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
This world the story is set in has a great, fun premise: a wizard in the modern technology-obsessed world. The story itself felt like it left something lacking; it didn't draw me in as much as I was expecting it to. This may partly be to my innate dislike of foul language (which is present in this book, but not to a great extent), and may be partly due to this being the first book in a series, so requires more introduction and lead in that later books may require.
This world is very grimy, and certainly isn't the Harry Potter world of wizards, where wizardry can fix any of those mundane problems that most of us have to deal with (like rent), and adds in a bunch of dirty problems that most of us don't have to consider (like blood-thirsty demons). So if you're wanting a nice, clean magical world, this isn't the book for you. But if you're wanting a modern, but magical, criminal underworld, this book is likely worth a try.
Good pace,story, and Magic.
I identified with Harry.
Adroit handling of the dialogue nuances that I might miss.
Bogart as Harry Potter.
First in a series.
I love the style of the story it had the flavor of a gumshoe mystery with the twist of supernatural.
The story is not given away in the first chapter.
Though I had not ever listened to James Marsters before I cannot wait to listen to more.
Jim Butcher's sardonic style is a joy to listen to as read by James Marster's. At times there are great laugh out loud moments.
If you are thinking about sampling the supernatural and have not tried The Dresden Files, I recommend this audio book.
I like most books I hear via audible. The story was interesting and overall was probably 3.5 stars. For fantasy genre, I have liked other series much more. I highly recommend Kingkiller Chronicles series and Song of Fire and Ice series. Narrators delivery was deliberately quiet and non-energetic probably reflecting the partial personality of the lead character in the story. I found it annoying many times during the course of the story.
I have progressed to book #2 in the series yet as I am exploring other series that I hope to enjoy a little more. I may go back but it is doubtful.
This book was mildly entertaining. It dragged in parts but over all it was worth the time spent.
James Marsters does a good job of making the characters interesting. He is easy to listen to.
FORTY SOMETHING THUG FOR HIRE WHO ENJOYS A GOOD BOOK.
HERE IT IS THE PERFECT MASH UP OF HARD BOILED DETECTIVE FICTION AND URBAN FANTASY. THE CHARACTER OF HARRY DRESDEN SEEMS TO BE THE AMALGAMATION OF THE WIZARD GANDALF AND PRIVATE DETECTIVE PHILIP MARLOWE. DRESDEN'S A WIZARD FOR HIRE IN A CHICAGO RIFE WITH MAGIC KILLINGS AND HORRIBLE BEASTIES CONJURED UP LIKE TWO BIT GUN HANDS. ONLY THIS DETECTIVE DOESN'T CARRY A GUN, INSTEAD HE HAS THE ABILITY TO CONJURE HIS OWN SPELLS AND POTIONS, HE IS A WIZARD, AFTER ALL. THE MAGIC SYSTEM HERE IS PRETTY INTERESTING TOO. THERE'S A CERTAIN PHYSICAL SCIENCE TO IT THAT MADE IT SEEM CREDIBLE, RATHER THAT JUST SOME HOCUS POCUS CONJURED FROM THIN AIR; AND DRESDEN'S A FAMILIAR ENOUGH CHARACTER, ICONIC IN AN EVERYMAN SORT OF WAY, AND IMBUED WITH ALL THOSE TRADEMARKS THAT MADE HARDBOILED DETECTIVES THE KNIGHTS IN SHINING ARMOR OF THE 20th CENTURY. NOW ITS THE 21st CENTURY, AND OUR KNIGHTS ARE STILL DOING DETCTIVE WORK, AND FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT, ONLY IN AUTHOR JIM BUTCHER'S WORLD THIS FIGHT IS DONE WITH A SPELL AND A POTION RATHER THAN A BULLET OR A BLACKJACK. MY ONLY COMPLAINT WAS THAT SOMETIMES NARRATOR JAMES MARSTERS PERFORMANCE FELT A LITTLE LACKLUSTER. MAYBE HE WAS GOING FOR THAT DEAD PAN SOUND OF HARDBOILED FICTION; BUT - FOR ME AT LEAST - THAT APPROACH CAME ACROSS AS LACKING. IF YOUR LOOKING FOR A NEW APPROACH ON AN OLD GENRE, THAN THIS JUST MAY BE THE KIND OF WITCH'S BREW TO PUT A SPELL ON YOU.
Live on edge of National Forest with lake, birds & wild animals. No more perfect place to indulge life-long love of reading.
This is a rip roaring fun book with a dark side. The plot line is enjoyable and just adult enough to not be camp. The characters and scenes are all described excellently, such that they come to life in real color and verisimilitude , both fun and semi-real--it is a book about a wizard after all.
The narrator was excellent most of the time. My only criticism comes in his dramatic use of breathy intakes. He uses nasal breathiness to underscore dramatic occurrences in a way that I found rather annoying ... it might be fine for others.
Fun book, most definitely worth listening to.
I've read the entire series several times, but really enjoy the audio book experience. James Marsters really surprised me. I liked him well enough in the various TV shows he was on, but I never expected him to be such a great narrator. I used to just listen in the car as I commuted, but I've found myself listening at home now as well in the place of other activities. I very much recommend the series itself, and the narration is top notch!
Long story short:
Love James Marsters as narrator and as Harry Dresden. Totally recommend this book. Hate Lt. Murphy as a character, but otherwise love Jim Butcher's integration of magic into the "real world".
Long story long:
I remember trying to read this book several years ago on the recommendation of one of my best friends. I got about 1/3 of the way through it and just never got into it. I very easily put it down. And since I had checked out the download from my library, the time ran out before I got it finished. And I didn't care.
So I had great doubts when I purchased the book on Audible, but, my friend doesn't usually steer me wrong, and James Marsters will always have a special place in my heart as an actor. I listened to the preview that was available, and found myself really loving the way he was interpreting the story. Plus, I was able to get the book at the $4.95-introduction-to-a-series price. Even if I hated it, I hadn't even spent enough money for lunch on it! I am so VERY glad that I went ahead and bought it. Marsters's narration truly makes this book amazing. For some reason, I couldn't get a good grip on how Harry Dresden should sound when I was reading it, hence my boredom with it. No such problems anymore!
I don't have much experience with audiobooks yet, but, I do have to say that those that I have listened to that have been narrated by actors are far superior to non-actors. They just "get" how to bring a character to life much better. They have a better sense of timing, which is so important. I've had two audiobooks now where the narrator spoke so slowly, I had to bump up the speed to 1.5x normal. Marsters narrates at exactly the speed the story needs. I know this sounds nit-picky, but it really makes a huge difference in my enjoyment of an audiobook. I've read several reviews that make mention of bad editing, and hearing the narrator breathe and such. I am of the opinion that those weren't meant to be edited out. The book is written as a first person narration, and always sounds like Dresden is dictating his life story for his memoirs, or for a journalism piece. In which case, the breathing and swallowing fit perfectly. I never heard a swallow by the narrator that wasn't at a point in the story where Dresden wasn't fearing for his life or some other situation where a swallow would totally happen. He's an actor, he's bringing the character to life. Not just reading words on a page!
As for the actual plot of the book, it's quite fun. And a very good introduction to the world of Harry Dresden. A good combination of mystery & paranormal. I won't write a book report here and completely retell the story (what's up with reviews that do this?? I want an opinion on the book...not a plot summary!), just say that I loved how this book weaved the magic and the other paranormal elements seamlessly into the crime mystery. I love the character of Harry. He seems to be quite powerful, so at times his lack of belief in his own abilities aggravated me. But his mastery of sarcasm and snark totally make up for this and I can't wait to continue with the other books in the series. The biggest negative of the book is Lt. Murphy. Harry borders on worship of her, but if you ask me, she's a complete idiot. She continually jumps to conclusions, never listens to Harry, but then has the audacity to be pissed off at him when bad things happen. I will admit to being halfway through the next book, and it seems to be only getting worse. I only hope that this behavior from her stops, or that she stops playing such a big role in the books.
I definitely recommend this book as a good use of a credit. And an even better deal if Audible runs a "first of series" sale again!
I have heard of the Dresden Files but never read them. I have read the Harry Bosch series and the Dragonlance Chronicles and enjoyed both. So I thought I'd like the idea of this series.
Storm Front feels like a gritty detective novel with the concepts of magic, demons, and other fantasy concepts in the world.
I truly enjoyed the book and was engrossed by the main character Harry Dresden. Very much seems to have just about everything against him but he is just a good guy trying to get through life with the cards deal to him. I'll definitively try the next book.
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