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Storm Front: The Dresden Files, Book 1 | [Jim Butcher]

Storm Front: The Dresden Files, Book 1

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.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential - What makes Harry Dresden so essential in the world of urban fantasy is his incapability to ignore those in need, or skip a single glitch in the appearance of a case - it makes him a good detective, and it keeps his character steady. Jim Butcher has created a wizard who exudes the callous confidence a private detective needs to survive and placed him in our world - a world where you cast a spell or become a thrall, trade or be traded, investigate or die. Narrator James Marsters embodies Dresden at his core, smooth and solid, with an unmistakable outside edge of gruffness that leaves listeners with a hardboiled swing in their step. —Erin

Publisher's Summary

My name is Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden. Conjure by it at your own risk. I'm a wizard. I work out of an office in midtown Chicago. As far as I know, I'm the only openly practicing professional wizard in the country. You can find me in the yellow pages, under Wizards. Believe it or not, I'm the only one there.

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (11023 )
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4.2 (7917 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jamie Rosemount, MN, USA 07-11-10
    Jamie Rosemount, MN, USA 07-11-10
    ratings
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    1
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    Overall
    "my first audio book"

    This was my first audio book so take this review with a grain of salt. The book was good but not great. I thought it moved kind of slow and the main character, Dresden, was kind of a wimp. It did pick up in the end but I'm not sure I will listen to any more of these. I suppose Dresden may get tougher as the series continues but I'm not interested enough to find out.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lenin American Canyon, CA, United States 05-28-10
    Lenin American Canyon, CA, United States 05-28-10 Member Since 2003
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    "Annoying"

    Jim Butcher is one of my favorite authors for the Alera saga but this start of Dresden files is simply lacking. Add the narrator's annoying heavy sighs, grunts, and swallows makes this audiobook very annoying. Sorry, Jim...I wont be a fan of Dresden.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard 05-02-10
    Richard 05-02-10 Member Since 2001
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    1
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    "Awsome and Addicting"

    I LOVE the naration...really sets the mood. I have seen the Television series (multiple times) and I have no problem picturing Harry's care worn face while listening to James Marsters! I now own all 12 novels!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean Turicik Plymouth, WI USA 04-22-10
    Jean Turicik Plymouth, WI USA 04-22-10 Member Since 2007
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    "My first Jim Butcher book"

    I thought this was a great story, fast paced, a bit of humor, good story line. The Reader was good as well, I would recommend. I should note that if you like Wizards, Vampires, Fairies, and Demons, along with a good murder mystery, you'll like this audible book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    foozman Gaithersburg, MD 01-26-10
    foozman Gaithersburg, MD 01-26-10 Listener Since 2004
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    "well narrated entertaining fantasy/detective novel"

    I enjoyed this and recommend as entertaining. Kind of alex cross meets Harry Potter.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edward Pearland, TX, United States 11-20-09
    Edward Pearland, TX, United States 11-20-09 Member Since 2009
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    "First person story telling is hard to do well."

    I really wanted to like this book. Friends I trust have enjoyed it, the premise of a Wizard making his living as a private investigator was interesting, and the short lived series that was based on it had me hooked. Alas, I just couldn't. The problem, for me, is that the limitations and irritations of reading a first person perspective story couldn't be overcome. I've never found a first person story that I've enjoyed. The story is bottled by only allowing Harry's point of view and the plot comes to a shuddering halt in several places as massive exposition scenes are needed to expand things and fill in the missing parts of the plot. Some of it turns out to be just too convenient for me to believe. So, to each their own, but this was just isn't for me.

    Audio wise, I do think Mr. Marsters does an adequate job of capturing Dresden's manner, but he just doesn't have enough to work with in this book.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cathy Lambert Chandler, AZ 11-14-09
    Cathy Lambert Chandler, AZ 11-14-09 Member Since 2007

    Cathy

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    "Storm Front"

    Great book. Very entertaining.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Yamhill, OR, United States 09-12-11
    Robert Yamhill, OR, United States 09-12-11 Member Since 2009

    Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dumb; I mean Really dumb"

    The bad news is that I think that this was one dumb book. All of the heavy breathing done by the narrator did not help either. The good news is that given all the tittles available, I now know to save my money. The story was juvenile and not remotely interesting or engaging. If you want a good series on sorcery or wizardry, check out the Kingkiller chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss. The first two books in that series were intelligently written and marvelously narrated. I can't wait for the next one.

    18 of 57 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Boston Chandler, AZ, United States 12-28-12
    Boston Chandler, AZ, United States 12-28-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Pervasive Anti-Christian Themes, Weak Narration"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    To make this a 4-5 star listen, it would require a narrator with voice acting skills who could draw you into the story and make you forget your being read-to. The author would also have to back-off on pushing his anti-christian theology onto his readers.


    What could Jim Butcher have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    He could stick to his interesting sci-fi/fantasy plot and leave his religious views out. In one scene, the lead character (a wizard) puts on a tee-shirt bearing a cartoon graveyard. The caption on the shirts says "Cancel Easter, they found the body." This is a mockery of the foundation of the Christian faith (the crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus) and was completely out of context in the story. I'm not a right-winger who thinks Harry Potter is satanic -- I've been a fan of this genre since childhood -- but these elements and many others offended me.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator is not a voice-actor. When a character shouts, he reads it without inflection, very dryly. When he speaks the parts of a female character, he sounds exactly like the male characters. Boring and a little creepy.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I was reasonably engaged in the story until the author made direct insulting references to Jesus Christ. The comments were unrelated to the story line and bothered me enough that I quit listening and deleted the book.


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    shane eden, VT, United States 12-01-12
    shane eden, VT, United States 12-01-12 Member Since 2010
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    "feels like stuff found in joss whedons trash"
    What would have made Storm Front better?

    its milk toast so it could have benefited from a harder edge


    Has Storm Front turned you off from other books in this genre?

    no


    Did James Marsters do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    no , but he didnt have much to work with


    What character would you cut from Storm Front?

    harry


    Any additional comments?

    I like the premise but it feels like its all been done better, I have said before that this series sounds like scooby doo meets buffy the vampire slayer and after putting more credits into it my opinion hasnt changed.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • Tom
    West Wickham, United Kingdom
    8/14/09
    Overall
    "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.

    Strongly recommended.

    31 of 31 people found this review helpful
  • Iain
    BOW, United Kingdom
    5/20/11
    Overall
    "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!

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Tessa
    Beaconsfield, BUCKS, United Kingdom
    3/3/11
    Overall
    "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!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Joanne
    EdinburghUnited Kingdom
    8/12/09
    Overall
    "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.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Cheryl M-M
    United Kingdom
    10/6/11
    Overall
    "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.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • EC
    Hove, United Kingdom
    5/15/13
    Overall
    Performance
    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Dundee, United Kingdom
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • legeon
    United Kingdom
    6/30/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "dresden files book 1."
    What made the experience of listening to Storm Front the most enjoyable?

    james marsters amazing narration skills.


    What did you like best about this story?

    jim butchers whit filled writings.


    Have you listened to any of James Marsters’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    i've listened to all dresden files books read by him all very good.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    not in this one no but in later books yes


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Pringle9984
    Cardiff, UK
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jon
    Norwich, United Kingdom
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "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

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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