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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Storm Front: The Dresden Files #1 by Jim Butcher

It’s not bad enough that Chicago has gangsters and the winds from the Great Lakes to contend with.  They also have demons, vampires and many other super natural beasties to deal with.  Fortunately for the city, they have the only openly practicing wizard, Harry Dresden.  Wizard Dresden has managed to eke out an existence in spite of vast majority of the city not taking him the least bit seriously.

In this, the first installment, Jim Butcher introduces us, to Harry Dresden, professional wizard.   Through Harry, we are introduced to the magical side of the Windy City.  Readers get a small glimpse into Harry’s history with the magical and mundane world.  We’re also given and introductory course to the magic system of Dresden’s world to include an idea of the origins of his powers and how some devices work.

I like the strait forward approach of Harry Dresden being our host and guide of his story.  It’s not just because detective type stories work well in first person but, it also helps to have the main character there to explain the finer points of his craft.  Jim Butcher shows us that an easy to read style doesn’t have result in a simplistic story.   Pacing in this book was excellent.  Action scenes tended to ramp up as the story went along and were spaced out enough to give both the reader and poor Harry a bit of a break.

It’s easy to like Harry as the main character.  His quick wit and sometimes brutal honesty give him a certain rakish charisma.  As for the other characters in the story, there’s not as much time spent developing them with one exception, Lt. Karrin Murphy.  She’s the hard-as-nails detective that’s Harry’s main contact with the police departments section that handles unusual cases.  To be fair to the rest, we don’t really get to know any of them well enough because there is so much going on.  Besides, this book was probably meant to introduce Harry and a few key characters and that was definitely accomplished here.

Call me a late, late, late bloomer when it comes to The Dresden Files but, I like this series.  When I first became aware of the series my first reaction was “Another wizard named Harry?  Give me a Harry break!”  Honestly, the only reason I tried out the first book was because, one bored Saturday morning, I found the TV show on Amazon streaming and wound up binging on the only available season.   I looked at the reviews to get a clue why it was canceled.  As to be expected, the book fans were out with the long knives.   With that and knowing the book is always better, I decided to check the books out and I’m glad I did.  This is a very PG-13 book due to language and violence.  None of it is really what I would call gratuitous but, I wouldn’t want my child to do a book report on it.  I don’t know if I could convince the teacher that a naked wizard dropping S-bombs is a legitimate plot point for a seventh grader to discuss in class.

So, if you like magic, vampires, demons, talking skulls and sometimes clothing optional spell-casters, I suggest you try out Storm Front by Jim Butcher.   Besides, starting to read an established series like this, you won’t be waiting five years for the next book to come out.

Roberts Signature

Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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8 People left their mark' :

  1. I just started listening to this series on audiobook this year (you are not the only one late to the party :-) ). I've listened to the first two books and have really enjoyed so far. From what I've been told, the series really picks up either with book three or after book three (I can't remember). Either way, I can't imagine how this series will get much better, but I can't wait to see.

  2. I'm with you, Melanie, this has been a cool series so far. There were several deviation from the book in the TV series but, the one that bothered me most when I started the book series was Murphy and Susan. On TV, Murphy was Latina and Susan was a blond but, in the books, it's reversed. Blew my mental image of both characters for a while. (:0

  3. Nice review Robert, I only recently started this series as well, so you are not alone in that :)

  4. I am a fan of both the books and show. For some reason, the deviations from the book didn't bother me. If you like audio books, James Masters (Spike from Buffy) is the narrator of most of the books. He starts off a little bland, but as he gains experience he does a great job.

  5. I love this series. I've been listening to the audiobooks slowly (I'm only up to book 5 or 6) and find Harry to be such a comfortable character. He's so easy to like, and has such crazy adventures.

  6. [* WordPress Simple Firewall plugin marked this comment as "pending" because: Human SPAM filter found "oy" in "comment_content". *]
    This review post has reminded me that I listened to the first audiobook a while back and enjoyed it. James Marsters does a fab job of the narration and I liked the pace and humour of the story. I don't think we got the TV series in the UK - maybe only on satellite? Thanks for the memory jog. I must go and see if Audible has more of the series for download.

  7. This is such a great series. I am hoping to focus on catching up on this series In 2015. I just recently finished the 3rd book. Great review!

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