rating: 5 of 5 stars
“Backup” is a novelette (70 pages) written in a first person perspective not from Harry but his older half-brother Thomas Raith, a White Court Vampire.
Thomas faces a problem. Harry is investigating a child's kidnapping, but, what Harry doesn't know is that the purported mother is actually a centuries old demon. Thomas knows all about the demon but is unable to tell Harry of the demon due to an even older pact amongst the demon-hunters that he's apart of. Thus, Thomas has to find a way to help Harry without letting Harry in on what he's doing.
Thomas does an awful lot of "I'm a monster" agonizing and he's really very whiny, more so than when written from Harry's POV. Still, it was really interesting to see things from Thomas' POV. His admiration for his brother comes through quite clearly and that's the real pleasure in the read. As Harry doesn't usually portray himself as one of the most powerful living wizards, good, but not on that level, so Thomas' view of him shines a whole new light on just how powerful Harry really is.
The story comes across as a “day in the life” kind of scenario. Way too short for an avid Butcher fan like myself. I highly recommend it if you can get your hands on a copy; and as this was a limited print run by Subterranean Press costing $20 you'll be lucky to find it new, let alone used.
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