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
28 years old Ghil is a marvel in procrastination that likes to get away in fantastical escapades in his mind.
With a flawless and energetic narration by James Marsters, Dresden's beginnings are a joy to go through. The series gets better as the books go by, but the first was intriguing and interesting enough to get me hooked and get me to read the others...which is where the true gems lies. All narrated by mr. Marsters, I highly recommend the series.
I've never met anyone who raved about the Dresden Files, but I'd been hearing about them more and more lately, so I thought I'd give them a try. The idea of a fantasy/detective novel was appealing to me. But it was surprisingly bad.
And so, I will not try another book by Jim Butcher, but I'd consider another read by James Marsters.
No. His characters are flat and the writing is bland, but the thing that really got in my craw was his treatment of women. The women in the story participate in the story exclusively as sexy damsels in distress. The main character is sooooo chivalrous, don't you just admire his old fashioned ideals? No. No, I don't. It reads like nerdy, white, male, hetero, wish fulfillment: "Wouldn't it be great if I were a badass wizard and all the women around me were hot objects of my desire that liked my black trenchcoat?" I see that it is a kind of reference to old pulp novels, but it carried so much of the bad along with the good. I'm frankly a little surprised there are so many of these books.
I love his vocal quality. He laughably mispronounced "spellslinger", but other than that he did a pretty good job. I'd totally listen to another book that he read.
It inspired me to write this review in the hopes that the average rating will go down and other people will be warned not to spend their money and time on this book.
Fun magical mystery
The first person narrative sounded like you were sitting in a room with the protagonist, as they were telling you about their experience, and what they were thinking each step of the way. There was a lot of fleshing out of the premise of the magical world within the book.
The scene in the forest where he summoned the fairy and then had a confrontation with Morgan.
When Harry was talking with Monica Sells and narrates about how he felt about her circumstances.
book lover, audiobook listener, gamer & collector.
I'm not really sure what I was expected. I think I was looking forward to a sort of male version of Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan. The main character tries far too hard to convince the reader that he is a gentleman without actually being a gentleman. Between James Marsters' flat narrating style and the subpar writing, it was really hard to get into this book. Once I got past Marsters' narration, I found that there were a few characters who really saved the book from being worthy of a one star rating.
No, definitely not. I will still seek out urban fantasy novels with a male perspective, as there are some books that have done a really good job with it. I've even gotten used to James Marsters - enough to give the second book a chance.
Marsters needed more fluctuation. Changing his tone or pitch would have made it easier to tell who was who.
As a friend recommended, I'm giving the second book a chance but I would definitely not waste a credit or money on this unless there is a sale or something of that nature. I'm hoping the second book gets better, but as it is THIS book just reads like a pilot episode that DIDN'T make the cut.
Lip gloss wearing, coffee and tea drinking, book lover and blogger with a love for alpha males and feisty heroines!
James Marsters really brings Harry Dresden’s character to life with his calm and collected narration. He has a smooth voice and makes flawless distinctions with each character in the story. James’ narration can sometimes get a little breathy, but I find that it fits the mood of the scene and wasn’t turned off about it enough to stop reading. James really does a marvelous job of making you think you’re sitting in a room with Harry while he’s telling you an exciting story!
The magical world Jim Butcher has created is both dark and fascinating. The rules and politics in the “wizarding” world, known as the White Council, are a bit complex and I look forward to learning more about them as the series progresses. Jim Butcher’s a fantastic storyteller who keeps you on the edge of your seat with multi-faceted characters, an engaging supernatural world and some humor.
Harry is an intriguing character, he always has the best intentions but is pretty moody and brooding wizard. Would I consider him an alpha? probably not my kind of alpha, but he definitely is a strong character. Harry’s a bit nerdy, has almost no lucky with women, isn’t rich but still has plenty of charm and a great sense of humor. He believes in doing the right thing at any cost, which usually lands him in the middle of some dangerous situation…I would say he’s pretty close to being the male version of Rachel Morgan from the Hollows series. I really appreciate his vulnerability, although he is a wizard he’s not immortal, making him a more relatable hero in my eyes. He hasn’t won me over completely just yet, but it’s still early!
Storm Front is a solid character driven story with a noir feel that instantly grabs your attention. Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden (how cool is that name?) has captured my attention with his snark, angst and big heart. Jim Butcher has created a supernatural world with wizards, vampires, fairies and some unique villains that I can’t wait to revisit!
wizard detective Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden
if Merlin and Hans Solo and hagrid had a kid with Charlie's Angels
Then you would have Harry Dresden I will admit the first book took me a while to get into but if you're looking for a series of books for their entertainment value they have suspense and they have their humor some parts will just catch you offguard The Star Wars and Star Trek references and comic book references I mean Dresden steals from everybody but with style
you cannot beat the Dresden files it was like a snowball going down the hill for me The more I listened the more I loved. anybody that like magic and mystery books cannot go wrong with these books very seldom Will I write a review but these books are worth it
Kowalski, someone's looking at my profile. Find them. Rico, time for boom boom. Private, send the family a funeral bouquet.
I enjoyed this first book, though it was closer to 4 stars than 5. Good enough to give the next book a try. I like the series more and more the more books I read. Butcher somehow makes each book feel resolved well enough to be satisfying while maintaining the larger plot arch. (There are a lot of books, so I find I occasionally want to take breaks from the series.)
After reading the first book, if you really want to get into this series, find a chronology online so your able to read the shorter stories when they happen chronologically. This will include buying the 12.5th book in the series, Side Jobs, and reading the various chapters as they fit in the timeline.
I'm a geek with people skills. Strange, I know, but true!
This review is partly for Storm Front as a stand alone work, bit it is also a teaser for subsequent books in the series. I've listened to all 14 titles available as of this writing, so obviously I enjoy the series.
In creating Harry Dresden, Jim Butcher has created a character every bit as gruff and chronically misguided as Carl Kolchak, the Chicago reporter featured in TV movies and a series which aired in the 1970s. If you enjoyed Kolchak, I expect you'll enjoy Dresden as well.
Harry Dresden is a typical reluctant hero, doing what he thinks is best, partly because no one else sees the problems at hand, partly because no one else can tackle the bad guys causing the problems, and partly because he's a sucker with a heart of gold who doesn't know how to quit, especially if he's outnumbered, outclassed, and in a fight WAAAY out of his weight class.
The stories read like old fashioned whodunnits, told in an easy narrative by Harry himself, almost as if he was sitting with you over a couple of beers, telling you his story, his insights, his motivations, his screw-ups... all of it. The style is very much like Kolchak's narration, but this time we're dealing with someone who knows more about the supernatural going in. Dresden knows when he's up against mega-nasties, knows when his chances of survival are practically nonexistent, and true to the reluctant-hero standard, he goes flying in where any sane person would collapse into a gibbering mass.
And he survives (usually - but that's for the spoilers), learns, grows in power and responsibility. It takes a while, but over the course of the series Dresden goes from being a convicted murderer a hair's breadth away from execution to becoming a recognized defender of humanity in general and Chicago in particular. Supposedly, Butcher has mapped out a full-story arc for Dresden and hinted that it will take another 10-12 books to complete that arc. If that is true, I'm betting that Harry is in for a helluva ride!
In reading the Dresden Files, James Marsters has also progressed, gaining skill as an audible book performer with each new volume. This first volume is the most rough, the least polished of the series. (It may have been his first audio book reading ever, but I can't confirm that.) There are several places where he mispronounces a word or two. There is background noise, the turning of pages... not a lot of it, but enough to be a distraction, especially if you are accustomed to listening to audio books.
But fear not! By the very next book in the series, Marsters improves tremendously, both in terms of his performance and in the technical aspects of delivering that performance using his voice alone. Before the end of the second book it is impossible to imagine anyone else bringing Harry Dresden to life. Indeed, in the one book where another performer did the narration (Ghost Story: The Dresden Files, Book 13, Narrated By John Glover) it took a while to adjust to the difference in cadence and delivery. Don't mistake me, Glover did a fine job of narration, but after hearing Marsters as Dresden's voice for so many, many hours, it was a lot like having a familiar stranger in your home. Familiar, but not quite the same.
Fair warning: If you are impressionable and have issues with horror stories, stay away from this series. If, on the other hand, you enjoy murder mysteries, film noir, cagey gents and sultry sirens, Harry Dresden will keep you entertained for a great many hours!
What a fantastic series to have stumbled upon! Love this book, and the narration by Marsters is masterful. Perfect pitch - thank you, have downloaded the next...
Finally finding time to enjoy my first love... "reading" ... in a whole new way that fits into my busy schedule.
I read the reviews...the good, the bad...and decided to give Storm Front a chance. As have many others, I too have seen the TV series and was interested to see how it translated into book form. I was very pleased with this book. The plot was a little predicable, this is true... but for me, it did not detract from the enjoyability of the book. I am the type of Audible listener who rather enjoys the narrator who does "all the voices"... James Marsters (at least in this book) is not one of those. I was admittedly disappointed as the "pages turned" to reveal this, but I must say, he won me over. Some of the reviews stated the reader's breathy voice was annoying...I simply envisioned Dresden sitting right there in front of me weaving his witty tale and counted it in as part of the ambiance. I highly recommend Storm Front and I honestly can't wait to read the next book.
"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!
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
"A brilliant first novel."
There's very little to fault in this story if you like the genre. It has a great atmosphere and imagination to it. The hero is flawed but likable. There is a good supporting cast of characters. The plot is interesting. James Masters, the narrator, was just as good as I hoped he would be, acting out the story in a way that really draws you in. The main question, given how popular this series is, is why haven't you listened to it yet?
So why haven't I given it a five? The story does lack the depth of novels written by my favorite authors, it is a little too predictable and plot devices heavy handed at times. However, this novel was enjoyable and easy to listen too. I don't give out four stars easily so Storm Front has a lot going for it and I'm looking forward to the rest of 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.
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