Storm Front by Jim Butcher
Published by Roc Fantasy on April 1, 2000
Genres: Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Supernatural
Pages: 352 Format: Paperback Source: Library
Harry Dresden — Wizard
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.
After the persistent nagging of my brother for many years I have finally picked up the first installment of The Dresden Files. It’s one of his favorites and I’ve been pushing books on him hard lately so I thought it was time. Storm Front by Jim Butcher introduces us to Harry Dresden, wizard detective, and the supernatural world of Chicago. I had mixed opinions on this one, so let’s get into it.
Harry Dresden is a complicated guy, I mean, wizard. He doesn’t hide what he is, struggling to eek out a career in what he knows best. Dresden’s got a past shadowing his ever step though and the reader only gets the barest of glimpses. The only other character that really stood out to me was Karrin Murphy, Police Lieutenant and head of Special Investigations. She’s the only one who gives Harry any credence but Murphy won’t let him get in the way of her work.
While Dresden is up front about his powers, most of the supernatural beings try to keep off the radar. There’s the White Council, overseeing the wizard community and their laws, and Wardens that uphold them. Just a few mentions of the Nevernever which I gathered was a dark realm. Also introduced were vampires, faeries, and even an air elemental living in a skeleton. It was cool to see the worldbuilding unfold but I feel like it was only the tip of the iceberg.
I think a lot of what bothered me in this one was in terms of writing. It wasn’t anything special. With slow, tedious information dumps, there was a lot of time taken to get into the plot. Also every character that appeared had to be described in minute detail, from their skin to their clothes, and yet none of them stood out. There was no complexity and a lot of stereotypes across the board.
Overall Storm Front by Jim Butcher was a good read and a better series introduction. It takes some time to get into and there were things that bothered me. That being said I did enjoy discovering how the supernatural and fantasy elements played out in the story. This book is not going to be for everyone, but if you love mysteries and magic I would definitely recommend you give this a shot.
So have you read The Dresden Files before? Is it even something that interests you? Do I keep going when I have more free time? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!