Grenador asked:

I heard that Dresden files is little slow and less deep in the starting books.Read the first book 2 yrs ago but just left it because it looked like any other urban fantasy. I want to start the series again. From which book it gets really good. If its like 3 to 4 books I can give more time to soak up the initial stories and then be ready for one hell of a ride.

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Christie Buchovecky "just left it because it looked like any other urban fantasy." These were the books that introduced me to urban fantasy and I've yet to find another series that I like as much. At the time, the first book in the series felt to me like a PI novel written by some college student. Turns out that's exactly what it was. It really does get better. The writing is a little better in book 2, though I didn't like the plot as much (never been into werewolves). For me, the series picked up in book 3 and I fell in love in book 4 (I've seen others say book 5). I'd say skip to there if you really want to see if you like it, but there are SO many important things that happen in book 3, it would really be a shame for you to not know about the various (metaphorical) locks when Dresden finally picks up the key books down the series.

And if that's not enough to convince you, consider this line: "Here's something else I bet you didn't know about Tyrannosaurs: they don't corner well." Whatever you're thinking might lead to that, it's more awesome and entertaining.
Jill I always tell everyone to not stop during the first four books. It's after four that the series really starts to find it's footing. The biggest complaints up till then were: too generic-pulp and hard to feel connected to Harry. Book Five shatters the Generic Pulp charge with some incredibly inventive and horrific villains. Sometimes a story is as good as it bad guys… book five is good. Book five and six both address the getting personal charge—Susan comes back temporarily in book five and some seriously personal reveals and game-changers happen in book six. The two books sends the series on a broad right turn. Book Seven kicks it into high gear and by the end, it's in hyperdrive. Starting with book seven and beyond, you need to fasten your seatbelt, put on a helmet and turn off the phones and don't make any plans for as long as it takes to read those books. You won't have any doubts as to why The Dresden Files are the top UF series on Goodreads and almost anywhere else. You just have to slog through the first tour books and trust that they do indeed get REALLY GOOD! — Those early books take on an important value as building blocks for the rest of the series, I would not recommend skipping them. If you find them hard to get through, you could start with book five and go back later to pick up those earlier books. I found book four to be the weakest. But so much is set up in books 3 and 4 for later books. Especially book 3. The whole series has one gigantic story arc that will culminate on a "BIG APOCALYPTIC TRILOGY". Happy Reading! — for help with characters, places and creatures, go to the Dresden Files Wiki on Wikia (google it).
Rhea I just finished Storm Front and though it did lack some depth, I got through it in less than a day. I did get the audiobook version narrated by James Marsters, of whom I am a huge fan of. That might have made a difference. I am going to continue with the series and look forward to when the going gets good.
Aaron Jim Butcher, the author, has said that book six is a really good starting point. I tend to agree.
Patricia A Helmer I read a couple of books out of order and realized that I missed a lot of history even though I enjoyed them. So I went back to the beginning and did not find them tedious at all. In them he laid a solid foundation for well thought out plots. I could not wait to start each new book and continue his story.
Josh Try reading through the fourth book, "Summer Knight". I found "Grave Peril", the third entry in the series, quite tiresome and really the only hurdle in the series -- after that, it picks up very nicely and has some very strong momentum.
Glen The first few books are rough enough that I remember wondering if I'd even get through them. Hah! I've now read the entire Dresden Files (through Skin Game) 3 times (once in audio, twice in print) and just sort of accidentally read book 3 a fourth time. It's been my favorite series for the past 3 years during which I read over 150 other books including Terry Pratchett's Tiffany Aching series and Daniel O'Malley's Checquy Files, which were both amazing.

The best part of The Dresden Files is the long story arc that forces the characters to change from book to book. Most of the important background information starts in book 3: "Grave Peril" which introduces Michael, Susan, Thomas, Lea, and the Vampire Courts. Book 2: "Fool Moon" is the weakest point of the series so even if you start with book 1, consider skipping book 2. That way the only somewhat slow book you have to slog through is book 4. Others liked book 4, so maybe it's not that slow after all.

If you're reading and thinking, "This is childish. I hate modern magic, humor, and especially Harry Dresden because he's a loser" then this series probably isn't for you.

But if you're thinking "Where did Butcher learn punctuation? Didn't he have an editor?" or "it's a little slow here" - just keep going - it becomes amazing!
Reya I'm guessing you have found your answer in the meantime, but I am leaving this response here in case anyone else has similar questions: start with the first book!
But if you feel you lack the patience to actually read the first book/books and want to get up to speed or get to the core of the action faster, go for the audiobooks version! I assure you they are extremely enjoyable and quite entertaining, offering an entire new dimension to the stories!
Ostara Hollyoak It's been a while since I read the first books of this series, and I have a very strong impression in my mind, but the details are fuzzy. What I'm remembering is that I enjoyed the early books, but started, after a few books, to feel like the tires were spinning in a rut, and I considered dropping the series. But I went on to the next book and-- lo and behold-- Jim Butcher had finally gotten the knack of writing a series (or, maybe his particular knack). Series, of course, are tough, because you don't develop the characters the same way you do in the arc of a stand alone book. Each of these early books was pretty fun in and of itself, but the personal lives of the characters weren't moving in the course of them, which produced this feeling of spinning wheels. Eventually Butcher got to the point where he was... well, not exactly developing the characters (the way you would in a good stand alone novel), but moving their lives along. The trouble is, I can't, at this point, remember exactly where, in the series this began-- somewhere between books 4 and 7, but I can't pinpoint it better than that. After that, I was always itching to get to the next book.
Jennifer I have read the entire series twice; it is what got me into urban fantasy. I have enjoyed all of the books, but the series really picks up with Summer Knight and gets better and better. By the end it is tight, and, with the exception of The Iron Druid Chronicles, which I love just as much, no other series compares. In fact, I have been hesitant to read more UF, because I am always disappointed. Imo, this is the gold standard of UF.
K. Glena I would agree with Josh that Summer Knight is a good place to start but feel free to skip Grave Peril until after you have finished the rest of the series and go back to fill in the gaps. I started on that one because the others from the collection I was borrowing from were loaned out/loaned out permanently and didn't feel like I missed out too bad on anything.

It's hard to really assess the series based on the first few books, Jim Butcher gets into his stride later on, it's okay to cut some slack for when he was still mastering his craft and developing his own style, once he does he kills it.
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by Jim Butcher (Goodreads Author)
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