn, but the murder mystery can be solved by applying the Law of Economy of Characters like fifty pages in.
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  #58  
Old 01-22-2013, 12:09 PM
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After book...five? I want to say, the mystery aspect of the novels definitely takes a backseat to the pulp action aspects yeah. Butcher mostly uses the mystery bits to pace out the action parts of the novels.
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  #59  
Old 01-22-2013, 12:11 PM
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After book...five? I want to say, the mystery aspect of the novels definitely takes a backseat to the pulp action aspects yeah. Butcher mostly uses the mystery bits to pace out the action parts of the novels.
Yeah, this is true. The tendency seemed a bit more pronounced than usual in Turn Coat, though -- Peabody really, really obviously has no purpose in the story other than to be the one whodunit.

Just feels kinda unfortunate at the moment that we spent a few books building up the whole SOMEONE WE KNOW IS A TRAITOR thing and then it turns out that it's just a dude who shows up out of nowhere with a sign round his neck saying HELLO I AM THE TRAITOR. I'm sure there are more layers to be discovered as I go on though.
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  #60  
Old 01-22-2013, 12:21 PM
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Oh yeah, Peabody's just an agent, and well there's a lot of misdirection going on there as well (both intentional and unintentional) on many sides of the field. The latest book casts some of the major events of past novels in entirely new lights, so I'm sorta curious as to what you'll say when you get around to finishing Cold Days.
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