Last year, I posted my review of White Night - book nine in Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files - but I didn't realize until I was writing up my review for Small Favor that it's been almost a year between books in this series for me. Maybe because I read another Butcher book earlier this year, it didn't seem like I had been away from Dresden for quite so long, but like any reunion with an old friend, once I started reading it felt like Harry and I had never been apart.
Some fans argue that the inflation nature of the saga - baddies who keep getting bigger, stronger, and more numerous - has turned Harry Dresden into more of a superhero than an everyman protagonist, but I disagree. For one, Harry was never an everyman but his talents also never blossomed unrealistically. If anything, he's a hero who knows his limits and occasionally does manage to get his butt kicked a little. Second, along with increasing foes, Harry has stronger allies as the book series progresses. The supporting characters are often as endearing - and hilarious - as Harry himself and more often than not Harry is a team player rather than a lone ranger. Finally, despite his wizarding skills, Harry at heart is still a character to relate to. He is caring, smart, and funny and the series is as much about him growing as a person as it is about his magic.
I love that these books can thoroughly distract me from life. Filled with humor, action, adventure, and characters that I've come to genuinely care about, I know I can rely on Butcher when I find myself in that strange between book limbo phase when nothing I pick up to read strikes my fancy. Ten books strong the series refuses to run out of steam and I continue to look forward to the next entry.