Day One

By: Jim Butcher

Series: The Dresden Files

Book Number: 15.2

Star Rating:



Spoiler Disclaimer


Waldo Butters, newly minted Knight of the Cross, receives the Call for his first mission, which is helping a homeless man who appears to be strung out on drugs. The man tries to physically fight Butters over going to the hospital, where he claims he'll be killed. Sensing that merely getting the man the help he needs isn't the end of his mission, Butters goes to the hospital to check up on the patient where he must battle a fictional creature come to life that is feeding off the fears of humans, mostly children.


"Day One" is a short story in the Dresden Files series that's written from Waldo Butters's first-person POV and takes place after the events of Skin Game. Since deciding to take up the mantle of a Knight of the Cross at the end of that novel, Butters has been training with Michael and Charity who are trying to prepare him for his first mission. That comes about sooner rather than later, when Butters gets the Call to help a homeless man who appears to be strung out on drugs. The man becomes very agitated about going to the hospital, telling Butters that he'll be killing him if he sends him there. Concerned that there's probably something foul afoot, Butters goes to the hospital to check on the patient, where he must fight his first Knight battle against a creature that shouldn't even be real.

I've really liked Butters ever since he was first introduced in the series. I was interested to learn in the intro to this story that when Jim Butcher first conceived Butters, he was only meant to be a throwaway character, but then he took on a life of his own. I'm so glad he did, because I was thrilled by the things he did in Skin Game and by his decision to become a Knight of the Cross. I think it showed that the seemingly weak, nerdy guy sometimes really can be the hero. It was fun accompanying Butters on his first Knight mission. Not surprisingly he's a bundle of nerves. When he called on Harry for help, I liked how Harry responded, giving him both information and the confidence he needed to complete the job. I have to admit that there was a point in the series when I thought that Karrin Murphy would become a Knight and was a little disappointed when she didn't, but now I think that Waldo is the perfect person for the position. I have a feeling he's going to have lots of adventures ahead of him and I look forward to taking the journey with him. Overall, this story was a really fun addition to the series. "Day One" was previously published in the multi-author anthology, Unfettered II: New Tales By Masters of Fantasy, before being reprinted in the single-author anthology, Brief Cases.


Jim Butcher