Friday, January 16, 2009

Lisa's Take - Backup (Jim Butcher)

Let it never be said that I'm not a huge sucker. Fangirl of the worst kind. When I saw a new book in the Jim Butcher section I snatched it up with glee - a little slim hardback called Backup. I glanced at the premise long enough to see that it was a novella set in Harry Dreseden's world, following a secondary character (I'll refrain from saying which, as I spoilerized JD a bit without thinking).

I hate to say that I was disappointed... but I was disappointed. First off, it was a pretty big punch in the face when I realized I was shelling out $20 for a teensy little book - some nonsense about it qualifying as a special edition. Apparently there's a leather-bound, signed limited run out there for $60; I would have happily shelled out for that! $20 for a plain old undersized hardback rubbed me a bit wrong. Then, of course, was the niggling problem that Backup is short, clocking in at 70 pages. I finished it in just over half an hour. $20 for half an hour of entertainment. That's an even worse rate of return than a trip to the movies, which I'm notoriously grumpy about. Piffle.

That said, the story was fun and I always like to read more about Harry Dresden. Mr. Butcher adeptly showed that he could write from a different character's perspective - he captured the mood and feel of the Dresden setting while making the new POV distinct and interesting. He got some solid laughs out of me, as always, and it was fascinating to learn a little more about the character whose head we occupied.

Bottom line - save yourself the cash and come borrow this book from me instead. I'll make us some coffee while you read through it, and then we can do a little Dreseden-related squeeing.


Hagelrat said...

the price was a little harsh, b
ut I enjoyed it too, and once in a while I don't mind coughing up for a pretty little hardcover.

Carl V. said...

I have to admit that this was my first Jim Butcher book, bought because I am both a fan of Mike Mignola, the cover artist, and thought it high time I give a guy who lives in the town I work in a try.

I personally really enjoyed it. Now, I don't have any other Butcher to compare it to, but the story was interesting enough to me that I will try more.

LisaBit said...

@Carl V - Hah, I hadn't at all considered Backup from the perspective of a first time intro to Jim Butcher! In that regard I can see it being a nice little hook, since it's short, sweet and entertaining.

I'm glad to hear of another convert! The Dreseden Files start of ok-to-pretty-good, but by book four they just get spectacular. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Consider a greener alternative to buying an overpriced new book.

Use your local library. Often they will add new books from a popular author to their collection as soon as they are aware that there is demand.

After reading a shared book you wish to purchase one, amazon.con often has lie new previously owned books for a fraction of their publishers suggested price.