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Backup by Jim Butcher
Cover Artist: Mike Mignola
Review by Gayle Surrette
Subterranean Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781596061828
Date: 31 October 2008 List Price $20.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Thomas Raith, a vampire of the White Court, is also Harry Dresden's half-brother. He's finally found a way to satisfy his Hunger -- he's become a hairdresser. His type of vampire doesn't do the blood thing, they just take your life force. He and Harry get along, and Thomas has been watching Harry's back through a number of cases. This time though, Thomas has a bit of a problem. Harry's helping the bad guys, or girls in this case, but he doesn't know it and Thomas has to stop him without telling him what's going on. This isn't going to be easy…

This novella, published by Subterranean Press, is illustrated by Mike Mignola. The black and white drawings are evocative of dark hungers and monsters not quite seen. Which, since the story is told from Thomas's point of view, sets the atmosphere of the piece.

Thomas, though he has shown up in many of the Harry Dresden novels, has been a bit of an enigma -- we see his actions, but we don't know his thoughts. So, if you're a fan of the series, a chance to read a story from Thomas's point of view shouldn't be missed. We learn that Thomas is a deeper and more complex character than we might have thought based on what we'd seen of him so far.

Novellas by their nature are short, this one just 70 pages (in the advanced uncorrected proof), so I can't tell you anymore about the plot. But this is an exciting, action-packed, and convoluted tale -- complete and satisfying. It's also one you definitely want to read if you're a Harry Dresden completist or even just a casual fan of the character or series.

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