Terry takes on Dresden Files and lives to tell the tale

I’ve been meaning to read the Dresden Files for some time–after all, author Jim Butcher practically founded the genre of Chicago urban fantasy–but I’d been putting it off. Intimidated by playing catch-up with seventeen books and a far-flung fanbase, I was also put off by a couple of unflattering comments folks in the industry had made about the books.

Nevertheless a classic is a classic, and you don’t run into a commercially successful contemporary one in your own genre every day. I knew I had to read them and, perhaps use Dresden as a comp title.

So, like a moron, I decided to rip all of these bandaids off at once, in public no less, by volunteering to review the latest Dresden release at Third Coast Review. You can read my numbskull opinions and the story of how they came to be here.

While I probably won’t be using Dresden as a comp title–my work errs on the side of Jungian, philosophical, and atmospheric, and Butcher is an unapologetic action-adventure-heist magician–I appreciate Butcher’s ability to deliver exactly what he sells. We’re all in fantasy because we want to delight our readers, and it’s clear that Butcher accomplishes this in an accessible and unpretentious manner.

I’ll continue my meandering way through Chicago-themed books, from the literary to the magical and back–preferably both! Stay tuned for a review of a notorious, biopic-worthy Chicago madame’s autobiography and an interview with Michael Zapata up next.

Chicago author release review: Sahar Mustafah’s THE BEAUTY OF YOUR FACE

I was delighted to get my hands on an ARC of one of the most anticipated releases of 2020, The Beauty of Your Face by Chicago’s very own Sahar Mustafah, thanks to Third Coast Review.

Amazon.com: The Beauty of Your Face: A Novel (9781324003380 ...

On top of her exceptional writing–this is one of the most suspenseful and vivid literary works I’ve ever read–Mustafah’s debut accomplishes a stupendous task of cultural understanding. Hailing from the southwestern suburbs, I knew there was an Arab-American population, but not much about them–let alone how similar their immigrant stories were to all of Chicago’s.

Check out my full review here. I’m looking forward to Mustafah’s future work, and I’m hoping it includes a cookbook!