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4.3 out of 5 stars
Storm Front: The Dresden Files Book One: 1
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
I don't know why, the story is not the same, but Jim Butcher's writing reminds me very strongly of Laurell K Hamilton at her best. I really enjoyed the idea of a wizard trying to make a living (almost unsuccessfully) in our modern world. It tickled me that someone so powerful was beset by the same problems the rest of us are faced with -- namely, paying the bills!

Harry Dresden is a good guy with problems of his own when a gangster pulls up in his car wanting to hire him. Now Harry is in need of money right enough, but he's also basically an honest kind of guy. He turns the gangster down flat and basically makes an enemy he could do without. Things progress with Harry stumbling into one sticky situation after another often with laughable consequences. I particularly like the skull-with-an-attitude on his shelf.

Great book. Buy it and all the others in this series. You'll love them!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 11 February 2005
Author Jim Butcher introduces his now famous wizard, Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, in "Storm Front." Harry lives in a universe where magic and science coexist - it's our universe also - Chicago, USA, to be exact. The sign on his door, which advertises his consulting business reads: "Harry Dresden - Wizard: Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, Parties, or Other Entertainment." Dresden is also listed in the yellow pages - under wizards, of course. Vampires, demons, faerie's, werewolves, knights (the kind in shining armor with magical swords), and other preternatural critters exist in Harry's, and our world - even outside of Chicago. The Nevernever is a spirit realm which these beings call home, but they can and do hang-out in the human world.
Lieutenant Karrin Murphy is the Director of Special Investigations at the Chicago Police Department. The unit exists precisely because the supernatural folks listed above exist - and many of them commit crimes against humanity. Dresden is a paid consultant to this unit. In the novel's first pages Murphy informs Harry that a pair of corpses have been discovered in a hotel suite at the Madison, in a most compromising position. The crime scene is unusually gruesome. It appears that an extremely powerful supernatural force has been used to kill the couple. He is told to get to the scene ASAP! Just before Lt. Murphy's call, a distraught wife phoned. Her husband has gone missing under mysterious circumstances and Harry makes an appointment with her at her insistence. He usually searches for lost articles - not husbands.
More murders are committed - same MO. Harry becomes a suspect. To make matters worse, the White Council, a governing group of Wizards which monitors to prevent the use of dark magic, is on Harry's back. He has been placed under the "Doom of Damocles," a sort of wizard probation which could turn into a lethal sentence. Then murderous mobsters, magic most dark and heinous demons join in to make life deadlier.
"Storm Front" is a fine beginning to a series which has become a mainstay for fantasy/sci-fi fans. This is an action packed mystery, filled with a range of funny and scary characters: Mister (Harry's huge gray cat); Toot, a ditzy faery with faulty memory; Bob, an air spirit living in a skull in Harry's basement, who acts as Dresden's encyclopedia of magic lore, (the wizard cannot use the Internet as anything electrical malfunctions when he is close by); Susan Rodriguez, a very sexy reporter for the Chicago Arcane, who has the hots for Harry; the evil omnipresent Shadowman; and Lt. Murphy (Harry's Chicago PD friend and boss). Harry is an unusual character. He has a slapstick sense of humor that leads one to think he is less powerful than he actually is - and less serious. He is honest, has a deep-rooted code of honor, and a dark side also. The explanations behind his spells are fascinating, and go into more detail than most books in this genre. I found this a major plus.
I am a huge fan of Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, (Laurell Hamilton is the author). Anita's job is a little like Harry's. She does work for a consulting firm, and is also on a special supernatural investigation team, with the local police, which hunts down other-worldly predators. While I really enjoyed "Storm Front," I prefer the Blake novels and Anita's character. She is much edgier and her storylines take a darker approach than the Dresden/Jim Butcher novels.' Although the Dresden Files deal with super evil beings, Harry lightens things up a bit. I think it important to note my preference, as it will give the potential reader an idea of where I am coming from with my review and rating. For those who prefer the lighter side of the preternatural, and more humor with your monsters, Harry Dresden is for you! Recommended!
JANA
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 February 2014
Not sure why, but I didn't get into this book the first time I tried reading it and then it was just sort of shoved into a dark corner of my book shelf. But then hey, hit the new year and I was feeling witches and wizards all over again, didn't want to have to look for some so picked it up again.

Had to wonder what was wrong with me the first time round! I thoroughly enjoyed Storm Front in my second try and read it all through in one setting. Harry Dresden is one sarcastic little s***, so naturally, I love him. He is one seriously flawed character, you can loosely refer to him as a hero. He does have heroic traits but I think he'd probably lean more in the direction of the anti-hero. Let's face it, he's being paid to do what he does and that comes with no little amount of cynicism and with an eye on the finish line. But definitely some heroic traits in there.

And Murphy. I love Murphy! She's kickass and no-nonsense and definitely stands toe to toe with Harry.

Interesting story, it had me hooked, I felt involved. I loved seeing the world open up more and more and thought it came together really well. I loved it so much that I went out and bought the second installment in the series the next day. Dresden on his own is an interesting character and you want to see where he'll end up next, but this novel introduces a good and solid set of supporting characters that guarantee it'll be good, especially as I suspect that most of them will be popping back up again in Harry's near future.

If you're into wizards and want something with a more jaded feel, give this one a go, you'll like it.

<i>Originally posted: [...]</i>
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 December 2011
I was exhausted after I read this book! And for a very good reason! By the time we reach the final chapters, Harry Dresden has been chased by police, demons, vampires, the local mafia boss (I'm sure I'm missing out a few others....) all within a few days and in one long non-stop action sequence. And as I'm reading the rest of the series, I realise that this is one of Jim Butcher's techniques - basically to subject Dresden into as much drama, action and intrigue as possible in a non-stop romp which captures the reader and drags you along with it! Most of the time I feel as though I'm hanging on to the story by the tails of Dresden's duster coat by my teeth! It's great fun!

I came across Dresden by seeing the series on Sky and was disappointed that it came to an end. I thought that Paul Blackthorne was really good in the role and it wsa great to see some adult majic fiction on tv. I think it probably didn't work so well on tv though because the tv series simply couldn't bring us the long complex action sequences and also some of the content of the books really is quite adult in nature, so would limit the tv viewership. Instead the tv series ends up being a watered down version of the books. But it did introduce me to Dresden so that was a good thing.

The reason I didn't give 5 stars is that I felt that the story could have benefitted from a bit more detail and background about the adult world of wizards and majic. It's a bit like an adult Harry Potter but without as much of the atmosphere provided by the world of Hogwarts and the "lore" that surrounds the Potter universe. I have read the next couple of books in the Dresden series and you do, of course, pick up more of his backstory and more about his wizardly world as you go along, but this is one aspect that could have added a bit more weight to the book.

But it's still a fantastic, fun read and pretty well impossible to put down once you've got to the main action sequence! The next 2 books in the series have been just as much fun and I'm putting the rest on my wish list for Christmas. Great stocking fillers for the price, if anyone is listening!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 December 2008
The first book of the Dresden files, named "Stormfront", is a mix of horror fiction and fantasy. With this genre-mix the author affords to create a very exciting and spree novel with a vividly characterised protagonist called Harry Dresden. Harry Dresden is a wizard and the typical anti-hero. He had a difficult past and is under a probation placed on him by the White Council, an organisation who supervises the use of dark magic, so he is forced to risk his life to solve the mystery. He is honest and kind-hearted and typically poor and deplorable so that the reader feels with him. Furthermore there are many interesting minor characters like the faerie Toot-toot or Bob, the intelligent air spirit, or the Red Court vampire Madame Bianca St. Claire and so on. In the passages when Harry Dresden meets these creatures, Jim Butcher approaches top form. Moreover there are many felicitous gags and allusions which depend on famous movies or other novels. For this reason the novel is good entertainment, but the reader knows every time what'll happen next. Therefore the story is not creepy, but in many situations exciting and funny, because Jim Butcher always finds a way to let some foolproof spells go wrong. So all in all this novel is an amazingly good first novel and allows the reader to immerge in the fantastic world of Harry Dresden.
I recommend this novel, it is an excellent adventure.

The World of Magic (class project, part 2)
The Book "Storm Front" is exciting and awesome. It has many turns in the plot, so it's hard to follow, but if you like wizards and magic this book is the right one for you.

Harry Dresden is a professional wizard, who can even be found in the yellow pages of Chicago.
Asked by the police for help, he has to solve two cases at once: finding a missing husband and finding the murderer of a couple, whose hearts exploded from their chests.
When Dresden starts to investigate both cases he finds hisself between a vampire madam and a crime lord, whose name is Gentleman Johnny Marcone.
In the course of time, Dresden is controlled by Morgan, who is an enforcer of the White Council. Morgan looks for wizards that violated the laws of magic.
So Dresden is conflicted by different fronts, which press him hard.....

The Book is unexpecting and very exciting. You can't wait to read what will happen next.

"Storm Front" is a mix of horror, fantasy and mystery. Even the humour isn't missed out as
Dresden often uses sarcastic comments.
Definitely the book is good to read and leads the reader on an adventure in the world of magic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
It's probably fair to say the Dresden series is now a bit of a cult classic. So I thought I would check out what everyone loves about them.

I felt the book took a little while to get going and find its style but once it did it was a lively and entertaining story that offered both excitement and quite a few laughs.

The premis of the book is that Harry Dresden (wizard and slightly down on his luck PI) investigates the paranormal for a largely unbelieving Chicago population. There is a nice juxtoposition between the mundane and the magical that the author exploits well. There was some amusing ongoing gags too, such as Harry's ongoing struggle with all matters electrical due to magical interfrence caused by his very presence.

Things take a turn for the weird when a copulating couple find their hearts literally breaking and a new seemingly magical drug hits the streets. Harry finds himself working for both the Police and a mysterious female client and trying to stay safe despite making enemies at every turn! Vampires, the local mobster and a strange rival wizard harnessing the power of the Storms!

Particularly enjoyed Dresdens sidekick Bob. A sex obsessed spirit inhabiting a skull in Harry's basement and the I thought the date/ magical potion scene was the books highlight.

All in all an enjoyable ride which lays the foundations for this now long running and highly successful series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 January 2012
Felt the need to come back and review this first installment of the Dresden Files in case I could help persaude anyone to give it a go! Love these books so much that I read the first 9 in the space of two weeks and then had to resort to waiting for them to come out and buying them in hardback the day they are released. I NEVER buy hardbacks (too expensive, take up too much room, can't read in the bath!) But can't wait for another installment from my absolute favorite wizard.

Harry Dresden is a brilliant character with a lot of developement to come over the course of the series. I love the fact that he's not the perfect does everything right hero. He's flawed, occasionaly selfish and often clumsy. The supporting characters are an excellent mix of skeptical humans and good and bad creatures from myth and legend. The only complaint I would have with this book particularly is that I figured out the bad guy about half way through, it's not hard. But I can assure you that the plots do indeed thicken with later books in this series and it becomes harder and harder to figure out who's on Harrys side and who isn't. Sometimes it's hard to see if Harry himself is on the right side.

Perfect mix of fantasy, mystery and suspense with a well written anti-hero and even a little romance thrown in. There should be something there to appeal to anyone so give Harry Dresden a go, you won't regret it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 6 December 2011
I only read this because it was lent to me by a friend who's opinion i trust. while in the initial books harry is a basic 2d character. his interaction with the rest of the cast makes this and the susequent novels an engaging read. later books in the series show extra develoment in personality which allow the reader to grow with the character as if you were really getting to know them. this is not a deep introspective expose on the human exsistance but a light hearted curl up on the sofa and relax book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 January 2013
It's odd how refreshing a male perspective can be when it comes to the urban fantasy genre. This series has been on my reading list for years, in fact I think I first bought this book around 6 years ago before I got around to reading it. Now that I have though, I feel like an idiot for taking so long, as Harry Dresden makes for a great lead, and the series shows a lot of potential.

It was also refreshing that the main character was a wizard, and while it sounds cheesy to say out loud it is handled well in the book. Just as important as the main character in these types of books are the supporting characters and while we only meet a couple in the series debut, they stand out and make an impression. I spent the entire book picturing Sarah Millican as Murphy, which I don't think the author intended but oh well, that's what she looks like to me now aha.

Overall, a promising debut to a series, and I've already ordered books 2-4.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I picked Storm Front up based on the concept alone, the HP Lovecraft-ian idea of a Wizard working openly in Chicago appealing to me. I cannot say that I was disappointed by the decision.
Suitably hardbitten, like a Dashiel Hammett novel, but shot through with a wry and black sense of humour, Storm Front is immensely entertaining. Punchy first person prose takes the reader directly into mind of Dresden, our real life wizard, and he is an appealing and entertaining narrator/hero. The story he tells is well crafted, suitably twisty and told at a solid pace. Packed with incidental detail and colourful supporting characters, it keeps the reader fully engaged. Best of all the fantastic elements of the story are well conceived and slot seamlessly into the real world setting.
If there are downsides to Storm Front they are minor. Some of the description of the action becomes a little confused at times, and the need to fill in the reader on a great deal of background information on Dresden's past and the rules of the world he inhabits does slow the narrative in places. The most significant criticisms are however, the lack of palpable horror in the book and the weakness of it villains. Considering that Dresden is dealing with murders involving the outward explosion of people's hearts via the use of black magic both the horror element and the threat posed by those behind events should have been stronger.
That said, this is still a great introduction to Dresden's world. I can only hope that the next book in the series is equally enjoyable.
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