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January 21, 2013 8:30 PM   Subscribe

You liked The Dresden Files. What other books did you enjoy?

Now that I'm finishing up Side Jobs I'm looking for new stuff to add to my Kobo. So I'm looking for similar sorts of books. I'm not really sure what similar sorts are so basically I'm throwing this open with two criteria: You liked The Dresden Files and you liked the recommended book which in some way has the same feel as the Dresden books.
posted by Mitheral to Writing & Language (14 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
Perhaps [The Iron Druid Chronicles] by Kevin Hearne is somewhat compatible here.
posted by lundman at 9:18 PM on January 21, 2013 [2 favorites]

The following is opinion only.

Iron Druid series by Kevin Hearne. Two thousand year old druid versus a secret world of supernatural tomfoolery, all set in our times. Scratches a similar itch, not as well written or paced, very derivative of the Dresden Files books. Protagonist has the same problem as Harry Dresden: terrible bumbling incompetence around beautiful women, but written in a cruder and more juvenile fashion. Tries a little too hard to be epic. If the Dresden Files is a 10, this is about a 6, but still enjoyable.

Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. Coyote shapeshifter who hangs out with werewolves in a modern world where the supernatural has only recently shown itself to be real. Well written, strong female protagonist, neat take on Faeries, little bit too much emphasis on alpha wolf dominance and pack dynamics for my taste. Much, much less sex than one expects from urban fantasy, which is something I liked about it. Using the same scale as above, this is somewhere around an 8.

I'm gonna go ahead and spoiler both those series right now: neither has a moment as awesome as Harry riding a zombie dinosaur.

For a single standalone read, try the Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross. Mathemagical counter-Cthulhu government agency? Sign me up! The books that followed in the series didn't grab me. I read somewhere that the author was going for some kind of homage to various thriller writers with each book, and the attempts beyond the first really fell flat. The Atrocity Archives is great, though. Really great.
posted by Sternmeyer at 9:18 PM on January 21, 2013 [2 favorites]

Richard Kadrey's Sandman Slim series is a must read if you like the Dresden Files.

Also, Mike Carey's Felix Castor is basically a British version of Harry Dresden. The series is a bit darker, but has much the same feel and structure.
posted by ronofthedead at 9:23 PM on January 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

This Ask might give you some ideas.

I'm actually kind of "meh" about The Dresden Files, especially taken as a whole, but somehow I wound up reading almost all of them, so I don't even know.

At any rate, "urban fantasy" seems to be what the sub-genre is called. Here's some books I've enjoyed and my take on maybe how they're similar (pardon the lack of links):

the Felix Gomez series by Mario Acevedo (vampire P.I., breezy & fast paced)

the Cal Leandros series by Rob Thurman - the first book is "Nightlife" (a whole lot of things that go bump in the night living in a modern city)

Sandman Slim series by Richard Kadrey (as one GoodReads commenter puts it, "pulpy urban fantasy on steroids")

Simon R Green has a series called the "Secret Histories" - all the titles are derived from Bond titles, so more "magical super-spy" than "magical P.I." but similarly fast-paced.

Mefi's own cstross' the Laundry series (first book is the Atrocity Archives) - battling Lovecraftian Things From Beyond via a British government bureaucracy.

Saving the (IMO) best for last - Charlie Huston's "Joe Pitt Casebooks." Another vampire P.I., but much grimmer & grittier & more complex than any of the above and a lot of use of NYC as almost another character. Huston's seriously good - like Lawrence Block/Jim Thompson/maybe even Raymond Chandler & Dashiell Hammett good.
posted by soundguy99 at 9:38 PM on January 21, 2013 [2 favorites]

It depends on what you really like as much about the Dresden Files.

I agree with Felix Castor and Sandman Slim. I would also throw the following in the mix.

Probably the best series from a writing standpoint would be the Watch series by Sergei Lukyanenko. I can't recommend it enough and if I were to put a book in your hand next, it would be Nightwatch.

The Nightside series by Simon R. Green. (As a note on this series, most of his books have interconnections between them. Including the scifi and fantasy novels too.)

Charles Stross's Laundry series is good. It has more humor and it is best appreciated by someone that knows a bit about the Lovecraftian Mythos.

For more Fantasy oriented, I would recommend the Night Watch set of Discworld novels from Terry Pratchett. They are excellent writing, great humor and wonderful characters.

Another fantasy oriented similar flavor would be the Vlad Taltos series by Stephen Brust.
posted by slavlin at 9:42 PM on January 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

Just want to pipe up and agree with Slavlin on the Night Watch series by Sergei Lukyanenko. I liked it quite a bit more than the Desden Files and I really appreciate that it's a series that plays completely fair with the reader. No mysteries or anything that you can't figure out with the information your given and the "big surprise" at the end of the series is completely deducible with the information you're given.

In my experience a lot of fantasy fails that particular test.

I should also recommend the, "River's of London" series by Ben Aaronovitch. It's a police procedural and much more self contained than the Dresden Files, but I really enjoyed it.
posted by bswinburn at 10:07 PM on January 21, 2013

Anything by Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant. The McGuire books are more akin to Dresden, though. One series (October Daye) features a changeling faerie PI/knight who rides to the rescue of many people, the other (currently one book, Discount Armageddon) features a family of cryptozoologists.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:16 PM on January 21, 2013 [2 favorites]

I've only read a couple, but Kat Richardson's Greywalker novels were good.

Full disclosure: She's the good friend of good friends, but I've never met her.
posted by luckynerd at 10:24 PM on January 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

I liked Glen Cook's Garrett series. From that, segue into Cook's Black Company series, and from there into Steven Erikson's Malazan series.

I'm going to start on the Night Watch series from hearing about it here.
posted by sebastienbailard at 10:59 PM on January 21, 2013

Welcome to the Wizard Detective genre.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:29 AM on January 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

I loved the Dresden Files - I highly recommend The Hollows, by Kim Harrison, you'll love it too.

Also, a bit different, but I think you'll like it Bartimaeus series.
posted by pyro979 at 5:13 AM on January 22, 2013

I'll second Rob Thurman's Cal Leandros series. Many striking similarities to Dresden. Darker, I think. Not as funny.

I love, love, love the Charlie Stross "Laundry" series. While I think "The Jennifer Morgue" (second one in the series) was brilliantly inventive, it turned a lot of people off because it was sorta REALLY far-feteched. However, in my opinion, that's the ONLY one of them to do a "nod to a thriller"-type-setup. Suspect that thread was started because of the Author's Notes at the end of it.

Anyway - all of my friends who liked Dresden liked the Laundry novels.

I'm eagerly awaiting the next releases of both. Yes, I've finished the most recent ones and will have a long time to wait.

posted by Thistledown at 6:29 AM on January 22, 2013

Simon R. Green's stuff is where I went directly after Dresden. Both Secret Histories and the Nightside books have a similar vibe. Not exactly, but definitely in the same genre, with the same amount of wisecracking, etc..
posted by ASoze at 7:04 AM on January 22, 2013

You might want to check out Ilona Andrews "Magic" series and Liz Williams "Detective Inspecter Chen" series.

Ilona Andrews is a husband wife team and isn't overly romance-y like some others. Plenty of humor similar to Butcher's. The Liz Williams series is pretty singular - not set in the Western canon - very fun reading because of that.
posted by rdnnyc at 2:04 PM on January 22, 2013

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