Character Connection is hosted by The Introverted Reader and is a chance to spotlight the characters we love!
My favorite series is Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. If you’re not familiar with these books, and you enjoy urban fantasy, you’re missing out. Read these books!
In the world of The Dresden Files, magic is real, along with vampires, demons, spirits, faeries, werewolves and other mythical monsters. Harry Dresden works to protect the general public, who are ignorant of magic and the dark forces conspiring against them. This makes it difficult for Harry to get by as a working wizard and private eye.
Murphy is a Chicago Police officer in the Special Investigations (or "S.I.") division, which is appointed to all cases in which something unexplainable or supernatural is involved. In the past, transfer to SI has been a way for the department to get rid of out-of-favor officers. Murphy, on the other hand, took the post seriously, going so far as to hire the only wizard in the phone book, Harry Dresden.
Sure I love Harry Dresden, wizard of Chicago, but Butcher shines with his supporting characters, and Karrin Murphy is the ultimate gem. And she’s a fantastic female role model for young women.
I know that there are lots of great kick-butt female protagonists in urban fantasy but most of them have some sort of supernatural skill as well. That’s where Karrin is different. She’s human. No supernatural skills whatsoever. She doesn’t need them.
She’s smart, tough, loyal, brave, witty, wise-cracking, independent, inventive, fearless, adaptable and kind. She always takes the moral high ground. She always keeps her promises. She always has Harry’s back. She’ll sacrifice her own well being for others. She goes to church. She’s sexy in cute way, and she kicks-butt – and all this is packed into a petite 5’2” blonde.
A mega martial arts specialist, savvy detective, and expert marksman (she makes her own ammunition), she puts all the macho guys to shame (not that Harry ever claims to be macho) while never losing her femininity.
Her only flaw is not giving in to her obvious romantic love for Harry. Oh, well, I guess she can’t be perfect.
The Dresden files are fantastic reads for urban fantasy loving young adults – fast-paced creative plots, characters with depth, terrific writing, minimal sex and language (honestly there’s more sex and language in a lot of the YA I read). With so many wimpy, whiny, will-you-just-do-something-already female protagonists in teen fiction, Karrin Murphy is a (completely human) breath of fresh and inspiring air.
Teenage girls should read The Dresden Files and get to know Karrin Murphy. She’s a real (did I mention she’s human?) role model and hero!
And she’s getting her own story – kind of. Side Jobs (pub: Nov 2010) is an anthology with a bunch of short stories about Harry and his world. One is called, Aftermath, which takes place 45 minutes after Changes (just released this month with a major cliffhanger which Butcher has never done before) and is told from Karrin’s point of view.
All twelve books in the series have been from Harry’s first person POV. I’m not usually a big anthology fan, but I’ll be devouring this one. Can she pull Harry out of the fire again? Let’s hope so.