"Storm Front" by Jim Butcher

dwndrgn

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This first book in a new series has an intriguing premise; a modern day wizard who works much like a private investigator. The only difference is that he investigates the paranormal, the unusual or the downright spooky things that happen in today's Chicago.

The story starts out much like a film noir detective flick. We're introduced to the chronically broke wizard Harry Dresden as he receives his latest 'failure to pay' notice from his landlord. Harry is a very likeable character who, despite his wizard status, seems to not have any luck at all.

This first story involves a brutal killing that not only shocks the Chicago police but forces them to call in Harry as a consultant. During this investigation, and a subsequent missing persons case, we learn more about Harry's magical abilities, his obligatory magical helper, and his horrible luck with cars and women. How often do you get a second date when your first is marred by the appearance of a demon?

I enjoyed this fun mix of dime-store detective and put-upon wizard. Some of the secondary characters come out a little flat but that isn't a large drawback as our main character is well rounded. There is also the possibility that a few of these will be illuminated more in the subsequent books. The villain of the piece is your generic, power-hungry brute, modified by a little ignorance and self-centeredness.

Although there are many references to sex and orgies, the story definitely isn't graphically sexual. In other words, you'll hear about it but won't be a witness like in some cheesy bodice-rippers.

It is a quick read, an engaging story, and an interesting premise. If you've got a couple of hours to kill and need a light getaway - by all means pick it up.
 

Brian G Turner

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Thanks again, dwndgrn. :)

Of course, it all makes more work for myself, but it is truly appreciated - once I finish a design job this week I should be able to turn my full attention to completely rebuilding the chronicles-network. :)
 

dwndrgn

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Thank you for the pretty compliment, made my day! Do you realize how long it took me to write that tiny little bit of fluff to make it understandable to someone who doesn't live inside my mind??? Well, in any case, you can only get better at something the more you do it - so I'm a work in progress!
 

rune

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I was so pleased to see a review of this book, as I only myself discovered the Dresden Files series last year.
When you think of a Wizard by the name of Harry I suppose most people would think of Harry Potter. But this isn't anything like that series as it has a more gritty feel to the story. I also feel that Harry isn't always such a nice man, but doesn't that make him interesting. I felt the magic was very well used in the story and nicely encorporated in too. I read somewhere once that magic must have a reason and can't just be thrown in for fun, well I feel Jim Butcher understands this and uses magic in a very believable way. I wouldnt say these books are over detailed either, which means the pace can be pretty fast and I love the dry humour that runs through the story.
 
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