11 December 2012

Storm Front, by Jim Butcher

Last year, Carl held a readalong during RIP VI for Jim Butcher's Storm Front and I had it on my list to get to but couldn't fit it into my reading schedule. I was bummed since it seemed everyone had a good time with the story, so this weekend, I thought I'd dive right in. And while I didn't feel this introduction to the now-thirteen-book-series broke new ground, I don't think it needed to do anything other than set the stage for a very unique main character. I had a lot of fun with this story and am ready and excited to continue on with the series. I've heard it just gets better, so sign me up!

Harry Dresden is a wizard by trade. While not many believe his abilities, Lieutenant Karrin Murphy with the Chicago Police Department does, and regularly hires Harry to help out with more of her unusual cases. When the body of a top hired gun of Chicago's toughest mob boss is found murdered with a high-class escort in a brutal and seemingly magical way, it's up to Harry to find out what he can.  While many believe Harry is the only one who could conjure enough magic to commit the crimes, he has a limited amount of time to find out who really did the deeds since the secret White Council is scheduled to decide Harry's fate in a few days. And the ultimate sentence of death will be handed down.

This was just a lot of fun. Harry was a wonderful character who had sarcastic humor for days. The supporting cast of wildly bizarre demons, mob bosses, hired guns, and damsels in distress, set the stage for future books in the series and I'm looking forward to it. I found Butcher's ability to craft Harry's witty dialogue that delivered a zinger absolutely hilarious in certain scenes, and the working relationship Harry has with Karrin Murphy was refreshing. I enjoyed the barbs they threw back and forth at each other and am eager to see how this partnership develops. With an occasional noir-like atmosphere, Harry is the typical five o'clock shadow private eye helping the beautiful woman who walks into his office and asks for help. Sort of reminded me of Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon and I dug it.

I've also read that the series gets even better, so you can bet I'll be committing to this one next year.

Publisher: A Roc Book, a division of Penguin
Release Date: 2000
Pages: 355

Others said:
Bibliophile's Corner
Musings of a Bookish Kitty
Virginia Beach Public Library Recommends

About the Author:
A martial arts enthusiast, Jim Butcher has published thirteen installments to The Dresden Files series. It turned into a one season show on the SyFy Channel, cancelled for random ridiculous reasons leaving old and new fans confused. Hopefully, they'll bring the series back? Or make a movie? Either way, Jim Butcher is an author I'll be making time for in my 2013 reading experience.

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  1. Noir-like crime novel, I'm interested!

  2. Although I wish you could have read it with us at the time I'm thankful you were able to get to it on your own. I couldn't agree more with your entire assessment of the book. First and foremost it is a great deal of fun to read. That alone makes it worth picking up. While it doesn't break new ground Butcher manages to take a lot of well worn fantasy/horror/urban fantasy tropes and make them a joy to read. The story isn't about the set pieces anyway, it is about Harry and his relationships with the people he comes across. That and the suspense of the mystery of the moment. And Butcher does an admirable job in both of these areas.

    I too have heard that the books keep getting better and better and can attest to the fact that the second book (the only other I've read thus far) is a step up from this one. So we have some great reading ahead of us.

    I keep seeing these recent images of Butcher with his hair cut short and it freaks me out. I'm so used to seeing all these pictures with him having super long hair. I like the new look, it just seems odd at first glance.

  3. Swapna loves these books and is always singing their praises, yet I haven't gotten one yet. Perhaps I will use some of my Christmas cash to purchase the first book in the series, and see how Harry and I get along. It looks like you had a lot of fun with this one. I can't wait to see how I feel. Fantastic and very enticing review today!!

  4. When you say wizard, I'm a little leery, yet I love Harry Potter. I know they're totally different but they still have that magical element.

  5. I've been debating whether to try this series out. I'm not sure if it's the mass-media format (I'm a book snob, I know) or the fact that the main character is a wizard named Harry whose last name is NOT Potter, but there's something off-putting about it. Yet another positive review is pretty convincing though...maybe I'll try it out on audiobook once I'm done with the Dublin Murder Squard series...

  6. A wizard helping the Chicago Police Department? Sounds very interesting--thank you!

  7. I tried the first book a while ago and it didn't grab me so I didn't finish it. Now it appears I didn't give the series enough of a chance! Will try again...

  8. I found this series when it was a (short-lived) TV show on the sci-fi channel a few years ago. I've only read this, the first one, but I liked it so much I went and bought the next six books!