THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE ENTIRE SERIES SO FAR (12 BOOKS), BUT NO SPOILERS!
Harry Dresden is a Wizard. The only one in the phone book and practicing it out in the open. He consults with the Police sometimes, but don't let it fool you into thinking that makes people take him seriously, it really doesn't. He's also a private investigator. He's unlucky in love and usually broke, but that doesn't stop him from always trying to do the right thing, solve the most incredible mysteries, and save as many lives as he possibly can in the meantime.
I don't have enough words to express how much I love this series. I absolutely adore it. Harry Dresden is probably my favorite hero in the Urban Fantasy genre. Jim Butcher is a genius. I love the plot lines, the characters, the humor, just everything about it. Oh, the humor. It's priceless. Harry always manages to crack me up, even under the most dire circumstances. It's one of the most quotable series out there. If you are a fan of sarcasm and snark, these are the books for you. Let me just give you a few quick examples:
"You're such a cynic," Molly said
"I think cynics are playful and cute."
"Jobs are a part of life. Maybe you've heard of the concept. It's called work? See, what happens is that you suffer through doing annoying and humiliating things until you get paid not enough money. Like those Japanese game shows, only without all the glory."
"Don't yadda yadda the Lord, Harry. It's disrespectful."
"Bank guys get so hung up about things like bad credit histories and people who fill in the "occupation" blank of the application with wizard. I guess it could have been worse. I could have been filling out the reason the loan was needed with pay off mercenary for services rendered."
"Harry?" Bob asked. "Are your feet wet? And can you see the pyramids?"
I blinked. "What?"
"Earth to Dresden," Bob said. "You are standing knee-deep in De Nile."
"Who were those guys?"
"I can't tell you that," I said.
There was an empty second and then Billy's voice turned cautious. "Why? Is it some kind of secret need-to-know wizard thing?"
"No. I just have no freaking clue who it was."
"Oh," I said. My voice shook a little.
"Are you afraid, boy?" Cassius whispered.
"You're about the fifth scariest person I've met today," I said.
His eyes became very cold.
"Don't knock it," I said. "That's really better than it sounds."
I'll stop with the quotes, because I don't want to spoil you. However, let me just add that these aren't even the best ones, just the most "non-spoilery" I could find.
I can't stress enough, that what's really incredible to me about The Dresden Files is that a male author has manage to create some of the best female characters in the genre. The main character might be a man, and our narrator, but the secondary female characters are very complex and interesting. There are no clichés, something that unfortunately happens a lot in this genre, but not here. Actually, all the characters no matter how small are very layered. There is such a rich cast of character that you'll probably fall in love with many of them and not only Harry. I know I did. The character development all through the series is fantastic, and encompasses the whole cast.
There are 12 books in the series so far, and Jim Butcher has said he will write 25 books total. What is so very impressive is that each installment gets better and better. In most series that have run for this long the latter books are usually weaker, but that is so not the case here. Trust me. The latest book, Changes, blew my mind and left me gasping by the end of it. I just can't believe we'll have to wait almost another year for the next one. I'm counting the days.
I could go on and on about it, but you'll just have to find out how amazing these books are for yourselves. Go get them now. Run, don't walk.
I give it 5 out 5 stars.