Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Dresden Files: Storm Front by Jim Butcher

Welcome to my new conversation on books I've read and what I have to say about them.

Today's subject, the first installment of Jim Butcher's Dresden files, "Storm Front"

This book was released in 2000 so you may notice references to things that are all but gone now (pay phones being a good example). A lot has changed in the world since 2000 and still Storm Front holds up very well after 17 years in print.

Storm Front introduces the reader to a young Harry Dresden, professional wizard and private investigator.  Harry is introduced as a down on his luck, perpetually broke, private investigator and member of a secretive order of wizards.  This book introduces Harry's relationship to the Chicago police, his difficulties among his fellow wizards, the looming threat of the Chicago mob boss 'Gentleman' Johnny Marcone, and the allure of the reporter Susan Rodriquez.  Oh, and there are also "bad guys" at the root of this tale.

Harry really has his hands full in this book.  Corpses are turning up and certain people believe Harry may have been involved.

Spoiler:  Susan Rodriquez becomes a far more important character than you may expect as the series progresses.


My thoughts:

Jim Butcher displays a lot of talent in this first novel.  There is a raw power to the story while the writing is easily digestible.  This book was enough to make me go look for the rest of the series and now, 9 years after I first read Storm Front, I'm still eagerly awaiting the next book in the Dresden Files series (Peace Talks).  I recommend that new readers go through this series in chronological order, as Butcher does a great job of building on the overall story from book to book.

When you are reading the Dresden Files, you are treated to the evolution of Butcher's skill as a writer.  He has succeeded in honing his craft with each volume in the series.  Throughout the fantastic occurrences in the series, Harry Dresden remains a very easy character to relate to.  Harry is a wonderful character who makes mistakes, and sometimes learns from them.

The magic and mythos of the Dresden Files universe has a logical consistency that manages to keep magic wonderfully fanciful while making sense to the reader. So put your wizard hat on and immerse yourself in the fantastic elements in this series.

I've read this book at least five times, and I'm about to pick it up and read it again.  If you haven't read Dresden Files yet, and you're looking for a new book to sink your teeth into, cast your eyes upon Storm Front.

Recommended for:  Anyone who likes modern fantasy, supernatural detective stories, and a hero who is just trying to do his best in a world that doesn't appreciate him.

Not recommended for:  Well, that's a tough one.  I know precisely two people I wouldn't recommend this book to.  Both have a disdain for supernatural fiction.  So if that applies to you as well, you can skip this book, but you're missing out.

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1 comment:

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