Book: STORM FRONT (The Dresden Files, Book 1)
Author: Jim Butcher
Rating: Four out of five Siggies

I'm doing a lot of traveling for the Australian tour, so I'm taking advantage of this time to knock out some books that have been on my list for years. One of those is STORM FRONT, by Jim Butcher. 

Yes, I realize I'm late to the party and many of you already know of this highly popular series. I stayed away for two reasons. First, there are ten (or so) books in the series, all with the same dude on the cover -- which means when said dude gets into trouble in Book One, you can kind of guess he lives to see Book Two. That takes a lot of the fun out of it for me. Second reason I stayed away? Magic. Most "magic" books are crap because the storyteller doesn't put in the wrench time to properly establish the rules of the story. Character in trouble? Poof! Here's a convenient magic spell or a random teleport gate! Drives me crazy as a reader to see that kind of lazy effort when it's my money and my time on the line.

That being said, I really liked STORM FRONT. Yeah, it's a series, and it's a series for a good reason -- because Butcher created a pretty kick-ass character in wizard-for-hire Harry Dresden. Basically the book is a film noir private detective that just so happens to be a practicing wizard. A lot of (if not most of) the two-fisted detective tropes are in this novel, but putting the magical spin on it makes it unique and engaging. 

Dresden is a wizard for hire, but business isn't all that great. He's not sure where his next meal is coming from, and he's back on his rent. Due to his old-fashioned morals, he feels he has to actually earn his money -- not conjure it. Add in some heart-exploding murders, the mafia, rampaging wizard hitmen, a baseball bat to the dome and an all-powerful wizard council that thinks Harry is the killer, and you get a classic out-of-options and time-running-out page turner.

Yeah, there is magic. No, it's not really explained how things work, but it's very clear that Dresden is not all powerful, and he has limited strength and endurance for his spells. You know how it will end (because you've seen this series a million times on TV), but it's still a frickin' good time. Butcher knows how draw you in and give you a helluva good read.

I'm already reading the second book (a rarity for me), so that's a strong endorsement from your FDO™.

16 Comments

On Edited

Gotta say

As a longtime fan of Jim Butcher's stuff, I've gotta warn you, FDO. Jim Butcher's stuff can be more addictive than black tar heroine. I'm a university student, so I've mostly stopped buying books... but Jim Butcher's and YOUR books are my only exceptions to that rule.

Book One is one of the weaker books of the series. Things just keep on getting better (or, worse, if you're Dresden) as you go further along (with things taking off at around book 4).

Just warnin' ya. Might want to have book 3 on deck too. *grin*

Coach of the North Spire Wendigos and All-Pro Offensive Tackle for the Neptune Scarlet Fliers
On Edited

I toyed with picking this up recently

and I too was put off by the number in series and also a little by the tv series (which although I enjoyed seemed a little bit like brain bubblegum). Might give it w whirl next time I need to digest some paper

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Pusher, Poet and Pet Protector
On Edited

Haven't read the books, but loved the TV show

Also called "The Dresden Files" on Scifi channel... only made 12 episodes before it was cancelled. I bet the books are even better. Since I'm all caught up on my Sigler reading/listening I'll give it a try.

thanks!

Why yes, apples. How did you know? [flickr-photo:id=4347154616] Pusher and member of the Gutter Sistren

Pusher and member of the Gutter Sistren
On Edited

And Butcher is going to be at Dragon*Con

For anyone else who is going to D*C this year. (Get thee to the Dragon*Con RSVP thread, toot sweet!)

Why yes, apples. How did you know? [flickr-photo:id=4347154616] Pusher and member of the Gutter Sistren

Pusher and member of the Gutter Sistren
On Edited

Lemme assure y'all

The books are definitely better than the TV series. The TV series is better seen as an alternate dimension Harry Dresden, where he doesn't do as much awesome stuff (and Morgan is a peeved black man on uneasy terms with Harry, instead of a old white man that hates him and is waiting for the chance to put him down like a mad dog).

I don't want to spoil anything... But there is a picture floating around online of Harry Dresden riding a zombie t-rex. And it makes SENSE in the book.

Coach of the North Spire Wendigos and All-Pro Offensive Tackle for the Neptune Scarlet Fliers
On Edited

Very true, but I was sad that the show got the axe

 

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On Edited

It wasn't so much Dresden being axed by SciFi

But it was what they replaced it with.  Do yourselves a favor, do not watch that dreck named "Flash Gordon"... Ming the Merciless is about as frightening as Mr February in the Hot Firemen calendar. 'Fearing' him is the wrong verb.


Dale? don't get me started. Aura? Even worse. Flash? My neutered cat was more masculine.

 

Life's tough. It's tougher if you're stupid.

Life's tough. It's tougher if you're stupid. Absolutum obsoletum -- If it works, it's out of date.
On Edited

I had forgotten about that

It was wretched... I do not have the words to describe it's awefullness

Why yes, apples. How did you know? [flickr-photo:id=4347154616] Pusher and member of the Gutter Sistren

Pusher and member of the Gutter Sistren
On Edited

Magic

I've read just about the entire series.  As the series goes on, Butcher does go quite a bit into the details of how magic works.  To me, it seems to be a logical, self-consistant, and not all-powerful system.  And I don't remember it ever being used as a "author wirtes himself into a corner, pulls some never before metioned aspect of magic/technology/whatever out of his ass to get himself out of it." 

On Edited

Just got into this series

On the recommendation of a friend, I just started this series.  I'm glad the FDO approves -- that makes two opinions I trust giving this series a thumbs up!

On Edited

I and a couple of the chitlins' have been through the series...

I think you'll like the arc of the story as it progresses through the series.  A lot of forethought went into the building of both the characters as well as the world. Five thumbs up from the Jam Klan....  It would be six, but I bit off one of them annoying opposible digits when we were wrestling last....

hhhmmm...  SynapticJam on Toast - hhhmmm... tastes like chicken (aka PUVJK) #2 or 3 in crack hits (Special?  Ain't I just)  Multiple S.H.I.T. Award Recipient!  Double Dipper and Triple Threat!  All-around uberjunkie!

hhhmmm...  SynapticJam on Toast - hhhmmm... tastes like chicken (aka PUVJK) #? in crack hits (Special?  Ain't I just)  Multiple S.H.I.T. Award Recipient!  Double Dipper and Triple Threat!  All-around uberjunkie!

On Edited

It's a pretty good series that gets better with each new one...

 

Started reading this series when Butcher first released "Storm Front" and have followed it throughout.

Jim's grasp of his setting and where he wants to take this has gotten better with each one. Some of his adversaries through the series has greatly opened up the possibilities for Dresden, making him a much more rounded character than was originally portrayed in the first couple book.

This series is well-worth the read...

 

-Sci-FiGeek Version 2.0 - Bigger, better, stronger... and with improved green goo!

"Big Fish," Dark Øverlørd Media In-Høuse Graphic Designer  •  CBBC Røad Captain    scottpond.com  •  Grand Mafioso of NH

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On Edited

Anti science?

I read Fool Moon and I think it was Dresden that uttered some sort of anti science line that jarred with me.  I got over it though and enjoyed the writing.  The Dresden Files TV show wasn't bad either.

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I think all the old episodes

I think all the old episodes are on hulu.com.  Don't bother if you like the books.  The story strays too far from books in order to make it TV friendly. 

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Omg

I keep finding a ton of stuff I've read before joining the ranks of the junkies, and i find all of it here in the most surprising order. Great series of books. Worth getting.

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I also have seen some of the

I also have seen some of the episodes of this TV series but never got the chance to follow it regularly. So now I will take time to start reading this series of books. I have just got the first one after reading the approval from FDO. Since it is a thumbs up from FDO, I am just more than excited to finish off the series. I can say that Jim Butcher has done a marvelous writing in “Storm Front” from what I have read until now.

 

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