Storm Front (Dresden Files #1)
Author: Jim Butcher
American release date: April 1, 2000 (1st edition)
Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/sci-fi fantasy/372 pages
Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★
Harry Dresden is not your average PI—he’s also a wizard, and he wields a great deal of power. But that doesn’t mean he can’t and won’t get into all kinds of trouble.
Harry lives in the Chicago area. He maintains ties to the police force with an officer named Murphy. She uses him when it’s necessary, but she’s also ready to bust his chops if he gets out of line. Harry lives with a large cat named Mister, and a talking skull named Bob. He’s a sorta member of the wizaring White Council, but he’s always on the edge of being kicked out (read: terminated). His mentor, Morgan, is a rather unpleasant man who turns up when Harry least desires it, and just lives for the day when Harry will get his.
Harry is called by a woman named Monica Sells who’s searching for her mission husband, Victor. Harry makes an appointment with her, then finds himself called to the scene of a crime by Murphy. A man and woman have been found dead in a hotel room, under gruesome circumstances. They are frozen in death in the midst of their carnal activities, their hearts having exploded from their chests. Murphy suspects magic, and wants Harry to look into it.
Investigating this case leads Harry to the mob, an illicit drug named Third Eye, a hooker with a heart of gold, an encounter with the fourth estate, a demon who wants to kill him, and more. This is my first time reading the Dresden files. Wizard PI caught my eye, so I thought I’d give it a whirl. Jim Butcher writes the book in Harry’s voice. He’s often sarcastic, frequently irreverent, and sometimes full of himself, but I liked him, in spite of himself. There’s never a dull moment, and the story is very creatively done.
I read criticisms that said the first four books in the series are not as good as the rest. In that case, I have a lot to look forward to, as the author hones his skill. Being an author myself, I understand the learning curve in the development of a character, and I’m willing to be patient as I watch him grow.
This was a fun book to read, and I would recommend it to a mature audience who enjoys sci-fi and fantasy, and something a little different. Jim Butcher delivers that and more.