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
Overall the story was good. I didn't like the idea that this wizard, who has contact with the supernatural, who is being watched by the wizard police, seemed so pathetic at his job. I would think a guy of his age and insinuated experience would be super-paranoid and highly motivated but Dresden just seemed... whatever. It seemed like he kept trying to figure out what to do half the time and seriously, a magic user who doesn't use magic is just... blah.
I do understand that Harry is suppose to be this normal guy, with normal problems, that has this supernatural skill but sheesh, the guys like, 30, couldn't he have his life a little more together... even just from a business standpoint, even its just his mastery of his magical talents?!
I didn't, in fact it was the part I liked least. Though I think it was an attempt to translate the character's apothetic/pathetic life, just seemed like he was a couple smokes away from drinking his last bottle of scotch then pulling the trigger.
Maybe. 'Course it was a series that I thought was fine. It would need a guy like Paul Blackthorn (TV Dresden) who is not a Chipendale, but neither is he too average. Like awesome leaning towards average, and with a little attitude.... snarkiness. Hey, just ask Paul Blackthorn.
I was/am looking for a many volumned series to latch onto, and while I might give another Dresden book a try I do not look forward to the narration and am dubious of listening to a third book if the second is like the first.
Sci-Fi & Fantasy Reader
I recently picked up the first 12 books in the Dresden Files series during a sale, because I've been hankering to re-read them and also because I was really interested to hear James Marsters (of Buffy fame) read them. It was an excellent decision.
The Dresden Files are some of my favorite books. The may not necessarily be the absolute finest works of literature, but they really speak to nonetheless. So going in, I expected to enjoy Stormfront because I can still remember reading it the first time and then going and reading the next seven books in the serious without pause.
What I didn't expected was just how much I would enjoy a novel that I had already read. It was simply fantastic. Harry Dresden is one of my favorite characters (hands down) and I absolutely love the way the Jim Butcher writes this series.
Right from the beginning, the action kicks into high gear and, somehow, Butcher finds ways to continually raise the stakes throughout the novel. But one of the things that I love best is how, in the middle of the action, Butcher will pause to explain what Harry's doing or give additional details about how magic works. You might think this would disrupt the pacing of the novel, but it actually works really well.
I've said many times in the past that one of Butcher's real talents is writing characters. Harry is obviously a great character, but so are many of the secondary characters including Murphy, Bob, Susan, and Mac.
What's really amazing is that, despite the fact that Stormfront is thoroughly enjoyable and good enough to earn a 5 star review, it's just the beginning of the series and the books actually get better.
But I can't conclude this review without giving some props to James Marsters as well. He did an excellent job. He really captured the tone of the novel and his voice is just perfect for Harry.
This was pretty good. Better than some, worse than some. Right in the middle sounds about right.
The story itself is amazing. I have read all the Dresden Files books before listening to them and the audio book really gave it another dimension. The nonstop action, as well as the sense of humor in the book really makes it shine. The setting itself is great as well, as well as the lore of the world, though set in our modern times, weaved with magic.
He would be a bit better if he was able to female voices a bit better, once really into the story it doesn't matter so much but it is a bit jarring. I understand how difficult this is, as he has a deep voice which is perfect for Harry, so it isn't something he can really change. Just something that bothered me at first.
Magic, and Demons, and Warlocks oh my!
This is a really good book as well as a fairly well done audio book. Marsters' performance is good, but he seems to lack some of the range that I have heard from other audio book readers such as Nick Podehl.
As the book goes on (and especially once you get into the other books), Marsters does grow on you though. This is the only place I took a star off because it took a while to get into it, but once I did it was great.
The story itself is amazing, and Jim Butcher is a true genius.
I wanted to like this more. I really, really did. But at most, I could give it 3.5 stars.
At the core of the story is down on his luck wizard, Harry Dresden. He did something naughty in the past that has him on the wizard version of probation. He even has a magical probation officer following him around. To make ends meet (which he barely does), he's on retainer with the police as a consultant and at the start of Storm Front, he gets dragged into a murder investigation at the same time as a cagey woman shows up at his doorstep wanting him to help find her husband (who may or may not have been playing with magic.)
Harry seemed a likable enough character but I wasn't drawn to him. I don't know if it was James Marsters reading of him or what, but he just sounded bored to me all of the time. That put upon voice that was just resigned with everything, like "This again? Okay, whatever." Even parts of the action (mostly earlier in the book) were read with that same resigned voice and it didn't exactly draw me in.
Harry also didn't seem like much of a wizard. He kept getting jumped. He was constantly scared though apparently, he's very good at not showing it (eye rolling) and he seemed to get out of most situations more by luck than skill. There were a few bright spots when suddenly he would get angry and do something awesome, but these points were a bit far and few between in the character building sections.
Morale of this review - I didn't fall in love with our hero, Harry, and that makes it hard to fall in love with the books. I hear the series gets better later in the series and I'll probably read another book or two...eventually.
I've listened to all of the Dresden files series. There is not one that I wouldn't read again and again. The characters are engaging. Dresden is witty and fun, even when he is getting the beaten to a pulp.The relationships are precious and consantly evolving. The story's are action packed, fun and very creative. Read them all!!! you won't be disappointed.
The constantly moving story, the characters, and Dresden's wonderfully witty narration.
Some years ago I picked up the Anita Blake Vampire novels and fell in love with the witty supernatural person reluctantly working with the cops to deal with the wrongdoers in the world. This book had the same basic theme, though it far surpassed the Anita Blake series in everything from characterization to plot. Also it didn't rapidly descend into porn, which I appreciate.
Dresden with his skull and Mr. Mann? The giddiness after he defeated the spider? Visiting Mac at the pub? All of them?
The book as a whole was good enough for me to finish in less than two days. I haven't had that kind of addiction to a book in YEARS.
Me? ....... Capable of many moods, and enjoying a vast range of literature. Incapable of uploading a picture and realized none of the Avatars are ......appropriate. That pretty much "tells" it all.
Too slow for me. Didn't care for the reading by James Masters. It is the start of a series, will check out the next book at Goodwill.
History student with VERY eclectic tastes. Too busy to actually sit down and read most of the time so audiobooks have saved my sanity.
I had been told by friends that the Dresden series didn't get good until the third or fourth book, but I have to say that I absolutely loved the first book. Maybe having it read to me by James Marsters (who does a great job!) made the difference.
I'm definitely going to continue with the series.
James Marsters brings the Characters to life! Harry and the other characters are just as you imagine them when reading. And he gets even BETTER as you progress through the series!
Harry Dresden is a Private Investigator, predominately of the supernatural in modern day Chicago. Imagine Phillip Marlowe crossed with Gandalf the Wizard. Phillip's dry sense of humor and Gandalf's ability to magically kick butts, all rolled into one. Jim Butcher has managed to mix old school magic and mythology in ways that Harry Potter could only imagine. Anyone who enjoys SciFi and Cop stories will enjoy this series, even if you don't, you will enjoy Jim Butcher's writing style and the amazing characters he brings to life in this series. The books are fun and entertaining, HIGHLY recommend!
Harry Dresden of course! James is spot-on Harry. Can't imagine anyone else reading him.
Just thinking this is WAY COOL! Marsters nailed it!
You HAVE to get the whole series, the books get better and better and so does James Marsters.
I was wanting to listen to a good audiobook series, and after hearing one of my favorite authors (Orson Scott Card) mention the Dresden Files, I decided to give it a shot...
I was a little worried listening to the first few chapters.... but once I hit the half way point, there was no turning back! I've now listened to and/or read every book in this series within the past 60 days, and I've pre-ordered the next installment due on 11-27-2012! Each book you listen to or read in The Dresden File series just makes you want more!
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