Saturday, September 28, 2013

Storm Front (Review)

(The Dresden Files, #1)

Published: April 1st, 2000
Genre(s): Adult Urban Fantasy/Mystery 

My Review: (4.5/5 stars*)

Storm Front is amazing, now let me explain took me only two pages to get drawn into the story, just TWO. Harry Dresden is a sarcastic and unlikely hero who also happens to be a pretty powerful wizard. There are three things Harry has no luck with and they are women, electronics, and being in the right place at the right time. Some people make friends while Dresden makes enemies. Not just your typical ones either, nope, he pisses off supernatural beings, other wizards, and even thugs. All of these things makes his life especially interesting and he never seems to catch a break. Right when I was about to put the book down to go to sleep the story would lure me in again and so I found myself reading even more than I intended. I stayed up late into the night to finish it and I do not regret it in the least. The writing is cultured with almost an effortless grace. Butcher has created a well-balanced blend of urban fantasy and mystery. It's full of grit, suspense, dark humor, and enough action to keep you flipping the pages.

Harry Dresden is the only openly practicing wizard in midtown Chicago. Most people refuse to take him seriously but the work he does and the supernatural threats lurking around are real. When a confounding case pops up the local P.D. contact Harry for his expertise, but he gets a lot more than he bargained for. Having a pile of bills to pay suddenly Dresden finds himself taking on two cases at once and the more he uncovers about each one the more troubling his life gets.

I loved that from the very beginning everything felt natural, it didn't feel as if the author was trying to force readers to believe in the world that he created as some UF often do. I got sucked in all on my own. Reading from Harry's perspective is terribly amusing because he gets himself in the most ridiculous situations. I liked seeing what was running through his mind as these humorous events unfolded. Even the minor characters had appealing qualities, mystifying backgrounds, and they felt no less important. Karrin Murphy whose a police officer who investigates unexplainable cases is someone who Harry considers a friend and she's courageous, witty, and believes in the supernatural. I liked her a lot, and hope to see her in future books to see how her and Harry's relationship develops. Another is Morgan who basically is out to get Harry and expose his alleged wicked ways to the White Council—wizard law enforcers—who can sentence him to death if they find him guilty of magic misuse. They loathe each other even though their on the same side, it's really just ironic. I grew attached to the characters quickly and I'm looking forward to each of their developments down the road.

All in all I found Storm Front tremendously entertaining, remarkably well-written, and original in content. It has wizards, vampires, demons, humor aplenty, nonstop turmoil, and puzzling events. Harry is an appealing protagonist who winds up making a mess of things, and being a bullseye target in the criminal/paranormal community. I enjoyed watching him put the pieces of the mystery together, and seeing him fight his way out of bad situations using only his brain and magic. Storm Front is an outstanding first novel in a long-running Urban Fantasy series, that has only just begun to show its cleverness. I'm confident the rest will only get better and better. If you're looking for an awesome urban fantasy read with a touch of mystery and loads of action grab this. I wish I had found the Dresden Files much sooner!


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.


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