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72 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect mix of hardboiled and fantasy fiction
Take traditional hardboiled fiction, give it a mind bending preternatural twist and you have Storm Front, the first book in a new series with the potential to send author Jim Butcher to the top of the gumshoe sub-genre of horror/fantasy fiction.
Harry Dresden, the series' protagonist, is everything that's great about the hardboiled anti-hero, with a twist: He's a...
Published on 1 Jun. 2000 by MARTINA E BALINT

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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A solid debut, but with plenty of room for improvement
Over the past decade, The Dresden Files has turned into one of the big success stories of the urban fantasy genre. Set in modern-day Chicago, it follows the fortunes of Harry Dresden, a wizard-for-hire who offers his services to those in need (and who preferably can pay him). Mixing up elements of the supernatural with a detective story format, the series has proven...
Published on 29 Mar. 2009 by A. Whitehead


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72 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect mix of hardboiled and fantasy fiction, 1 Jun. 2000
This review is from: Storm Front (The Dresden Files) (Mass Market Paperback)
Take traditional hardboiled fiction, give it a mind bending preternatural twist and you have Storm Front, the first book in a new series with the potential to send author Jim Butcher to the top of the gumshoe sub-genre of horror/fantasy fiction.
Harry Dresden, the series' protagonist, is everything that's great about the hardboiled anti-hero, with a twist: He's a wizard trying to make a living working practical magic in a modern world that's foolishly rejected the supernatural in favor of science and technology. Part average guy, part renaissance man, Harry's got a dark side, a wicked sense of humor and a deeply rooted, personal code of honor that drives him to risk everything to fight the supernatural forces preying on his clients, an attitude that puts him at constant, dangerous odds with both the bad guys and the authorities alike.
In Storm Front, when a routine murder investigation turns out to be anything but routine, the police reluctantly turn to Harry for help. But a case that started as a way to pay the rent soon gets complicated for Harry when he's forced to cross paths with the Chicago mob and a mysterious figure known as the Shadowman, drawing Harry into a web of black magic and danger.
Already under the Doom of Damocles (a form of probation placed on him by the White Council who oversee the ethical use of magic in the world of the mundane) Harry himself falls under suspicion and is forced to risk execution to solve the mystery and stop the Shadowman, before the killer takes another victim.
Storm Front is a riveting, action packed roller coaster ride of a novel, a damn good mystery with compelling characters set in a rich alternate reality universe where anything can happen. There's a little something for just about everyone here from black magic and the Chicago mob to vampire madams, demons and the fey.
I enjoyed this novel immensely and am looking forward to the next in the series.
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231 of 239 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Dresden episode with new cover, 8 May 2007
As always, Jim Butcher grabs you and holds you until the last page. Storm Front is the first book about Harry Dresden, a wizard and private detective. This is a recovered paperback of the original. To get the most out of this series you have to read them in order. Hope this helps you:

1--Storm Front

2--Fool Moon

3--Grave Peril

4--Summer Knight

5--Death Masks

6--Blood Rights

7--Dead Beat

8--Proven Guilty

9--White Night

by Martin Harris
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Storm Front, 9 Sept. 2011
By 
S Riaz "S Riaz" (England) - See all my reviews
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Harry Dresden is the only openly practicising professional wizard in the country, with an office in midtown Chicago. He relies on the police department, in the form of Lieutenant Karrin Murphy, for work as a paid consultant. Usually, the money is welcome, but at the beginning of this book she calls him to look at a crime scene when he is waiting for a rare, private client. Rushing to the scene of the crime, he is faced with the sight of two people in a hotel room whose hearts have literally exploded from their chests. On the way back to this office to meet his private client, he is threatened by mobsters. Still, he manages to meet Monica Sells and hear about her missing husband who had recently lost his job and became 'interested' in magic. Through these manic events, we are introduced to Harry's world and the chaos surrounding it.

This is a good introduction to the cast of characters and places in the series which follows this first book. Harry is a typical, wise-cracking PI, with the added interest of being a wizard. The book is an easy read, enjoyable and fun. Harry is a likeable character and the book romps along with great pace. It would be easy to become fond of Harry and I look forward to following his career as both a wizard and a PI with great enjoyment.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A solid debut, but with plenty of room for improvement, 29 Mar. 2009
By 
A. Whitehead "Werthead" (Colchester, Essex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Over the past decade, The Dresden Files has turned into one of the big success stories of the urban fantasy genre. Set in modern-day Chicago, it follows the fortunes of Harry Dresden, a wizard-for-hire who offers his services to those in need (and who preferably can pay him). Mixing up elements of the supernatural with a detective story format, the series has proven successful on both sides of the Atlantic with ten further books in the series published and a short-lived TV adaption proving a cult hit a couple of years back. Storm Front is the first novel in the series.

The perpetually cash-strapped Harry Dresden is given some financial relief when two cases land on his desk at the same time. A woman is searching for her husband, who has gone missing after becoming fascinated by the use of magic. Meanwhile, the police have called on Dresden's aid after two people are found dead in an apartment, their hearts apparently remotely exploded by magical means. It isn't long before Dresden is up to his neck in trouble, as the two cases start overlapping with the interests of the Mafia and Dresden's own unorthodox approach soon lands him in trouble with the guardians of magic, the White Council.

Storm Front is a decent debut novel. The plot clips along at a fair old pace, and as a mystery it's fairly well plotted and laid out. The characters are strong, with Harry making for an engaging protagonist and his circle of friends, allies and enemies all being an interesting bunch. There isn't a lot of 'weight' to the novel, and it feels a bit on the slight side, but there's much fun to be had here.

However, I wasn't too impressed by the Luddite diatribe we get no less than three pages in, in which all of the evils of the world are blamed on technology and progress. Yeah, it makes sense for Dresden to have those views as a wizard who can't use technology (his magical field causes computers and other electrically-powered items to fritz out around him), but it was a bit too preachy too early in the book and left a bit of a sour taste in the mouth. Luckily this was forgotten within a few chapters as the story picked up and really got going. There are some other problems, though. The 'mystery' is completely solvable by the reader within the first fifty pages (you may be even be able to work it out from the plot synopsis on the back of the book), so waiting for Harry to catch up to where you are can be a bit mildly frustrating. The book is also inconsistent in its worldbuilding: after spending the first chapter or so telling us that no-one believes in magic and most of Harry's callers are pranksters thinking he's a nutter, we then learn that the police keep him on a retainer to investigate crimes and even average people on the street know not to look a wizard in the eye for too long, which seems self-contradicting. There's also the nagging feeling that you've seen this story before, with a few names and roles swapped around, on Angel. But, despite these problems (all of them hallmarks of a first time writer), the book is still reasonably fun to read. Butcher has an easy, approachable and undemanding prose style and after Dresden spends most of the book being passive and reactive to events, watching him go all Takeshi Kovacs at the end is a treat.

Storm Front (***) is a fun and breezy novel that is more of a light snack than a full meal, but still an enjoyable way of passing the time. I'll be checking out the remaining books in the series in the near future. The book is available from Orbit in the UK and Roc in the USA. A special limited edition from Subterranean Press came out a while ago and you may still be able to track down some copies online.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing Twist!, 4 Jan. 2004
This review is from: Storm Front (The Dresden Files) (Mass Market Paperback)
A wizard, working in Chicago as a PI. Quite a unique idea and one that works very well. Harry, our wizard, isn't always such a nice man, but that does make him interesting. The magic used in the plot is nicely encorporated, making it belieavable. Not over detailed and I liked the dry humour that runs through the story. A thoroughly enjoyable read, and a story that capture my attention.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Demons and wizards and vampires, oh my, 28 April 2007
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
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If Raymond Chandler had written about wizards, vampires and fairies, the result might have been something like the Dresden Files series. And it opens on a high note with the gritty urban fantasy "Storm Front," introducing us to a solid wizard hero and a complex new universe.

Business has been slow for Harry Dresden, the wizard PI, so he's eager when two new cases come at once: a missing husband, and a couple slain in the middle of sex -- their hearts exploded from their chests. Talk about a heart attack. As he tries to investigate both cases at once, he finds himself suspended between a vampire madam and a gentlemanly Mafia don.

Unfortunately, it seems the White Council of wizards also believes that he did it, and with his proximity to some nasty magics, Harry faces execution in just a few days. And as he unravels an increasingly dark web of drugs, demons and sorcery, Harry discovers that he is the next intended victim...

Ever since Laurell K. Hamilton turned to porn, I've been on the lonely long hunt for something similar in theme, but with fewer throbbing body parts. With his wizards, fae, icky vampires and demons, Jim Butcher's series fits the bill -- and exceeds it in every way.

He's got the hard-boiled noir thing down, even in modern Chicago -- dark rainy streets, femme fatales (some vampires), and a literally fiery climax. The entire book is an upward spiral of suspense, with the dual threats against Harry's life getting more intense, until it literally seems like there's no way out.

His writing strikes a nice balance between stripped-down Chanderlian prose, and detailed horror-fantasy (such as our first look at the grotesque vampire madam Bianca). But Butcher knows how to inject some dark humor and action, such as poor Harry trying to battle a toad-demon with an artificially lustful woman pouncing on him. And some nicely snappy dialogue ("Subtle and quick to anger?" "Not so subtle").

Harry Dresde himself is a great lead character -- he's wry, amusing and a little offbeat, but with some dark personal history that tends to haunt him at the wrong times. The only problem with the characters is that in this particular book, most of the human characters seem rather 2-D, compared to Bob the talking skull or Toot-toot the pizza-loving fairy.

"Storm Front" is a solid debut to a solid horror-fantasy-mystery series, with a likable lead and some nicely evocative writing. Definitely a good read, and promises more by the end.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Start, 6 Aug. 2011
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The first volume of what has become a fabulous series, Storm Front introduces the reader to Harry Dresden and his world. Chicago's only advertising wizard is a great creation, interestingly flawed, eminently likable and wonderfully human.
The story, which sees Harry investigating a series of magical murders, is fast-paced and lean, keeping you turning the pages and always interested in finding out what happens next.
Butcher's writing is still a little rough around the edges at this point, but never to the extent that it ruins your enjoyment. Think of these small missteps as learning experiences for a rapidly developing author.
This is really the place to start, with the introduction of important characters such as Murphy, Marcone, Bob the Skull and others. Seemingly inconsequential events, too, such as Harry's meeting with a vampire, will become very important later on.
In short, if you have yet to discover the joys of the Dresden Files, do yourself a favour and start at the beginning.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good fun, remeniscent of Laurell K Hamilton, 29 July 2003
By 
Mark E. Cooper "Fantasybooks" (STANFORD-LE-HOPE, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Storm Front (The Dresden Files) (Mass Market Paperback)
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard-Boiled Wizardry!, 11 Feb. 2005
This review is from: Storm Front (The Dresden Files) (Mass Market Paperback)
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
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent adventure (class project, part 1), 3 Dec. 2008
This review is from: Storm Front (The Dresden Files) (Mass Market Paperback)
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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Storm Front (The Dresden Files)
Storm Front (The Dresden Files) by Jim Butcher (Mass Market Paperback - 25 May 2000)
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