Storm Front by Jim Butcher

storm-front-buthcerStorm Front (Dresden Files #1) by Jim Butcher, published in 2000 by Penguin Roc.

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Genre: urban fantasy.

Source: purchased (by husband).

Harry Dresden – Wizard 

Lost items found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment.

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. (Goodreads)

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My rating: 4/5.

It’s been a while since I’ve read a book like this. Harry Dresden is a wizard in a world where magic is thought to be something of a joke, which both makes his job easier and casts him as a kind of a scapegoat for all things related to magic. I liked that he doesn’t take himself too seriously, although he does have a very healthy ego. He’s one of those characters that you like despite their petty flaws and bad puns, if you know what I mean.

The best way to describe this kind of writing would be manly urban fantasy. Harry has something named “a wizard’s staff” and something called “a blasting rod”, he often takes on more than he can chew and he’s quite certain he’s God’s gift to women – though his experience says otherwise (don’t get me wrong, he’s never slimy, just really confident when I’m not sure he should be). He likes to make things go bang and he has a problem with authority.

What bothered me a bit were hints of a larger magical community – I felt like the whole magic thing wasn’t explained very well, though I believe the next FIFTEEN novels in the series might remedy that fact. I mean, I didn’t feel lost or anything, it’s just that there are some other magical beings that aren’t presented in great detail, there’s this whole thing of Harry being potentially sentenced to death and a history that’s suggested but never disclosed.

All in all, I enjoyed Storm Front, am thinking about getting part 2, and recommend this book to anyone who doesn’t mind an overly-confident, greasy-haired, slightly dorky wizard as a main character.

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Have you read this series?

I’d love to know whether it’s still interesting once you read a couple of books more!

 

  • I read the first two. Everyone who is a fan of the series says book 3 is where it all starts picking up. I just never got that in to it for some reason. But it is an hugely popular series, so he must be doing something right.

    • Kaja

      Ah. Well, I’m still not sure about it! I mean, it’s a quick read and all but Harry *can* be a bit annoying sometimes. It’s actually rare that a series gets better once you get a couple of books in, so I have my doubts about that. And while most of the books I read are part of one series or another, such a massive undertaking is somewhat daunting.

  • You’re right about the ‘manly’ part of this. I read this a few years ago and hated it – couldn’t deal with all the casual sexism in it!

    • Kaja

      Yeah, I thought I might continue with this series but haven’t yet – there are many more interesting things to read…