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10 Books Like The Dresden Files

Books Like The Dresden Files

“The Dresden Files” is a contemporary fantasy/mystery novel series written by American author Jim Butcher. 

The series is centered around Harry Dresden, Chicago’s first (and only) Wizard P.I. (Private Investigator), who investigates cases that involve the supernatural, often collaborating with the Chicago PD’s Special Investigation unit.

The series blends elements of fantasy, mystery, and noir genres, featuring a wide range of supernatural creatures and characters, including vampires, werewolves, faeries, and demons.

If you are looking for similar books that resonate with these themes and characters, here they are.

Books Like The Dresden Files

1. Rivers of London (Peter Grant Series) by Ben Aaronovitch

“Rivers of London,” also known as “Midnight Riot” in the US, is the first book in the Peter Grant series by Ben Aaronovitch. It introduces us to Peter Grant, a young Metropolitan Police officer who, after an unexpected encounter with a ghost, is recruited into a small branch of the Met that deals with magic and the supernatural. 

As Grant delves into his new role, he must navigate a world where gods and goddesses mingle with mortals, and where the criminal underbelly has a magical twist.

Major Similarities: 

Similar to “The Dresden Files,” “Rivers of London” combines elements of urban fantasy with crime and mystery. Both series feature protagonists who are deeply involved in the investigation of supernatural incidents within a modern city setting. 

The blend of humor, magical elements, and detective work in “Rivers of London” mirrors the tone and approach of “The Dresden Files,” making it appealing to fans of Harry Dresden’s adventures.

2. Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne

The “Iron Druid Chronicles” series begins with “Hounded,” introducing Atticus O’Sullivan, the last of the Druids, living quietly in Arizona. 

He is drawn into battles with angry gods, vengeful witches, and mythical creatures, all while trying to keep his connection to the earth and its history alive. 

Atticus is accompanied by his loyal Irish wolfhound, Oberon, who adds a layer of humor and companionship to the narrative.

Major Similarities: 

This series shares the urban fantasy setting and the integration of a wide range of mythological and supernatural elements with “The Dresden Files.” 

Both protagonists are powerful, knowledgeable in ancient magic, and often find themselves in over their heads against formidable supernatural foes. The humor and dynamic character relationships are also key similarities, offering readers engaging and witty dialogues alongside thrilling magical confrontations.

3. Nightside Series by Simon R. Green

The “Nightside Series” kicks off with “Something from the Nightside,” introducing readers to John Taylor, a private investigator with a special talent for finding lost things, operating in the Nightside, a dark, hidden, supernatural side of London. 

The Nightside is filled with creatures and characters not found in the normal world, and Taylor’s cases often lead him into danger and intrigue, dealing with gods, monsters, and otherworldly powers.

Major Similarities: 

Both the “Nightside Series” and “The Dresden Files” feature a detective protagonist with supernatural abilities, set against an urban fantasy backdrop where magic and the mundane world intersect. 

The exploration of a hidden, darker side of a major city, filled with supernatural beings and dangers, parallels Harry Dresden’s Chicago. 

The mix of mystery, dark humor, and the supernatural in both series makes them compelling reads for fans of urban fantasy mysteries.

4. Alex Verus Series by Benedict Jacka

“Alex Verus Series” starts with “Fated,” where readers meet Alex Verus, a London-based mage who runs a magic shop and possesses the rare ability to see the future. 

This ability draws him into the dangerous politics of the magical world, forcing him to navigate between factions and face threats from powerful mages and creatures. Verus must use his wits and precognitive powers to survive and protect those close to him.

Major Similarities: 

The “Alex Verus Series” and “The Dresden Files” share a modern urban setting where magic exists alongside the normal world, largely unseen by ordinary people. 

Both series feature a magic-practicing male protagonist who often finds himself embroiled in supernatural politics and conflicts. The emphasis on the protagonist’s unique magical abilities, along with a strong narrative voice and a blend of action, magic, and mystery, makes the “Alex Verus Series” resonate well with fans of Harry Dresden.

5. October Daye Series by Seanan McGuire

The “October Daye Series” begins with “Rosemary and Rue,” introducing October “Toby” Daye, a changeling who balances her life between the human and fae worlds. 

After a personal tragedy forces her back into the fae world, Toby becomes a detective solving mysteries that intertwine the human and the supernatural. Her journey is filled with magic, intrigue, and a deep exploration of fae lore and society.

Major Similarities: 

Like “The Dresden Files,” the “October Daye Series” merges the elements of urban fantasy with a detective narrative, set in a world where magic and the mundane coexist. Both series focus on a protagonist deeply entrenched in the supernatural aspects of the world, working to solve mysteries and combat threats that cross the boundaries between the magical and the human. 

The richly developed supernatural world, combined with a strong, relatable character facing personal and external challenges, makes this series a great match for Dresden fans.

6. The Hollows Series by Kim Harrison

Starting with “Dead Witch Walking,” The Hollows series introduces readers to Rachel Morgan, a witch and bounty hunter living in Cincinnati, known as The Hollows, where supernatural beings live openly alongside humans after a pandemic caused by genetically modified tomatoes decimated the human population. 

Rachel battles a variety of supernatural threats, navigates complex social dynamics of various magical species, and uncovers conspiracies, all while developing her own powers and relationships.

Major Similarities: 

Like “The Dresden Files,” The Hollows series is set in an urban fantasy world where the protagonist deals with a mix of detective work and supernatural challenges. Both series feature a strong, resourceful lead character who operates in a world where magic is known and various supernatural entities interact with human society. 

The combination of action-packed scenes, moral dilemmas, and the exploration of magical politics and societies makes The Hollows a compelling read for fans of Harry Dresden.

7. Kate Daniels Series by Ilona Andrews

The Kate Daniels series begins with “Magic Bites,” where Kate Daniels lives in a version of Atlanta where magic and technology vie for dominance. 

As a mercenary, she navigates this volatile world, dealing with shape-shifters, vampires, and other supernatural beings. Kate’s mysterious past and her powerful abilities draw her into the center of conflicts that could change the balance of power in her world.

Major Similarities: 

Both “The Dresden Files” and the Kate Daniels series are urban fantasy sagas that blend magical elements with a post-apocalyptic setting where the protagonist serves as a mediator and fighter against supernatural threats. 

The series shares a gritty, action-oriented tone with complex character development and a deep dive into a well-constructed magical world. Fans appreciate the strong, capable protagonist and the dynamic, evolving storyline.

8. Sandman Slim Series by Richard Kadrey

“Sandman Slim,” the first book in the series, introduces James Stark, also known as Sandman Slim, a magician who returns from Hell to seek revenge on those who sent him there. 

Set in Los Angeles, the series follows Stark’s journey of vengeance, redemption, and his struggles to adapt to life on Earth, dealing with both human and supernatural threats.

Major Similarities: 

This series and “The Dresden Files” share a dark, gritty urban fantasy setting with a protagonist who has a foot in both the supernatural and the mortal worlds. 

Both Harry Dresden and James Stark are deeply flawed but ultimately heroic characters who face immense challenges and moral quandaries. 

The combination of noir-style storytelling, fast-paced action, and a deeply developed supernatural universe makes Sandman Slim resonate with fans of urban fantasy and noir.

9. Twenty Palaces Series by Harry Connolly

The “Twenty Palaces” series starts with “Child of Fire,” featuring Ray Lilly, an ex-convict turned enforcer for a secretive magical society known as the Twenty Palaces Society. 

Tasked with investigating and eliminating supernatural threats, Ray’s journey takes him through dark and dangerous confrontations with creatures and magic beyond human understanding, all while grappling with his own redemption.

Major Similarities: 

Similar to “The Dresden Files,” the “Twenty Palaces” series combines elements of urban fantasy with a noir detective atmosphere, set against a backdrop of mysterious and often perilous magic. 

Both series feature protagonists who are somewhat outsiders to the magical communities they protect and serve, using their wits, magical abilities, and moral compasses to navigate through complex plots and confrontations with supernatural forces.

10. Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs

Beginning with “Moon Called,” the Mercy Thompson series follows Mercedes “Mercy” Thompson, a mechanic living in the Tri-Cities area of Washington. 

Mercy is a walker, a Native American with the ability to turn into a coyote at will. Her world is filled with werewolves, vampires, fae, and other supernatural beings. 

Through her unique position as a neutral party among the local supernatural factions, Mercy finds herself drawn into conflicts that often require her to use her wits, powers, and alliances to protect her friends and maintain a delicate balance.

Major Similarities: 

Both “The Dresden Files” and the Mercy Thompson series are set in a contemporary world where the supernatural is hidden in plain sight. Each series features a protagonist with a strong moral code, navigating a world filled with complex supernatural politics and relationships. 

The blend of mystery, action, and the supernatural, along with a likable and capable protagonist dealing with threats to both the human and supernatural communities, makes the Mercy Thompson series a great match for fans of Harry Dresden’s adventures.

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