- Series: Dresden Files (Book 1)
- Mass Market Paperback: 372 pages
- Publisher: Roc; 1st edition (April 1, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0451457811
- ISBN-13: 978-0451457813
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 7.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2,427 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,734 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Storm Front (Dresden Files) Mass Market Paperback – April 1, 2000
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Praise for the Dresden Files
“Think Buffy the Vampire Slayer starring Philip Marlowe.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Fans of Laurell K. Hamilton and Tanya Huff will love this series.”—Midwest Book Review
“Superlative.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“One of the most enjoyable marriages of the fantasy and mystery genres on the shelves.”—Cinescape
“Butcher...spins an excellent noirish detective yarn in a well-crafted, supernaturally-charged setting. The supporting cast is again fantastic, and Harry’s wit continues to fly in the face of a peril-fraught plot.”—Booklist (starred review)
“What’s not to like about this series?...It takes the best elements of urban fantasy, mixes it with some good old-fashioned noir mystery, tosses in a dash of romance and a lot of high-octane action, shakes, stirs, and serves.”—SF Site
“A tricky plot complete with against-the-clock pacing, firefights, explosions, and plenty of magic. Longtime series fans as well as newcomers drawn by the SciFi Channel’s TV series based on the novels should find this supernatural mystery a real winner.”—Library Journal
“What would you get if you crossed Spenser with Merlin? Probably you would come up with someone very like Harry Dresden, wizard, tough guy and star of [the Dresden Files].”—The Washington Times
About the Author
A martial arts enthusiast whose résumé includes a long list of skills rendered obsolete at least two hundred years ago, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher turned to writing as a career because anything else probably would have driven him insane. He lives mostly inside his own head so that he can write down the conversation of his imaginary friends, but his head can generally be found in Independence, Missouri. Jim is the author of the Dresden Files, the Codex Alera novels, and the Cinder Spires series, which began with The Aeronaut’s Windlass.
Top customer reviews
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DO. NOT. SKIP. THIS. BOOK.
It is important for the reader to grow with Harry as a character and have our understanding of the magical world change along with his. Details in this book will come back as important later in the series, and therefore skipping this book will leave readers without the necessary knowledge to see the big picture Jim Butcher is building here. This is a series that will draw you in and capture your mind. Revel in Harry's journey. You won't regret it.
Storm Front, on the other hand, is not a great introduction to the series. It isn’t actively bad, but neither did it grab me and say “This is a writer to watch!” What you have is a fairly standard mystery novel: two people have been murdered and Harry Dresden, Wizard for Hire, is brought in on the case.
The actual mystery is interesting and moderately well-handled. More interesting is the world-building on display. Harry is a pariah amongst Wizard-kind, due to something undisclosed that happened in his youth, and is watched over suspiciously by the Wizard Council. The world in general does not admit to the paranormal being real, and only two “normal” characters – a policewoman and a journalist – know that Harry is not a fraud. There are vampires, one of whom operates a brothel, and faeries.
However, these things are but lightly touched upon. The book feels moderately short – at 372 pages in the paperback edition, it isn’t really that short – but you only get glimpses of the world that Jim Butcher creates in the subsequent novels. More importantly, those glimpses are rarely engaging. For instance, the revelation of the true form of vampires feels thrown away; it’s incidental to the plot of the book. It’s just something creepy.
Perhaps most problematically, the characters didn’t engage. Harry Dresden reads as a person just getting by, lacking money and, more importantly, friends. Without those friends, there aren’t the interactions that the book really needs. Dresden will come out of his shell, but his shell makes this book a moderately tough read.
It doesn’t take that long for the series to really come alight, but Storm Front is much less than what comes later.
Little did I know how right I was.
You see . . . longterm relationships are WORK. And often, the things you love the most about another person are the same things that enable that person to drive you NUTS.
I love how realistically flawed Harry is.
I hate how realistically flawed Harry is.
He gets himself into a tight spot, so he rationalizes:
"It wasn't as though I was actually going to be doing any black magic, I told myself. I was just going to be figuring out how it was done. There was a difference. I was helping the police in an investigation, nothing more."
But then he immediately calls his own bluff:
"Yeah, right. And maybe one of these days I'd go to an art museum and become well rounded."
He's also incredibly self-aware. He knows his weaknesses as well as his strengths, and he presents both sides very matter-of-factly. It was refreshing. There was no false modesty or self-deprecation. No melancholy search for affirmation. Harry Dresden just lays it all out in plain site, do with it what you will.
But that same openness allows you to see (over and over again) how hapless he is when it comes to the fairer sex . . .
You know . . . for an self-proclaimed, socially awkward wizard with very little relationship experience, Harry Dresden finds himself surrounded by beautiful, flirtatious women with uncommon frequency . . . *rolls eyes*
But then he gleefully reveals his boyish, mischievous side by the sheer delight he takes at pulling one over on someone who has underestimated him. *rolls eyes again, but this time while grinning*
One second I wanted to smack him on the back of the head, and the next, I wanted to ruffle his hair and kiss him on the cheek.
So that's Harry.
There's also Bob the (peeping) Skull, Toot the pizza-loving faery, Mister the cat, Mac the surly pubkeep, Murphy the hard case female cop, and glimpses into possible future interactions with a literal faery godmother and the mysteriously intimidating White Council.
The plot was . . . eh . . . *shrugs* I'm giving it a pass this time, b/c I'm pretty sure a lot of groundwork was laid for future installments, and while this was a fairly entertaining read, it was also fairly predictable, and Bad Guy was just a stock power hungry Bad Guy.
On the world-building front, we were given a lot of hints, but nothing substantial, but that was okay, b/c so far, we've only been in the real world, so as much as I'd like to know more about the Nevernever (RIGHT NOW), there's plenty of time for that when we get there.
Overall, I definitely see this series being worth it (and not just b/c if I read this one, I will have read every, single one of the Big Deal UF series . . . which may or may not be a personal goal . . . *shrugs noncommittally*). Harry Dresden is a realistically likable character who I have a suspicion will turn out to be quite formidable, and Butcher lays a promising foundation with this first installment. Will it live up to my expectations? Only one way to find out . . .