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Monday, January 21, 2008

Harry Potter vs. Harry Dresden


Alas! I’ve finally finished reading the latest book from my favourite series, White Night of The Dresden Files. It took me several trips to Borders and about RM$50 worth of petrol money to read through all those chapters. Numerous trips, I was surprised the security guard didn’t kick me out for being ABONEY (Always Browsing Never Buying).

Once I get my hand of the Jim Butcher’s real paperback copy then I can start spending extra RM$50 petrol money on either his Codex Alera or maybe Robin Hobb’s latest. I’m getting tired of reading via Wikipedia (sob!).

For those of you without Sci-Fi channel or Torrent (what do you mean ‘what is Torrent?’), you wouldn’t have heard of its TV series either. The Dresden Files series highlights the life of one Harry Dresden, a certified wizard living the life as a Chicago private investigator. He helps innocent normal people fight against the forces of evil and the general public misconception that he does bunny tricks at kids’ birthday parties.

But then he gets involved in all sort of juicy magic mayhem; a vampires’ war, a Summer-Winter faeries conflict, a wizards’ council politics, a Christian knight’s crusade and otherworldly menace dripping ooze in his shoes. He also had to deal with the Chicago police, the undercover mafia, the globe-trotting mercenary, his semi-possessed ex-girlfriends (note plural), his gun-ho apprentice and a partridge in a pear tree.

All he wants is to pay his apartment rent on time, afford insurance for his Volkswagen Beetle, date a nice girl and NOT get shot/burned/thrashed/haunted/booed at every other week. To put it simply, think of it as an alternate Harry Potter, if Harry Potter was born in USA and there’s no clear Voldemort; everybody’s out to get him for two or three reasons.

I found the series long before Harry Potter Book 6, when I wasn’t looking for anything new to read. But MySis’s husband left his books behind after her little family moved to their not-so-new home and I was hooked from Dresden book one.

I liked the similarities between HP and HD, the latter story is much deeper, more adult, more mystery-involved and more wise-ass talking. If you’ve read HD, you can see how often I try to emulate Jim Butcher in my blog entries (hehehe!).

There are an unusual number of similarities between HP and HD stories. Unable to find a Pensive and needing somewhere out of my head to put this (and to spoil your HD reading pleasure so you better stop reading now), I’ve made a comparison list. So if you haven’t read HD, you better stop reading now.

Both are orphans.
Both are wizards.
Both have issues with the narrow-minded body of goverment.
Both have close ties with a family of seven children (and a Molly in each).
Both have a godparent going through prison.
Both have teacher-student issues.
Both have girlfriend issues.
Both are out to protect innocent people from the forces of darkness.
Both are outnumbered, outgunned and underminded.
Both have werewolf friends.
Both have former pretty visions of their never-met parent shattered.
Both have allies ready to fight to the death.
Both are acquainted with a large intelligent cat.
Both use Latin verses.
Both often get bad rap from the press.
Both are used to non-technological environment.
Both have a piece of unwanted evil magic within them that they can't get rid of (yet).
Both get bullied a lot in their earlier childhood.
Both have normal humans acquaintences who just don't like them. Really don't like them.
Both felt betrayed by their idol-teacher at some point even though it was for the best.
Both nearly got killed sometime in their past.
Both knows places to shop for wizard parts.
Both seem to have problems holding on to their wands.
Both are acquianted with a girl with multi-coloured hair.
Both are rescued by a big dog once.
Both knows a big cat who is generally on polite terms with a big dog.
Both have enemies that uses dead people.
Both are responsible for an enchanted sword at some point.
Both have the normal human communities kept in denial.
Both are already doing rescue work before the body of goverment approached them.
Both had a chance to deal with a huge thundering female lizard.
Both had hidden in an accomplice's old family house.
Both had problems with their hair at some point.
Both carry a significant scar-mark at some part of their body.
Both have half-human allies.
Both had problems at some point with an overly-righteous member of the body of goverment.
Both have a smaller-sized magical creature under their service at some point.
Both had said smaller-sized magical creature who liked to dress in odd things.
Both had discussed plot-based mysteries with a disembodied female while taking a bath.
Both had been commented to have their mother's eyes.

Harry Potter may have sailed into the bright sunset of ‘The End’s but Harry Dresden is still going strong at book 9. The author plans to write all the way to Book 20 and a finale trilogy. In full, the author is planning world domination starting by having an entire shelf dedicated only to him in every bookstore.


That’s alooooooooot of petrol money to go back and forth between house and bookstore. Maybe I’ll just find a job there instead.

8 Minds bloomed here too...:

kyels said...

I'm always at Kinokuniya reading their books. And once I thought I ought to find a job there too! Usually if I like a book I'd prefer to buy 'em.

Waiting to get my hands on 'Atonement'.

Zarina said...

The Dresden-verse is addicting - book AND TV versions! :) I found the books after falling in love with the TV series. Now I'm part of the campaign to get the TV series renewed while nearly holding my breath for the next book, "Small Favor" to come out in a couple of months! Soooo addicting! :D

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