Mar 09, 11
Read in March, 2011
As the title says, this is a compilation of all the Harry Dresden short stories. The problem is nearly all of these stories have been published elsewhere before and there is only one story that is new in the book. So is worth picking up?
If your a Dresden files fan and haven't read the short stories, then definitely. I'd say pick it up if you have read less then half. If you are someone who hunted down all the stories previously, it may not be worth your money. The new story, Aftermath, which takes place right after Changes, is good but it doesn't have any mind boggling revelations or such. It's interesting to see Murphy as the narrator, but I actually expected the story to be significant then it ended up feeling. It's mostly a side adventure for her. So if you miss this story you really aren't missing out on anything major.
As for the rest of the stories, A Restoration of Faith is a pre-Storm Front story that has Harry in his early years as a PI which makes an interesting read. Vignette is amusing. Something Borrow expands Billy's pack a bit, but was so-so. It's My Birthday, Too is a blast because it involves a LARP. Heorot is ok and expands on Mac. Day Off is about Harry trying to have a normal day and is pretty amusing. Backup stars Thomas and is probably the most significant story in the book towards world building. The Warrior gives Michael a more happy ending. Last Call had its moments, and finally Love Hurts teased us with Murphy and Harry hooking up.
Interestingly, the short stories have a bit of their own continuity. With possibly the exception of The Warrior and Aftermath they are really separate from the novels. There are sub plots that flow thru the stories that never see the main books, and the subplots from the main books don't get followed up in the short stories. Mac and the Wolf Pack get more screen time here, and there is one or two characters that only make appearances in the short stories, such as a competitor brewer to Mac. This makes the stories interesting but not a necessary read to enjoy the main novels.
Again, worth picking up for completists, and those who haven't read most of the stories.