Posted on December 8, 2008 by Matt-M-McElroy
One of the great elements of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series is the large cast of interesting characters that Harry Dresden encounters throughout his adventures. Friends, foes and fellow wizards make up a variety of supernatural (and a few “normal”) beings in the Dresden-verse. One of the most interesting characters is Harry’s half-brother Thomas Raith, who also happens to be a vampire.
Although the marketing for this tale makes claims of it being a novella, I’d have to say it is more of a short story with great art. Without the fancy hardcover or the illustrations by Mignolla this would fit just fine in one of the urban fantasy anthologies we’ve seen other Dresden Files tales in (My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding for example). Regardless of whether you consider it a novella or a short story, it is still a fun read.
Thomas is a fun character that we don’t get to see enough of in the regular series. This book gives him a chance to shine a bit. The reader also gets to see things from his point of view, which is a nice change of pace from the ongoing antics and colorful descriptions offered up by Harry Dresden.
Lara Raith, Thomas’ half-sister and the “power behind the throne” of the White Court vampires is one of the more interesting villains in the Dresdenverse and she lives up to her twisted reputation in this story with style. I don’t want to spoil much of the book, but she certainly sets the stage for Thomas’ adventure early on.
Backup is a quick read, but it helps to think of it as an appetizer to hold you over until Turn Coat hits the shelves in April.
Review by Matt M McElroy