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A fabulous, entertaining addition to the Dresden Files universe!

  • Aug 8, 2010
Rating:
+5
Harry Dresden is a hapless, down on his luck wizard. In fact, he's the only licensed wizard in the Chicago phone book. Business isn't exactly brisk so from time to time he acts as a consultant with the Chicago Police Department when the cases drift out of the mundane and into the realm of the paranormal. When Karrin Murphy, one of Chicago's finest, is called upon to investigate a brutal mauling at the Lincoln Park Zoo that left way too many weird questions from left field unanswered, she knew it was time to call on Harry's unique skills. One look at the crime scene was all that Dresden needed to realize that powerful black magic was at work.

WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE is an enjoyable graphic novel and a welcome extension (a prequel, actually) to the Dresden Files, a series that almost defies genre classification. While Harry Dresden assumes the role of the angst-ridden, hard-boiled detective with the self-sufficient, anti-authority attitude reminiscent of a John Corey or Harry Bosch, he's also a bit of a laughable bumbler. We've got fantasy, blended with comedy, the paranormal, cozy mystery, thriller and even a touch of heart-warming romance from time to time.

As with any venture into the paranormal, a certain suspension of disbelief is required. But the willing reader will reap abundant rewards - strong character development; gritty, realistic, easy-flowing, natural dialogue that has lots of lightweight comedic moments; good guys and bad guys that will evoke strong reactions; smiles, chuckles and laughs throughout; a new supernatural universe complete with rules governing the use of magic and an over-riding White Council, the government overseeing the appropriate use of magic as it were; a convincing glimpse at the criminal mind's twisted interpretation of honour and respect; and an enjoyable tale that will provide a few hours of pure entertainment.

Illustrator Adrian Syaf's art is first rate and, in an introduction, author Jim Butcher acknowledged that Syaf's visions of the characters were bang-on with the mental perception of the characters that up until now had only existed in Butcher's mind. I expect that should be interpreted as a compliment to both Jim Butcher's skills at narrative description and character development as well as Syaf's artistic abilities.

Even if WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE can't lay any great claims to literary merit, it sure is fun and a fabulous way to while away a couple of easy-going reading hours. Highly recommended.

Paul Weiss

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August 12, 2010
I read a few issues of this series; it was quite good. Thanks for the review!
 
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Quick Tip by . August 08, 2010
An entertaining graphic novel and a great way to introduce yourself to both the world of graphic novels and the universe of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files. If you enjoy horror and fantasy, this one's a sure fire winner for you.
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Paul Weiss ()
Ranked #14
   A modern day dilettante with widely varied eclectic interests. A dabbler in muchbut grandmaster of none - wilderness camping in all four seasons, hiking, canoeing, world travel,philately, … more
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Wiki

Author Butcher is the creator of the Dresden Files series of novels (the basis for the short-lived Sci-Fi channel series), and this fun graphic novel is the prequel to his first Dresden book,Storm Front. Blurring the lines between fantasy and noir, Dresden is a scrappy, rough-and-tumble consulting professional wizard who's often hired by the Chicago police to work on those crimes that enter the supernatural. Given only 24 hours to solve an inexplicable and gruesome murder at the zoo, Dresden has to deal with unhelpful zoologists and police, a helpful but confused potential love interest, packs of demonically possessed animals and several deadly enchanters along the way, eventually uncovering a plot by one of mankind's great ancient foes. If the story is not particularly deep, it's breathlessly paced, with plenty of quirks and details (one of Dresden's closest friends and allies is an ancient talking skull), and a compelling page-turner. Syaf's art is always effective, but sometimes ping-pongs between generic action-comic combat poses and more personal and evocative horror art. This book is a decent start to a new medium for the series and may pique the interest of those unfamiliar with Dresden and Butcher.(Oct.)
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Details

ISBN-10: 0345507460
ISBN-13: 978-0345507464
Author: Jim Butcher
Genre: Comics & Graphic Novels
Publisher: Del Rey/Dabel Brothers
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