Though several things lately have had me very cross (and I'm not going to bother posting about them), I've just finished up a bunch of work-code, and can afford to take a break until I have some code from coworkers. So I sat down with Blood Rites, the sixth book of the Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher.
These quotes (which do not spoil plot, as they are within the first six or seven pages and are just conversation to show that Harry's not been sitting idly doing absolutely nothing since the last book) remind me why I enjoy these books. High literature they are not, but Butcher has a great sense of dialog and pacing, and the Dresden Files are some of the best urban fantasy I've encountered.
Especially since he hasn't yet had the protagonist become possessed by the spirit of someone they killed and then go have an orgy with a pack of were-leopards (Cheetahs? Jaguars? I don't remember. I think I've managed to block most of the Anita Blake books after a certain point from my mind.)
Thomas experiences Harry's workday...
"Christ, Dresden! You could have gotten me killed!"
"Don't be a baby. You're fine."
Thomas frowned at me. "You could at least have told me."
"I did tell you," I said. "I told you at Mac's that I'd give you a ride home, but that I had to run an errand first."
Thomas scowled. "An errand is getting a tank of gas or picking up a carton of milk or something. It is not getting chased by flying purple pyromaniac gorillas hurling incendiary poo."
"Next time take the El."
Thomas discusses the state of Harry's car...
"Uh, do you mind if I ask what happened to your car?"
I looked around the Beetle's interior. It wasn't Volkswagen-standard anymore. The seat covers were gone. So was the padding underneath. So was the interior carpet, and big chunks of the dashboard that had been made out of wood. There was a little vinyl left, and some of the plastic, and anything made out of metal, but everything else had been completely stripped away.
I'd done some makeshift repairs with several one-by-sixes, some hanger wire, some cheap padding from the camping section at Wal-Mart, and a lot of duct tape. It gave the car a real post-modern look: By which I meant that it looked like something fashioned from the wreckage after a major nuclear exchange.
On the other hand, the Beetle's interior was very, very clean. My glasses are half-full, dammit.
"Mold demons ate your car?"
"Sort of. They were called out of the decay in the car's interior, and used anything organic they could find to make bodies for themselves."
"You called them?"
"Oh, hell no. They were a present from the guest villain a few months ago."
"I hadn't heard there was any action this summer."
"I have a life, man. And my life isn't all about feuding demigods and nations at war and solving a mystery before it kills me."
Thomas lifted an eyebrow. "It's also about mold demons and flaming monkey poo?"
"What can I say? I put the ick in magic."