Storm Front (The Dresden Files #1) by Jim Butcher
Lost items found. Paranormal Investigations.
Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates.
No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or
Harry Dresden is the best at what he does. Well, technically, he’s the only at what he does. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal creativity or capability, they come to him for answers. For the “everyday” world is actually full of strange and magical things — and most of them don’t play well with humans. That’s where Harry comes in. Takes a wizard to catch a — well, whatever.
There’s just one problem. Business, to put it mildly, stinks. So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry’s seeing dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry’s name. And that’s when things start to get… interesting.
Magic. It can get a guy killed.
I read this book once a very long time ago (beginning of high school, maybe?), and I recall enjoying it, as well as the TV show that was out at that point in time. But I never read the rest of the series, even though I already owned the first 6 books. Then, a couple of months ago, one my friends and I were talking about books (as usual) and he brought up this series. Sure enough, I still have 6 books sitting on my shelf, and I decided it was time to give them a go. I won’t be reading them back to back, as I’ve learned the hard way that I get burned out on authors that way. But here’s the first step.
This book was great for a first book in a series. There was plenty of world-building, and I quite liked Butcher’s narrative style with how he has Harry describing how magic works. There was some heavy-handed foreboding about “the world … growing darker,” but not too much of it.
Least favorite part of this book: Harry resigns himself to dying quite a bit. I mean, I understood why every time, but I think there should really be a limit as to how many times a character can decide they are at peace with dying in a single book. It didn’t add to the suspense for me. The only positive about that is the fact that it didn’t seem out of place with Harry’s character. Speaking of which …
Harry Dresden is a very strong lead character. He’s consistent, he’s honest. He has a past that we’ve learned bits and pieces about, and he’s working to overcome it. We already know about what motivates him and what brings him down. And he himself has a very strong sense of who he is and what wizards should be about. I appreciate that in a lead character, and I think Butcher did a very nice job of pulling it off. The supporting characters were well fleshed-out as well, though some were more than others and it wasn’t immediately clear to me from this book why certain ones had more definition than others. I suspect that’s due to their roles in later books.
I liked how the plot held together, overall. It was paced very well and I never found myself getting bored with the part of the book I was in. There were no major holes, and most of the details mentioned throughout the book proved to be meaningful. I’d like to see a little bit more of a macro-plot to hold the series together, but in a first book I’m ok with not having anything obvious yet. We have a bit related to the White Council, but I’m not sure how much is there yet. I’ll have to speak to this topic again after I read the next book (which, if I manage to find the time, should be fairly soon).
Posted on March 29, 2014, in Urban Fantasy/Paranormal and tagged book reviews, dresden files, fantasy, harry dresden, investigation, jim butcher, magic, storm front, urban fantasy, wizard. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.