Jim Butcher has created a wonderful cadre of characters especially Harry Dresden, Wizard. Storm Front, being the first book in the series, introduces Harry and sort of sets the overall tone of this book as something akin to a 1940’s detective story (although the stories are actually set in contemporary times).
Harry is chivalrous, many times to his detriment, as it almost always lands him in deeper and more dire circumstances. In the later novels, Harry’s deeper layers and scars are brought to the surface and his psyche is revealed as Jim Butcher continues to reveal the complexities of Harry’s psyche and character depth.
With that said, I have to address the issue of the narration of this book. I believe the original recording was done in the late 1990’s. I believe that most of the books on Audible may be recent recordings. The change in the technology alone in the intervening years is far and away from the technology available in the late 1990’s.
Storm Front is read by James Marsters and we should remember that James is reading a first in a series book. The character development of Harry Dresden is new here, and far from the more in-depth Harry that is found in the later books. Yes, you can hear James breathing more so than in the later books, but his vocal characterization of Harry is phenomenal and continues to grow along with Jim Butcher’s development of Harry Dresden. James also provides rich vocal characterizations for all the characters in this series. It is more like a one-man show than a book narration.
My only real complaint with James Marsters is that he has spoiled me. I now listen to the samples provided because in truth, some of the narrators should not be narrators. Or perhaps they should listen to the complete Dresden File series to “see” how it should be done.
I highly recommend this and all the other Dresden File novels. My suggestion is to listen in order. You will be richly rewarded and NOT disappointed.
Wonderful story .. gripping and very humorous. But the downside is the narrator. He does a very good job EXCEPT for his heavy breathing. This was a significant distraction. Maybe it's the mics. I don't know but it was annoying. Other than that, a great book.
I love this boook. I have read all the other Harry Dresden novels and short stories. Marsters' narration gets better further into the series, but it is still a nice rendition of the story.
I am not a big fan the of fantasy genre, but I wanted to try something a little different than my norm. Since it was on sale for $5 I gave it a try. I was surprised how good the book is. The development of the characters and explanation of the magic as well as the actual murder mystery all fit together nicely. I also thought the narator was a great fit for the character and feel of the story. I will definitely try another book in this series.
I'm so glad i took a chance and bought this audiobook.The setting - a slightly dystopic contemporary Chicago where magic and the supernatural have come out of the shadows, as it were (sorry for the pun) - gives the book a great twist and transforms what was already a great example of noir detective genre fiction into something really special. The main character, Harry Dresden, is engaging and hugely likeable, as well as being flawed, of course, and there are sufficient hints at events he is struggling to come to terms with from his past, as yet not fully revealed, to provide emotional depth and reason to continue the series. The narration by James Masters is excellent too, at no time did it feel like I was being read-to, it was as if Harry himself was talking directly to me. The subsequent book in the series is in my wish list, waiting for my next credit, because I can't wait to find out what happens next.
I love clean books of all sorts. Love mysteries, fantasies epic to kids stories, fairy tales, romances, humor, and historical fiction
I friend of our family recommended this book to me and I purchased it. I have to admit the story is pretty good. I got used to the narrator's style and didn't mind it. It reminds me of the old fashioned radio programs but in a modern and supernatural setting. My main problem with the story is the peppery language and very prevalent sexual themes. I'm sure it would have to be rated R in a movie setting. It doesn't get into explicit sex scenes, but does see dead bodies in the act. I don't know that I will listen to any more of this author's works. I think I can find better and cleaner entertainment elsewhere. I certainly couldn't listen to this with any children around.
The writing and narration are quite flippant in style. Considering the subject matters, death, demons, child abuse, drug distribution and addiction, and especially the protagonist's own pending demise, it becomes irritating.
As with (seemingly) all stories with magic and witchcraft and supernatural powers, there are lot's of inconsistencies. Once these are noticed it's too much of an offense to overcome, for me, and I often think the author uses "magic" as a cheap trick similar to the literary dream sequence.
Fantasy, the occult, and the supernatural are big right now. I guess I'm not that trendy.
This book took me by surprise. I had no idea what it was about only that it was about wizards. On that, I grabbed it as a time passer until a book I have been waiting for comes out. However, this book turned out to be GREAT! I love the main character and the narrator is also very good. He doesn't do different voices usually, but I do really like how he reads with emotion. I highly recommend this book! I'm on to book 2.
I'm about halfway thru and it's incredibly griping. As many have already said, Butcher writes an engaging plot with full-bodied interesting characters. He combines the fantasy and PI elements well, even for me, who is wary of trite fantasy and actively dislikes PI novels in general.
And some reviewers have noted that the narration isn't like many other audio books. It doesn't really sound studio-professional. You can hear Marsters breathe all the time, but, whether it was intentional or not, I really like it! Not the breathing as such, of course, I like that Marsters makes it sound like it's Dresden telling the story to you, probably hunched over a bourbon in a booth at his pub. When Harry Dresden is supposed to sigh, he sighs. He grunts disapprovingly, he stutters nervously, he murmurs appreciatively. I think I once even heard him shuffle papers on his desk! Or that might have been my own imagination, because Marsters' reading makes it so easy get absorbed in the first person narrative. The point is that Harry Dresden is a cantankerous huffy cynical man, and Marsters does an excellent cantankerous huffy cynical voice.
I love this series! The first two should be considered Dresden's origin story--if you aren't super into them just hold on, things really take off after the third book. I'm on the 9th now and and tearing through them like potato chips. James Marsters does a great narration job, too.