I'm an avid listener. Audio books are a mini-vacation for me. They fill my "need to read" when I don't have time - which is most of the time. Great element of multi-tasking!
Harry Dresden is a film noir-like character: private eye, helps the Chicago police, barely makes ends meet, not always great with the ladies....oh, and he's a wizard. If the cops need help that the evidence doesn't readily provide, they call in Harry to see if magic is at play. Turns out, it often is in the criminal world. A fun and creepy tale of criminal mischief being cleaned up by the good guys, with enough trolls, fairies, talismans and disgusting insects to make it exciting. This is NOT a children's or young adult series - entirely too graphic adult behavior. At least in this first book. I am looking forward to reading more.
Butcher Yes, Marsters, No
Can someone please get this man a glass of water. Does anyone know that old person lip smacking noise people make when they take out their teeth or talk to long? Well after this book you will.
Harry Dresden is Chicago's only professional wizard. He's broke, barely able to make ends meet, about to evicted from his apartment for not paying rent. Apparently there's not much call in Chicago for a professional wizard. He makes extra money by helping the SI department of the Chicago PD. SI (Special Investigations) is headed by Lt. Karen Murphy, the only cop so far to hold that postion for more than a few weeks.
The relationship between Harry and Karen does drive me a little bit crazy. They've worked together in the past, before this book begins, she knows he's a wizard, she deliberately calls on him when she has a case she thinks may be supernatural in nature, and yet neither of them trust the other at all. She's constantly questioning and ignoring what he tells her, he's always deciding not to give her key information as he runs around playing super-cop on his own.
I really like this series. I'm listening to the fourth book now and I fully intend to keep going. I've read a lot of reviews from people who were put off by James Marsters' performance - the breathing and swallowing, etc. Since James is a human being, he has to do those things. If anyone is to blame for it, it would be the sound editors. But I like it. It always seems to add to whatever is happening to Harry. Harry sighs, James sighs. Harry's been running, James is breathing a little heavier. I don't see it as a problem. I admit to being slightly biased because I love James Marsters, but I'm put off by crappy narration as much as the next person. There are many series I've switched to reading instead of listening to because I couldn't deal with the narrators.
If you like your fantasy to involve a sarcastic, broke, down on his luck wizard, definitely give Harry Dresden a go. The cast of side characters is fun, too. There's Mister, Harry's cat, Bob, the spririt that lives in a skull in Harry's lab and can be bribed with romance novels, Susan Rodriguez, the reporter for the only supernatural newspaper in Chicago, who's constantly trying to get Harry to give her a sccop. There's a lot to like in these novels, and I can't wait to see what's next.
I didn't finish this book because I did not like the detailed murder. What I did listen to was spectacular and super interesting. If you can stomachs strong violence then read this, the author and narrator are amazing.
former nuclear scientist
The style of writing and narration is supposed to be an homage to the old-time gumshoe noir novels of the 30s, with humor and modern references splashed in. However, I found most of the jokes and references much less clever than intended; never brilliant, they rarely rose even to cute, and mostly wallowed in the groan-area. The narrator didn't help: his volume changed from a quiet mumble during narration to a stronger, louder voice for dialogue, so I was constantly fiddling with the volume button to find a setting where I could understand him but not get blasted if a conversation started. The narrator also can't do women's voices. Not at all, and barely tried.
The premise holds promise, even as signals are confusing: there are cell phones, but $500 covers rent for almost two months in a Chicago office building. Harry Dresden is a warlock for hire, and apparently a pretty powerful one, and comes with a backstory that sounds like the first book of a series that was maybe more interesting than this one. But the execution is inconsistent, just like the characters. A villain who has no compunction about murder still inexplicably just sends warnings to Harry when he gets on the trail. Convenient, glaring clues are dropped in an almost linear fashion, while Harry races through an adventurous weekend on an artificial deadline and fends off cartoonish challenges (including a mix-up and an overzealous magical cop) in his journey to save the day. It's just too trite to be interesting for long, because the lame and predictable plot takes up more time than the more interesting shadow world that Harry inhabits.
In summary: mumbly, jumbled, and too much old, not enough new.
As much as I love music, I'd rather listen to a book. I love being taken far far away while doing everything.
I wanted to try this book because everyone told me how great it was. I like James Marster's voice too, so I thought I'd try it. I couldn't get past the third chapter. It just moves too slow for me. The story feels a little mundane for me. When I read/listen, I want to be carried far and away and see pictures in my head. The first three chapters felt like a walk in the park. I never could get into the Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew novels so this just wasn't for me.
I travel to and from Arizona and Santa Clarita every month. We listen to audible books in the car from our IPod.
Good narration and the story line keeps you wondering. Can't wait to start the next book.
Bob, the scull. He had an edge about him and the voice sounded like an English butler.
Harry, the lead.
Love listening to books.
I like Harry. He is a bit over the top, and some of the other characters are equally over done, but I liked it. The story was pretty good, but a little predictable.
In a nutshell, Harry is a gumshoe detective with all the normal foibles that gumshoes always have. He is living case to case, lives alone (mostly), has a beat up jalopy of a car, wears a long coat, is always at odd with most of the police, and has a favorite bar. Think of any gumshoe and you have Harry. Now add in the extra bit of Harry is a wizard. Not just any wizard, but the only openly practicing wizard.
You get all the normal conflicts of a gumshoe detective and the added conflicts of a hostile wizarding world since he is in the public.
The performance by Marsters was very well done. His voicing really helped bring the characters to life.
I liked the book, and am looking forward to the next one.
I love the Dresden Files series. Storm Front is the first book in the series which is appearent as you read it. There are characters that you don't have a feel for. It seems that these are the same characters the Jim Butcher didn't have a feel for either. *SPOILERS* Since at least two of the significant characters in this book don't make it to book 3.
The real reason to read this book is if you want to know the backstory for Book 8: Proven Guilty. Beyond that I would recommend that anyone who wants to start this series start with Book 3: Grave Peril.
Harry Dresden is a well rounded character with an exceptional amount detail to his motives and drive paid to him. I very well done piece of character development.
While his performance was perfect for the lead character of harry, there was little emotion behind it. It was a very flat performance.
The production has odd moments where there are odd pauses and Marsters performance was very flat, but for the character of Dresden himself it was actually suiting. It was just disappointing that the other characters were not given the same care and attention in the performance.