Series: The Dresden Files #1
Narrator: James Marsters
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by: Buzzy Multimedia Publishing Corp. on June 10, 2009
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My name is Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden. Conjure by it at your own risk. I'm a wizard. I work out of an office in midtown Chicago. As far as I know, I'm the only openly practicing professional wizard in the country. You can find me in the yellow pages, under Wizards. Believe it or not, I'm the only one there.
With rent past due and a decent meal becoming an issue of some importance, Harry needs work, and soon. A call from a distraught wife, and another from Lt Murphy of the Chicago PD Special Investigation Unit makes Harry believe things are looking up, but they are about to get worse, much worse. Someone is harnessing immense supernatural forces to commit a series of grisly murders. Someone has violated the first law of magic: Thou Shalt Not Kill. Tracking that someone takes Harry into the dangerous underbelly of Chicago, from mobsters.
A fantastic introduction to Harry Dresden’s magical and dangerous world! Can’t wait to read what comes next for this wizard.
James Marsters (aka Spike from Buffy) really brings Harry Dresden’s character to life with his calm and collected narration. He has a smooth voice and makes flawless distinctions with each character in the story. James’ narration can sometimes get a little breathy, but I find that it fits the mood of the scene and wasn’t turned off about it enough to stop reading. James really does a marvelous job of making you think you’re sitting in a room with Harry while he’s telling you an exciting story!
Harry Dresden is a practicing wizard in the city of Chicago. He earns his living as a private investigator and as a consultant for the Chicago Police’s Special Investigations Department, helping solve cases dealing with the supernatural and magic, with his friend and police Lieutenant Karen Murphy. Trouble seems to follow Harry wherever he goes, keeping the reader on their toes as to what happens next.
Storm Front begins with Harry being called in by Lt. Murphy to consult on a double murder case where the victims seem to be killed by a strong form of black magic. With a powerful killer on the loose breaking the most important law of magic and a missing husband to find, Harry ventures into the dark world of magic and mobsters in order to catch a killer and save a family. Just an average day in the life of a wizard trying to the pay the bills!
The magical world Jim Butcher has created is both dark and fascinating. The rules and politics in the “wizarding” world, known as the White Council, are a bit complex and I look forward to learning more about them as the series progresses. Jim Butcher’s a fantastic storyteller who keeps you on the edge of your seat with multi-faceted characters, an engaging supernatural world and some humor.
“Paranoid? Probably. But just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean there isn’t an invisible demon about to eat your face.”
Harry is an intriguing character, he always has the best intentions but is pretty moody and brooding wizard. Would I consider him an alpha? probably not my kind of alpha, but he definitely is a strong character. Harry’s a bit nerdy, has almost no lucky with women, isn’t rich but still has plenty of charm and a great sense of humor. He believes in doing the right thing at any cost, which usually lands him in the middle of some dangerous situation…I would say he’s pretty close to being the male version of Rachel Morgan from the Hollows series. I really appreciate his vulnerability, although he is a wizard he’s not immortal, making him a more relatable hero in my eyes. He hasn’t won me over completely just yet, but it’s still early!
“I’d made the vampire cry. Great. I felt like a real superhero. Harry Dresden, breaker of monsters’ hearts.”
The supporting characters in Storm Front are few but just as entertaining as Harry. His sidekick/lab assistant Bob the Skull always has a great one-liner and really knows how to lighten the mood throughout the book. Lt. Murphy comes across as a real hard ass who’s constantly on Harry’s case and who’s main priority is her job. Now I love a strong female character, but I just didn’t connect with Murphy in this book. I’m not sure if my reasons for feeling this way about her is that I’m learning about her through the eyes of the male lead (yes, I went there!) but I found her character lacking empathy and warmth but maybe I should just take it for what it is, a story about a male wizard. Harry describes her as beautiful, smart and one of his closest friends, but their close relationship is not fully conveyed to me in this book and is a little frustrating. I hope my opinion of her changes as I continue the series.
“Harry,” Bob drawled, his eye lights flickering smugly, “what you know about women, I could juggle.”
Storm Front is a solid character driven story with a noir feel that instantly grabs your attention. Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden (how cool is that name?) has captured my attention with his snark, angst and big heart. Jim Butcher has created a supernatural world with wizards, vampires, fairies and some unique villains that I can’t wait to revisit!
RtDS RECOMMENDATIONS: Fans of great world building and dark urban fantasy with male leads will love Harry Dresden! If you enjoy Kim Harrison and Jocelynn Drake be sure to add Jim Butcher to your TBR shelf.