It's both Valentine's Day and Harry's brother, Thomas's birthday. Harry has a gift for Thomas and goes to his brother's apartment to give it to him, only to find Thomas out at a shopping mall miles away, acting mysteriously. Not to be deterred in his mission, Harry insists on going to Thomas, where he finds that his sibling is vampire LARPing with an employee and a bunch of her friends. The fun and games are interrupted when a real Black Court vampire comes looking for revenge on those who wronged her in her human life. Can Harry and Thomas keep all the innocent LARPers safe, when Harry doesn't even have all his wizarding tools at hand?
"It's My Birthday, Too" is a really fun short novella that falls between White Night and Small Favor in the Dresden Files series chronology. It appears that it may pick up immediately after the graphic novel story, Down Town, as it opens with Harry and Molly just returning from a battle with a slime golem. In this one, it's both Valentine's Day and Thomas's birthday. Harry wants to celebrate by giving Thomas a gift, but Thomas isn't home. As it turns out, he's at an otherwise deserted shopping mall, taking part in vampire LARPing with one of his employees. Of course, it wouldn't be a Dresden Files story without some supernatural baddie interrupting all the fun, and in this case, it's a real Black Court vampire who, in her human life, used to be one of the LARPers. Now she's out for revenge against the rest of the group for making fun of her.
I really enjoyed this novella. Thomas being a real vampire, pretending to be a vampire was utterly amusing, as is his continued facade of being a gay French hairdresser. The former nerd turned vampire come back for revenge on those who did her wrong was a convincing touch of villainous genius. There was the obligatory supernatural battle that all but decimates the poor shopping mall, but as usual Harry is in fine form, despite not having most of his wizarding tools at hand, because this was supposed to be family time. I loved his ability to improvise and the help he received from the Little Folk who live in the shoe store at the mall was awesome. I adore the little fairies and love it when they appear in one of these stories. Harry's apprentice, Molly, was on hand, too, and provides some additional help, but she's still not powerful enough to counter a villain as strong as a vampire of the Black Court. All in all, this was an entertaining story and I very much enjoyed this foray into Harry's world. "It's My Birthday, Too" was originally published in the anthology, Many Bloody Returns and was later reprinted in the single-author anthology, Side Jobs.
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