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Storm Front: Dresden Files #1

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Storm Front: Dresden Files #1 Cover

ISBN13: 9780451457813
ISBN10: 0451457811
Condition: Standard
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Cora, June 18, 2014 (view all comments by Cora)

A Fun, Fast Paced, Easy Read

I read Storm Front, the first book in The Dresden Files series, a few years back, found it engaging, and moved on to other books. I liked it, but I wasn't dying to read the next one. In the interim, about a dozen people have told me I should read the series. So I thought I’d give it another chance.


I reread Storm Front, and it turns out I liked it better the second time around, and I've already started the second book. If you are looking for a fun, fast paced, quick read, this novel could fill the bill.


Brief Summary:


This novel is written in first person. Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden is a private investigator wizard, who can be found in the yellow pages and sometimes works for the Chicago police as a consultant to their "especial" division (paranormal stuff that the police don't know exactly how to investigate).


He’s also on the outs with the Wizard’s Council that has life and death power over him, and is a combination of wisecracking Philip Marlowe and a resourceful Merlin.


There has been two bizarre murders, and Harry is called in to help. From there, everything is a roller coast ride until the murderer is found. Harry commits one faux pas after another and by the end of the book finds he’s alienated nearly everyone.


I’m a fan of the old hard boiled PIs, like Philip Marlowe, and Dresden is definitely a throw-forward of that genre. He has plenty of wise crack comments, beautiful women, including a blond who hires him to look for her husband and is definitely more than she seems, a bad-ass female cop, a get-my-story-at-all-costs female reporter, and, of course, a "lovely" vampire.


He's a wizard and guardian of a wisecracking, apparently trouble making, skull spirit who seems to be in as much trouble as Dresden and isn’t allowed out and about.


Strengths:


Okay, I freely admit that this book is full of more stereotypes than I care to count, but since Butcher doesn’t seem to take himself too seriously, I don’t either. Some of the "borrowed" material is so tongue-in-cheek that it makes me smile. After all, I love Shakespeare, and he “borrowed” almost all his story ideas and tropes.


There’s lots of action, and the story never slows down. Butcher is excellent at describing this alternate Chicago, the storms that rage throughout the novel, the murders, and the little details of place and people that make a story come alive. I love the fast and easy read quality of the book.


Weaknesses:


I found the story throws in everything but the kitchen sink: vampires, wizards, demons from hell, a wizard council guardian who isn’t watching over Dresden but trying to catch Dresden doing evil so he can execute him, fairies, and a smart-ass, womanizing, talking skull. I think this was the reason I didn't read more of the series the first time I read the book.


Now, for some mysterious reason, the hodgepodge was more entertaining.


In the early chapters, Harry’s constant wisecracks were annoying, but as the story went on, Harry settled into a more moderate snarkiness, which I enjoyed and hope continues in the rest of the books.


It's clear Harry Dresden is modeled after the 1930s and 40s detectives, and like those detectives, he has sexist tendencies. Yes, in that time period most men were clueless, and I can view those novels as reflecting a social norm. Which, oddly enough, brings me back to the first person narrative.


Since the story is told from Harry’s point of view, this personality defect could have been a disaster. If there is something that saves the day and makes Harry likable, it's the smack downs the other characters give him for being a sexist. His other positive qualities overshadow this defect. He is after all a knight in tarnished armor.


When all is said and done, I like Storm Front, and I’ll read the rest of the series. I’d better get busy because there are 15 books and several short stories.


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AbbyK, March 19, 2013 (view all comments by AbbyK)
I got the first 10 Dresden Files books as a college graduation gift from my father and I fell in love immediately. Just the right mix of Noir, fantasy, romance, and snark to keep me coming back over and over. The books get better with each one, but Storm Front gives a fantastic introduction to Harry's Chicago and the Dresdenverse as a whole. Enjoy!!
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
Daniel Abbott, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by Daniel Abbott)
Jim Butcher's Storm Front book one in the Dresden Files is one of the best sci fi books I have read in a very long time and I can't wait to read the rest of the series and I'm very sure all the other book are just as good.
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mikaela.b.bray, August 9, 2012 (view all comments by mikaela.b.bray)
It has been a long, long time since I enjoyed a book so thoroughly. I would highly recommend this book to any fan of either fantasy or mystery. Harry Dresden is a relevant hero and narrator, and easy to relate to, and whether a hero or a villain all of the characters are believable and sound. The plot is intense, the non-stop action makes it impossible to put it down, and the book as a whole is well-written and absorbing. Jim Butcher has become one of my favorite authors with one book, and I still have 12 to read!!
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
MelHay, January 14, 2012 (view all comments by MelHay)
Harry Dresden, a wizard who's come out of the closet and specializes in finding lost items, paranormal and investigations, but Harry hasn't had any work to pay his rent, for some time. Harry is an honest man, with what work had come around and he didn't take the payoff but told the truth. Until a woman calls asking him to find what she has lost...her husband. Then a call from Lt. Murphy comes, asking Dresen to come to her murder scene with a couple dead bodies involved, needing him to look around as she feels is paranormal related. Two cases in minutes after a dry spell of months, Harry tries to handle both cases for both pays.

The book starts fast with two cases, which build the magical creatures and magical usages for us. These two cases bring a wizard investigator into so much more that's out there; vampires, bad magic, and the council that watches over wizards and more.

I love Bob! Bob is a possessed skull that helps Harry with his potions, or has all the potions memorized. But his humor is wonderful! I really enjoy him. I enjoyed Harry as well. He has an old gentlemanly feel to him, yet he's brass too. But he is approachable for me, I know not for the other characters in the book, but I like him just the same. Leutinent Murphy is a hard one. She is a solid rock and on the police force that could make Harry's life hell. But she is a good cop.

I enjoyed the mystery and following Harry along on the two cases he took on. He really gets beat around some, but the mystery all works out in the end. And along the way we get introduced to a real world full of magic that's just starting to come out of it's shell to the public.

I like there is magic here, mixed with humor. It's fun. I plan on continuing with the series to see where it goes, as I've heard the books get better.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780451457813
Author:
Butcher, Jim
Publisher:
Roc
Location:
New York :
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Fantastic fiction
Subject:
Detective and mystery stories
Subject:
Mystery fiction
Subject:
Fantasy
Subject:
Fantasy fiction
Subject:
Fantasy - Series
Subject:
Fantasy - Contemporary
Subject:
Illinois
Subject:
Wizards
Subject:
Chicago (Ill.)
Subject:
Science Fiction and Fantasy-Fantasy-Contemporary
Copyright:
Edition Description:
MM Picture Book
Series:
Dresden Files
Series Volume:
00-12
Publication Date:
20000431
Binding:
MASS MARKET
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
6.72x4.26x.90 in. .35 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Fantasy » Contemporary
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Fantasy » General

Storm Front: Dresden Files #1 Used Mass Market
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.50 In Stock
Product details 384 pages Roc - English 9780451457813 Reviews:
"Review" by , "An amazingly good first novel."
"Synopsis" by ,
For Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, 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.
"Synopsis" by , In this first book in the offbeat Dresden Files, readers are introduced to Harry Dresden, a wizard with a consulting practice in modern-day Chicago. Dresdens profession offers him little money, lots of mockery, the suspicion of his magical colleagues, and plenty of danger.
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