Storm Front by Jim Butcher

Just finished reading Storm Front by Jim Butcher.  Storm Front is the first one in the Dresden Files series of books and brings to us a new type of PI.  Harry Dresden is a private investigator with a difference – he’s a wizard!  This is a paranormal detective book with wizards, demons, black magic, fey, vampires and talking skulls – and I loved it!

Okay, I admit this probably isn’t a work of art, it isn’t deep and meaningful and it’s cliched but it’s fast paced, full of tension, had a fairly good story running through and frankly pretty much grabbed me from the first page and kept me wanting to read – which is a definite plus.

In this first book we learn a little bit about Harry but I suspect that this will be built upon in future novels.  I really liked Harry – he’s one of the good guys after all.  He’s poor and not exactly flooded with work but he treats people decently, he doesn’t try to con them, he feels bad when he has to act tough and he’s not ashamed to admit to his weaknesses – creepy crawlies give him the shivers, he feels sick at the sight of a crime scene – and, my favourite, he has a love of books and an overloaded book shelf in need of some attention!  But, he does have a shadow looming over him – something in his past that has put him out of favour with the all powerful ‘White Council’ – the wizarding police if you will.

In this episode Harry’s dry period comes to an abrupt end when he is asked to look into a ‘missing persons’ mystery and then he’s called in by the police to look at a particularly nasty double murder where black magic is suspected.  Things quickly spiral out of control and Harry seems to go from one life threatening event to the next, he’s definitely caught the wrong sort of attention and he’s in a race against time to find the killer and save his own life in the process.

I enjoyed the Chicago setting with the dark and stormy settings and I thought there was enough detail to set the scene without it being overly done – which I don’t think would have sat well with this story and would have slowed it down in an unhelpful way.  I also enjoyed the introduction to a number of the supporting characters – Murphy, hard nosed cop (but her bark is worse than her bite), Bianca, the vampire, who will definitely be reappearing in future novels and is bearing a grudge – her bit of the story was quite riveting!  And, of course, we have the obligatory reporter – Susan.  There are of course plenty of others who will doubtless be in future novels – the bar McAnallys, and the obvious favourites – the pizza eating faerie – Toot Toot, and Harry’s helpful assistant Bob – who lives in a skull!

On the whole, a very enjoyable and entertaining read and I will definitely continue with the series.

Rating -A

Storm Front

Storm Front

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3 Responses to “Storm Front by Jim Butcher”

  1. Carl V.

    We just did a group read on this in September and I found it to be a lot of fun. Like you said, it is no work of art, but it isn’t meant to be either. It is the kind of book that is meant to entertain, and entertain it does. And Butcher proves to be very skilled at writing this kind of story. I know I am certainly looking forward to continuing on with the series, which is not something I expected to be saying when it was first suggested that we give it a try as a group read.

    • lynnsbooks

      Hey Carl

      I know – I spotted your group read and that’s what lead me to this in the first place. I didn’t read all your discussions because I didn’t want to have a preconceived idea of what was going on or in case there were any spoilers but I’m just going to head on over to your blog shortly to read all the comments and see what everyone else thought. I really liked it, it was good fun yet managed to be quite pacey and tense. I couldn’t believe how things just kept spiralling further and further out of control – I love it when an author manages to do that. I’ve already got book 2! I’m going to take a look at the series as well – it piqued my interest – I would have thought there would be so much good stuff in there that would translate well to tv so I’m surprised it didn’t become more of a big thing. Perhaps it wasn’t the right time for the paranormal stuff?? Did you watch any of the Game of Thrones when it was on TV? I didn’t, I wanted to read the book first so I’ll have to wait till next year now when the dvd comes out! Hope it’s good.

      Anyway, I’m glad I spotted this on your blog.

      Lynn 😀

  2. Grave Peril by Jim Butcher, No.3 of the Dresden Files « Lynn's Book Blog

    […] in the series of the Dresden Files and for me was a definite improvement.  The first two books are Storm Front and Fool Moon.  I liked the first two but wasn’t as ‘wowed’ as I would like to […]

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