Obviously I am pretty late to the party with the Dresden Files. I know an awful lot of people who will cut you (with words, if nothing else) if you admit to not liking the series. Like, on a par with Joss Whedon fans. I just keep my mouth shut around them. But I figured I should at least give the series a chance. My assessment of the first book is "Eh." A snarky detective who's involved with the paranormal isn't a new concept- everybody from Kolchak to Gabriel Knight has done that, and Gabriel Knight did it on the whole with better characterization. I do enjoy a paranormal mystery, though, and that aspect of the book I liked. Some pieces of Butcher's magic are interesting; I'm interested in the focus on talismans and magical objects, and hoping it isn't just a writerly crutch to get Dresden worried when he doesn't have one.The writing is all right. Dresden's voice doesn't really grip me, and people shudder and shiver an awful lot in this book. I will say that Butcher is really good with page-turning action scenes. Based only on this book, I can't say I get the following. But I will give the second book a read and see if the writing style grows on me.