Sunday, October 3, 2010

Storm Front - Jim Butcher

Title: Storm Front (Book 1 in The Dresden Files series)
Author: Jim Butcher
Publisher: ROC Fantasy (Penguin), 2000 (Paperback)
Length: 323 pages
Genre: Adult; Fantasy
Started: September 30, 2010
Finished: October 3, 2010


Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations.
Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates.
No Love Potions, Endless Purses, Parties 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.

I can't believe it took me this long to discover this series, it's like a delicious mix of Sookie Stackhouse and Supernatural.

Harry Dresden is a wizard in modern day Chicago, and he's actually listed in the phonebook to boot. He's perpetually broke from lack of work for his unique skills, gets occasional calls from Chicago police as a "supernatural consultant", and causes technology of all kinds to break down around him. Dresden is a bit of a cynic, yet a gentleman, who walks on eggshells for fear that the White Council will find cause to persecute him. When he gets a call from Karrin Murphy, his detective contact on the police force to get his help on a really gruesome murder, he takes the case, which lands him in more hot water than he anticipates.

The book's not Pulitzer Prize material in terms of writing, but it's darn entertaining. Dresden and Murphy have great chemistry, so dancing around that aspect will be a constant thing in future books, which I'm actually happy about. The supernatural characters Dresden encounters are entertaining in their own right, from oversexed vampires to fairies with a sweet tooth. The plot's enough to keep you reading, and when the plot lags slightly the gratuitous violence and less gratuitous innuendo makes up for it. I picked up a box set with the first three novels and book 1 was very entertaining, so the next ones will definitely go in the reading queue.

A smooth-talking modern day wizard who helps solves supernatural crimes, plus a cynical hard-edged cop that's the romantic interest, need I say more?

Thoughts on the cover:
Eh, it's okay. What intrigues me is the backwards katakana on Dresden's staff, which I can read but don't understand the significance, it wasn't mentioned in the book.

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