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
It's a fun read, a good little paranormal mystery, and I already liked the book, a lot. The characters are likeable, and beginning to become developed, and the plot is good. I felt compelled to review this, based on the voice acting. It *really* makes it for me. It's more acted than read, and you really feel like Harry Dresden is taking you along on his life's story, with all the human sighs, gulps, stammers, and everything. I've listened to a lot of audiobooks, done by a lot of different styles of readers, from rough to ultra polished, and this is among my favorites. Really looking forward to getting more of the audio books, in this series.
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.
"A great story & brilliantly narrated"
I confess that I am a great fan of Jim Butcher's Dresden series and was very much looking forward to hearing the audio version. Well, I am delighted to say that I was not disappointed - quite the reverse.
James Marsters (who played Spike in the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer) is a superb narrator. He perfectly captures Jim Butcher's quirky, almost conversational style; he brings Harry Dresden himself brilliantly to life, as well as drawing the other characters with great aplomb; and he keeps the momentum rolling along without let-up. Great stuff.
As for the book itself, I think it is a model on how to write the first of a sci-fantasy series: it perfectly balances the need for thrills and spills, humour, human interest, goodies and baddies with developing the magical background and back-plot. The series improves with every book so I very much hope that Audible get the rest of the series after the first four, all of which are available on the US audible website.
"Gripping and atmospheric"
Stylish supernatural rollercoaster of a novel, Butcher captures the Film Noir genre perfectly and adds an arcane twist. Harry Dresden, the only person advertising services under "Wizards" in the yellow pages, has a knack for finding trouble. In Storm Front, Dresden becomes the target of a brutal killer who has crossed the forbidden line to kill using black magic, and has learned how to harness enormous energies to kill his victims at a distance. Treated as a suspect himself, by the police and the white council of magic, Dresden faces seemingly impossible odds - he must stop the mysterious sorcerer before it's too late.
James Marsters delivers the narrative with Phillip Marlowe perfection. I can't recommend this book enough - I can't wait to download the next in the series!
"Great fun and beautifully read."
I tried this book on a whim and i'm so pleased i did. I think i had presumed that after reading so many paranormal books written from a female's point of view that one from a mans' might be a little gung ho and hard to relate to but i was so pleasantly surprised. The protagonist has a brilliantly dry sense of humour that had me giggling out loud every now and again. It was also so refreshing to read a paranormal book that was well thought out and consistent from start to finish, not getting muddled halfway through or getting a little silly by the end. Harry's back story is explained just enough without getting bogged down in the nitty gritty and it was amazing how quickly one was able to understand and relate to the character. In addition i loved the fact that even though the male lead was strong the female roles all had a character of their own. Usually strong or atleast independant, not just simpering excuses for gratuitous sex.
This was all supported by fabulous narration by James Marsters. Such a fantastic voice for this character, he manages to capture the wry sense of humour just perfectly.
So overall i think you can see that i loved it, now on to the next one!
"Magic meets PI"
First time I have read a Harry Dresden book and looking forward to reading the rest. A good mix of PI investigations, conflict, magic and action kept the plot going until the end. The characters were well drawn and easy to emphathise with. The plot draws you into the authors world of magic, fairies, demons and humans. I was slightly put off at the start by the world weary narration, although this suits the character it seemed slightly over the top but this didn't spoil my enjoyment of the story.
"Superbly read by Marsters"
First of all I cannot recommend the narrator James Marsters highly enough. He has the character of Dresden down to a fine art. The combination of story and Marsters reading was exceptional, so much so that I often laughed out loud at some of the snarky comments. As for the book, well Jim Butcher has found a loophole in the Supernatural book market and created a wizard, who is funny, interesting and captivating. I am looking forward to the next book in the series.
"Dashiell Hammett with Magic bits"
This is a great romp of a story. A grumpy wizard / detective, in the style of Sam Spade, with lots of fallen women, sex, power, a mob ring and a ticking timebomb of a deadline thrown in for good measure. Even though I had the plot twist figured out half way through (I've done a LOT of detective novels) the magic angle made everything fresh and new. I will definitely be getting the next book.
"Amusing and gripping"
I missed the TV series but I had the impression it was the sort of story I'd like and I was right.
The story has kept me hooked and I've looked forward to my bus journey to and from work but I've even found myself listening while doing the housework - it's the equivalent of the 'unput-downable' book.
James Marsters is pleasant to listen to and although there's quite a lot of irony, which we're often told Americans 'don't get', I found the delivery spot on.
I'm definitely going to get the next one in the series.
"dresden files book 1."
james marsters amazing narration skills.
jim butchers whit filled writings.
i've listened to all dresden files books read by him all very good.
not in this one no but in later books yes
if only the uk store could get all the dresden files including the latest one and side jobs i'd be very happy. well worth a listen.
"Good Book, Excellent Series"
My first experience of the Dresden Files was the TV series some years ago; it was okay, but didn't particularly thrill me. I only started reading the Dresden Files because I got the first few books cheaply but they have very quickly grown to become my favourite series of novels and something of an obsession (there's a roleplaying game and there have been related kickstarter projects).
Storm Front is the start of the series and it does start a little weakly, it's a solid book and I enjoyed it - but having read/listened to every book in the series multiple times now it's certainly not one of the best. It's required reading for the ongoing series though, it introduces you to a number of characters, the vast majority of whom crop up again and again throughout the other books and the events of Storm Front still come up in much later books.
Jim Butcher has written these books as though they're Harry's journal or internal monologue, including his off hand thoughts and sarcastic comments. James Marsters captures the character amazingly, and really *is* Harry Dresden. The books have become my favourite series and the audio books (collectively) have become the standard by which I judge all audio books.
"James Marsters & Jim Butcher a winning combination"
James narrates the book with deft ease and brings to life the world of Jim Butcher and his protagonist Harry Dresden. Butcher's world is full of fairies, vampires and demons as well as gangsters, cops and unfortunate victims. Though the ending seems a tad rushed compared to the slow burn of the earlier chapters but this is forgiven because there is a definite sense of satisfaction after finishing the book. James Marsters does a marvelous job and it's hard to think of anyone else who would do better. Some of the themes are a tad dated now, especially the image of the swooning woman who falls for Harry (but for plot reasons). Still I would recommend this to anyone looking for a magic / murder themed book
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