By: Jim Butcher

Series: The Dresden Files

Book Number: 10.2

Star Rating:

Sensuality Rating:



Spoiler Disclaimer


Thomas Raith is called into action by his sister, Lara, who provides him with information that Thomas's half-brother, Harry Dresden, is in trouble and doesn't even know it. An ancient, evil organization known as the Stygian Sisterhood has tricked Harry into unwittingly helping them unleash demonic forces. Thomas must find a way to stop them in time, without Harry knowing, because if his brother finds out, Thomas's involvement in the Oblivion War will also be revealed, and that is a secret that no one can know.


"Backup" is a novellette that falls between Small Favor and Turn Coat in the Dresden Files series chronology. It's unique to the series in that it's told entirely from the POV of Thomas, Harry's vampire half-brother. In this one, Thomas is contacted by his sister, Lara, and asked to rendezvous with her representative to receive important information. That representative ends up being Justine, the only woman Thomas has ever loved, but the one woman he can't be with, because to do so would kill her. The information she brings is that Harry is in danger from an ancient evil known as the Stygian Sisterhood who want to unleash demonic forces. One of the sisters has tricked Harry into helping her, so Thomas must ride to the rescue. But he cannot reveal his presence, because that would also reveal his involvement in the centuries-old Oblivion War, a secret that no one must know.

I've loved Thomas as a secondary character in the Dresden Files since he showed up on the page. It was really fun and interesting to get a peek inside his life while he's not helping Harry with cases. Needless to say, Thomas is keeping a few secrets. I also loved his brief but bittersweet reunion with Justine. I'm still rooting for something to happen that will make it possible for these two to be together one day. I think that "Backup" proves that Thomas is an interesting enough character to carry his own story, and although there don't appear to be any more stories from his POV in the series to date, I would definitely be up for more. This one barely whetted my appetite. I don't know if the events depicted in this novellette will have any bearing on the larger books of the series, but I kind of hope so. I'm very eager to learn more about the Oblivion War and Thomas's involvement in it. "Backup" was originally published as a stand-alone novellette with illustrations (though not a graphic novel) by Subterranean Press, but was later republished, sans illustrations, in the anthology, Side Jobs.


Jim Butcher