James Marsters feels like the quintessential Harry Dresden. He is just world-weary enough, just angry enough, and just compasionate enough. He nails it, and his reading makes the book.
Butcher's books continue to get better and better as the series goes on. His stories are wonderful and captivating. The writing at times seems a little bit less than fantastic, but the stories are worth it, and the writing gets better with every book in the series.
Clearly Harry Dresden.
Solid introduction to the characters, premise and setting.
Good dramatic presentation, more like listening to a radio-play. The reading gave each character a distinct
First, let me say as I have said in other reviews of books in this series that James Marsters *is* Harry Dresden for me. When I read the books in print, I hear his voice, and when the Ghost Story audio book was done without him, I refused to buy it. There just is no other person who can be Harry now.
For those coming to the Dresden files through this audio book, there are a couple of caveats. Storm Front is a good story, but Jim Butcher doesn't hit his stride until about the 4th book. This book lays the groundwork for a really intricate, detailed mythos that weaves myth, fairy tales, magic, pop culture, and age-old stereotypes viewed from a twisted alternate perspective. There's a lot of background info that has to be delivered in small doses while we're learning that Harry is a multifaceted person, not a gumshoe detective who can cast spells. This book is as much about introducing Harry as is it a mystery.
As a who-dunit, it meets the standard of keeping you guessing until the final showdown with the big bad guy. I'm listening to the book now several years after having read the print version, and I'm finding the clues no less intriguing this time around. I'm noticing that there were details I missed the first time, and that is a sign of a well crafted mystery novel.
What I want to tell a first time reader is that Butcher gets so much *better* at the craft of writing in later books. He has matured as a storyteller now, and he easily deserves to be grouped with the greats, not just of fantasy, but of literature as a whole. My advice is to look at Storm Front as a good book which starts a series that gets much, much better.
Now, the one complaint I have about this audio book is the audio engineering. It quite honestly stinks. I could easily do better in my home office. From how well we can hear Marsters breathing, I keep thinking he has a cold or something. 21 minutes into chapter 4, I just heard *his clothes rustling* as he shifted position. Having listened to several hundred hours of audio books, I know that isn't supposed to happen. I bought this book for $4.95 when Audible was having a sale, and had I paid more, I would probably ask for a refund. So, while I love Marsters as Harry, I gave the performance only 3 stars because of the poor audio engineering.
It's hard to be original, but Harry Dresden, Wizard, sets up a fantastic new universe. You start to wonder, how much supernatural is just behind the next corner waiting for you. Not all is new, but it is mixed into a fresh view of vampires, werewolves, wizards and fey.
Being written in the 1th person, the permormance depends highly on the narrator transferring emotions to the listener. James Marsters does that perfectly. He brings all the characters to live and keeps them true throughout the whole series, even the smallest. Believe it or not, even Toot Toot is his voice without any technical gimmick.
There are complaints about hearing him sigh and breathe, but if you give it some chapters, it really enhances the story most of the time. (Well, sometimes the recording could've been cleaner of course). I've now listened to the whole series up to book 12 and often I miss it on the newer, cleaner produced audiobooks.
This first story sets up the surroundings and the characters. It is more a straight forward 'monster-of-the-day' story and still lacks the complexity of the following books. But watch out for the finale and you'll know what you'll get if you listen on.
I gave it only four stars because - the story is getting better with each book!
This is the first Dresden File I have read and I am now hooked. I can't wait to listen to the rest of them. The narrator, James Marsters, is GREAT! He brings Harry Dresden to life!
I tried to get into this book. I enjoyed the story line, but I could not get over the bad quality of the person reading the book. He was constantly sighing and breathing heavily. I got about 1/3 through the book and had to stop listening. I found myself clinching my fists at the horrible delivery and was so focused on that, that I couldn't enjoy the book.
They picked the best story teller he has a way with words.
I have not read a book like this before.
Yes because its more then a cliff hanger.
A must read.
I'm an eclectic reader. I'm 5 foot 3 in, brown eyes and silver hair. The rest is subject to change.
I love the books, I loved the short lived TV series (damn writer's strike) and now I love the audio books. James Marsters gives a terrific performance. I love that they left the sighs swallows and snorts in. Makes it very believable and you feel like you're there. Great start to a good series.