With rent past due and a decent meal becoming an issue of some importance, Harry needs work, and soon. A call from a distraught wife, and another from Lt Murphy of the Chicago PD Special Investigation Unit makes Harry believe things are looking up, but they are about to get worse, much worse. Someone is harnessing immense supernatural forces to commit a series of grisly murders. Someone has violated the first law of magic: Thou Shalt Not Kill. Tracking that someone takes Harry into the dangerous underbelly of Chicago, from mobsters.
©2000 Jim Butcher; (P)2002 Buzzy Multimedia
Harry Dresden gets beaten up more than any PI character I can recall. Still, he gets up and keeps throwing his magic at the baddies, without any superhuman feeling to it. Enjoyable world building. Will follow this series for a while at least.
James Marsters does'nt read the book, as much as he acts it. Not always a good thing, but he pulls it off admirably. It takes a while to get used to his "reading voice" (breathing, sighing and all), but once you do, it fits the character perfectly.
It was a good book, but the narrators heavy breathing got really old really fast. Listen if you can manage.
Derivative but to be expected in a genre mash up tale. I'm late to the party with this series but the concept is really fun.
The recording leaves a lot to be desired. The reader is great, but clearly was not directed or edited well. You can hear stammers, saliva, lip smacking, etc. Doesn't ruin the ride but sure doesn't paint a talented narrator in a very good light. Producers and editors need to step it up.
The Dresden Files is one of my favorite series: smart, funny, and engaging, with sometimes predictable plots but evolving characters and an incredibly complex and well-built world. Storm Front is clearly Butcher's first novel. His writing isn't as polished and the characters aren't as fleshed out. But the world is already so beautifully realized that you can't help but get drawn in and captivated. If you're a fan of Buffy, detective novels, or modern urban fantasy (think Gaiman, just not with such beautiful prose), then this is a series for you.
However, I was a little disappointed with Marsters' narration. His pace is a little slow, and often inconsistent. He does decent voices for all the characters, and they're generally distinguishable. But, and this is a pet peeve of mine, you can often hear him breathing or swallowing. While I recognize we are listening to someone reading a book, it is possible to speak into a microphone and avoid having those noises pulled into the audio. I just find them distracting and annoying.
Personally, if you aren't already a fan of the Dresden Files, I'd recommend going and reading the book. These recordings are adequate (not bad, but not great), and I'm not sure they'd be as enjoyable for someone who isn't already hooked on the stories and "re-reading."
It's a solid beginning, but the author is still feeling things out. There are a few discrepancies, and the reader is unpracticed. That being said, it's still worth the listen. It's like a rough hewn sculpture.
this is the first book in what has become one of my favorite series. it vary much fills the niche of good wizardry that was left after the harry potter series from my youth.Tho this is a solid book it's definitely his first and it takes some time to set the stage for his next books it a good read overall in my opinion but can feel a little slow.
This ranks up in the top 100 books I have listen to
I liked the idea of magic portrayed in a matter of fact, relevant to modern times manner
I was not a big fan of the breathing and other throat smacking which could be heard. For me this was a distraction kind of fingernails on a chalk board. I found if I speeded it up to 1.25X it minimized the distraction somewhat.
In a world where Magic was thought to be staged illusions….
I am looking forward to hearing the rest of the series
Marster's does an excellent job of giving the story the right noir/gum-shoe feel. Like a fantasy Phillip Marlow
The scene where Dresden confronts Biancha was tense and had a cinematic feel.
Marsters' acting ability was well suited to the first-person narration. He was an excellent choice. Unfortunately there were semi-frequent places where he might mess up the inflection, breathe at the wrong time- things that should have been re-recorded but made it feel like it was rushed and they couldn't be bothered. It detracted from the experience, but not enough that I wouldn't recommend listening.
No, the chapter breaks were well placed for tension and length.
Looking forward to hearing more in the series, hopefully the director/editor will have done his job and not make it feel slightly low-budget or amateurish.
Yes. I have read and listened to Jim Butcher books before and quite enjoyed them
Why would someone with perpetual dry mouth narrate? The continuous popping, sticky and snapping sounds of tongue sticking to palate pervade the story. It makes the the nose hair situation which I swear you can hear rustling as he snorts and blows through his notrils for dramatic effect (--I think) pale in comparison.
His interpretation of internal dialog is a nasal, monotone which comes out in a low almost murmer--kind of like when you do not really have quite enough breath in your lungs to finsh the sentence?
And external dialogue is well, pretty much the same. Except with an overlay of pompous, wry, disinterest.
I've never listened to a book were I really just didn't like the protaganist. I find myself wishing that he would just shut up.
I don't know if I'll be abe to finish the book. I'm probably about 3 hours in. The story hasn't been all that interesting, but I think some of that is the way it is told. Even a mediocre story isn't always a deal breaker. I mean I'll spend a companionable 6 or 8 hours with someone in the car listening to a nice voice and from a pleasant main character.
This was a very enjoyable listen as the main character is well thought out with a bit of a past and placed into an interesting situation of private detective / wizard. The mix of magic and sleuthing works well and magic is not used as a crutch to get out of tough situations.
The story line itself is well paced with a decent amount of action and investigation involved. While there are no real surprises or major plot twists neither is the story predictable or boring.
There are some interesting aspects to the magic world that I look forward to learning more about in future novels and this novel is very much recommended.
Fun idea for the main character, also like Murphy who is a good foil to him
Enjoyed James Master's reading but he is really closely miked and there are lots of audible deep breaths & sighs. I'm quite prepared to accept this was a conscious, technical, decision but, if that was the case, sometimes it's more intrusive than effective!
Will definitely try more Harry Dresden stories
This is a great story by Jim Butcher. Storm Front is the first in the Dresden files and Harry Dresden jumps in feet first. Wonderfully funny, brilliantly read by James Marsters
The ending.. but I won't spoil it. very funny.
The lift scene.
This book would have had be on the edge of my seat if I wasn't driving my car. It was a pure pleasure hearing Harry come alive through James Marsters.
I listen to audiobooks on the way to work. I have an hour's drive and the drive just flies by. All too soon I arrive at work and have to stop listening :-(.
Wizards, (good and bad) magic, fairies and mystery all in the modern setting of Chicago with police, mobsters and reporters - its got to be good. And it was. The reading is brilliant and the rhythm of the story combined to make this book shoot to the top of my listening list.
"Highly Entertaining for a Light Read"
A good bit of fun and a great start into a new lighter series
Story – 4/5
Sometimes it is nice to break up the 30hr+ epic fantasy stories with a shorter, lighter novel that is a bit different. Dresden and Storm Front suited this perfectly. At only 8hrs long, it is very fast paced and extremely easy to follow. It is not a masterpiece, but very entertaining. I have heard from friends who are Dresden fans though that it gets a whole lot better after book 3, and blows most people away, so I will certainly be continuing with the series
It has quite a film noir feel to it, being a privately hired detective story, where the police and organised gangsters (the mob) are also involved. The murder plot being investigated is quite a simple one, as Butcher seems to concentrate a good amount of time building the fantasy elements of the story (but he doesn’t ram it down our throats like some urban fantasy novels). I preferred it told this way, but others may want more of a crime thriller.
The only drawback I found, and this is quite common with first person narrated novels, is that all of the danger elements are trivialised. Not just by the fact that we know the narrator will survive until the end of the book, but also by Dresden being fairly brave, and not actually fearing the enemy.
Performance – 4.5/5
James Marsters was an excellent choice as narrator – he portrayed Harry Dresden’s character very well, and added to the film noir atmosphere of the story. It’s the little things like talking while taking a deep breath, and sounding scruffy in nature to match Dresden’s description.
In there first ¼ of the novel though, there was a slight production issue, where the start of a few sentences started too soon after the end of the previous ones. It almost felt like it had skipped a chunk and made me go back 30 seconds to check. This didn’t seem to be an issue at all in the latter ¾’s though.
Overall – 4/5
"A great start to a series"
The way that it wasn't preditable - yes, there was a wizard, but it didn't play out quite as I expected and the ending was a good ending to this part of the story. It could also be enjoyed as a stand alone book as well.
I've haven't listened to James previously, but I would again. His pronounciation was clear and I could tell the difference between the characters. The best bit was the way he spoke Harry's thoughts - the peed off wizard came across loud and clear.
I'm not a 'laugh out loud' kinda person but the book did make me smile a few times!
A good murder mystery type story with a bit of magic thrown in but it was mostly driven by the murder plot and not the magic. I'm hoping the magic will develop a bit more in the second book but I really enjoyed this one.
"Inviting story and engaging narration!"
The narration was superbly done; for me, it made the book better than if I had been reading it myself. The narrator really brought the character of Harry Dresden come alive in a way that I thought convincing.
It was not a static story at all. Each chapter flowed seamlessly into the next.
Yes because the storyline and characters grabbed my attention and it was very interesting.
It was just generally good story and had a great plot.
Read very well and clearly. Great performance generally.
"A slow start but worth it for the series is great!"
The first two books of this series are not what you should judge it by, after these the series explodes into being one of the top novel series' around defiantly worth getting through them and well they are pretty good in their own right anyway!
"James Marsters, a wizard & mystery - ideal!"
The fact that James Marsters is reading the story got me hooked - I am honest...but I also like the whit of the characters
The main character of course and the little skull....
The one where he tries to mix potions and argues with the skull.
Report Inappropriate Content