So even before I started reading this, I already loved it. Anything dealing with Jim Butcher I’m going to love. Especially if it’s my favorite wizard private investigator, Harry Dresden.
“When the supernatural world spins out of the control, when the police can’t handle what goes bump in the night, when monsters come screaming out of nighmares and into the mean streets, there’s just one man to call: Harry Dresden, the only professional wizard in the phone book. A police consultant and private investigator, Dresden has to walk the line between the world of night and the light of day. Now Harry Dresden is investigating a brutal mauling at the Lincoln Park Zoo that has left a security guard dead and many questions unanswered. As an investigator of the supernatural he sense that there’s more to this case than a simple animal attack, and as Dresden searches for clues to figure out who is really behind the crime, he finds himself next on the victim list, and being hunted by creatures that won’t leave much more than a stain if they catch him.”
That out of the way, Welcome To the Jungle was written solely as a graphic novel that takes place before the first Dresden File novel, Storm Front. We follow Dresden as he investigates the death of a zookeeper under some spooky circumstances. Many think that the zookeeper was mauled by the alpha gorilla, Moe. Being Dresden, he is thrown head first into a situation that seems to be way too much for him, but somehow he manages to defeat the villain, an ancient group of woman known as Hecatean Hags, who are trying to a ascend to a greater and darker power. The big battle in the end between Dresden and the Hag is a typical Dresden battle to the death: when all appears to end bad for our plucky hero, something completely random saves his hide. Dresden manages to free Moe the Gorilla and the Hag gets what she deserves.
The story was fun and easy to read. I got through the whole story in about an hour. It was fast paced and fun to read. To me, this story could have fit anywhere between the earlier books, when Dresden is less hardened by later situations. As much as I enjoyed this, I really missed reading Harry’s descriptions of the world around him. Don’t get me wrong, I loved seeing the world brought to life by the artist, Ardian Syaf, but I love the way Butcher has his hero tell his story. However, this doesn’t take away the story. It’s a solid story filled with the write amount of action and suspense and “Holy crap that did not just happen!” moments that make the Dresden Files series so amazing to get absorbed into.
If you’ve never read any of the Dresden File novels, I say you should you read the series. Now, should you start with Welcome to the Jungle or Storm Front? Since this is supposed to be a prequel to Storm Front, I guess you should read this first. But does it matter? No, not really. Like I said before, this story really could go between any of say the first two or three books. But it really makes no difference.Introduce yourself to the world of Harry Dresden if you haven’t. Trust me; it’s an addictive ride you won’t want to get off of. J