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Storm Front Audiobook

Storm Front: The Dresden Files, Book 1

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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

4.3 (25855 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jake 08-09-09
    Jake 08-09-09 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "3/5 for the book 5/5 for series"

    There are a lot of problems with this book, many of which are in the production of the audiobook (the editing is crap - you have to listen to the reader breath constantly and it really interferes with the flow of the story, though on rare occasion it fits whats going on). The story itself is a very light read and not very immersive. The concepts are interesting but the story is lacking.

    However, that said, the second book is great. This book really only serves as a necessary stepping stone to set the stage of the series and introduce you to its characters. The second book will knock your socks off. My only complaint is that the reader/editing doesnt get a whole lot better (the reader is actually quite good, and fits the part, but man the editing is bad and it makes him sound bad).

    I only progressed past this first book because Butcher's Calderon series is so good I couldn't believe this series didn't get better - my faith was entirely justified and I intend to purchase the rest of the series.

    52 of 65 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kent A. Larson SLC, UT 06-23-09
    Kent A. Larson SLC, UT 06-23-09 Member Since 2008

    Kent A. Larson

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "It doesn't get much better than this..."

    If you love PI stories and have a hankering for the occult then Harry is your man, or rather, wizard. Butcher's use of sarcastic wit and bouts of unabashed sentimentality blend together for a witch's brew of pure delight. If Marlowe or Robert Parker had decided to write a Private Eye novel using wizards, the fey, vampires, and such then I don't think they could have done any better than Jim Butcher. I am so happy Audible is beginning to carry the rest of this series. Try it! You'll be hooked!!

    46 of 58 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Moku 09-21-09
    Moku 09-21-09 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Quirky, original story; irritating narration"

    I wasn't sure how I would react to this book about a private-eye wizard, but it turned out to be surprisingly engaging. The author has a vivid, eccentric imagination that draws one into his fantasy world. My tolerance for wizardry, however, has been pretty well exhausted -- I don't plan to listen to the others in the series, in part because the narrator nearly drove me nuts. His delivery was needlessly, and often incongruously, breathy and whispery, with lots of distracting sighs, lip smacking, and noisy swallowing. Perhaps he just had his mouth too close to the microphone, but shouldn't the audio director have corrected this problem? Check the sample carefully before you buy this book, and bear in mind that 8+ hours of this narrator's irritating delivery may exhaust your patience.

    15 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CrzGzr Northwest North Carolina 08-19-09
    CrzGzr Northwest North Carolina 08-19-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "great book! excellent narration"

    We have the print versions and took them to jamaica with us, they go very easy with rum. We have bought the audible books available but really want Books 5, 6 & 7! It leaves a big gap in the story line.
    James Marsters is a very good narrator, he handles the characters very well. Jim Butcher has done a very good job with The Dresden Books! I am very cheap, so I really have to love a book to buy it in print and Audible!

    19 of 25 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jacqueline 11-18-14
    Jacqueline 11-18-14

    .

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    "Smack, Slurp, Swallow, Sigh---Repeat"

    My first Dresden book, I almost thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Hard to get past the various mouth noises by the narrator, which my have been by design--I'm not sure. After I heard that first "smacking" noise I couldn't NOT hear them.

    However, I really liked the overall story. Harry, the good Wizard who likes to read and has a fabulous sense of humor, and fights crime! I can see why these stories have such a large following.

    If you enjoy off-beat crime/fiction with some fantasy thrown in, I recommend it.

    10 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Avoca Beach, Australia 03-19-12
    David Avoca Beach, Australia 03-19-12
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    "Spit or swallow, don't talk with your mouth full"
    Any additional comments?

    Story isn't bad. Mainly well written and generally enjoyable, although the seemingly pointless antagonism between Dresden and pretty much everybody comes across as forced.

    There is however a glaring issue... constantly having to listen to the narrator sucking and swallowing. Ask a 5 year old a question during dinner and you'll get a similar sort of sound. And then there's the regular inappropriately timed sighing. If it's that hard a job being a narrator for audible I would suggest he find another line of work.

    Second thoughts... he should probably find another line of work regardless.

    18 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Powell, WY, United States 03-03-11
    Chris Powell, WY, United States 03-03-11 Member Since 2007

    Love epic sci fi and fantasy, but hate looking of really good books. So many duds out there. I am gamer too.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Butcher+Marsters=Dresden"

    Marsters is more than any narrator, he is a voice actor. Most narrators just read and do change up in voices. For example a character will same something, then the author will write something like and he laughed, and the narrator just reads the line straight. James will add that laugh when he is speaking. He also does the breaths, sighs, adds tension, etc. He brings real emotion and life to the characters. Butcher does a great job of doing this book in 1st person, not many writers can pull it off. Patrick Rothfuss is a good example of poor 1st person writing for comparison. What I like about Butcher is his owns the vamps, zombies, werewolves, fairies, etc, and breaths news live into them. I so loathe vampires any more, but he makes them refreshingly interesting. If you ever watched the TV show it is nothing in comparison to the books. There are somethings that do bother me though, like wizards foul up technology, wish is cool. But revolvers that do work and semi auto pistols don't does not really add up, since revolvers can have more parts than an auto does and semi autos are not that much older than modern cartridge revolvers. Also he can drive a car but can't own a frig? All a frig is a motor, pump and temperature switch. A car has more moving parts than that. Those are small things but easily forgiven since it does not effect the story that much and probably something only a person like me would notice. Highly recommend that you read the books in order as they will make more sense that way, but each book can stand alone. Also read, Side Jobs after you read book 12 or it will spoil the plot of the other books. Ghost Stories book 13 is due out in July 26, 2011.

    14 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Radish Bliss Holdenville, OK 03-30-12
    Radish Bliss Holdenville, OK 03-30-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "STOP SLURPING THE MIC!"
    What didn???t you like about James Marsters???s performance?

    I swear that this reader has a chicken bone in his mouth through the entire book. And if he's not eating something, he is thinking about it. And now that I've said something, that is all you will be able to hear too. You're welcome! Does he slurp? SNIFF? Salivate, and then eventually swallow it all? You betcha!! But, the story is so cool that I'll have to listen to it all again. Sick!


    21 of 29 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 06-15-13
    David 06-15-13 Member Since 2017

    Indiscriminate Reader

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not that bad, not that great"

    Whether or not you like Harry Dresden will depend on your tolerance for annoyingly cliched tools used to entertain you. I mean, I like reading Ian Fleming, so it would be silly (or at least inconsistent) for me to claim that Jim Butcher is particularly egregious or untalented. Butcher is not a great writer — at least not in this book — but he's not an altogether bad one, and Storm Front is a moderately entertaining caper about a Chicago wizard/PI who has the usual problems of scraping up rent, a missing person to find, mobsters on his case, shadowy nemeses who want him dead, femme fatales, and magic and vampires and faeries and a lecherous talking skull thrown into the mix for fantasy flavor.

    Suspensions of disbelief are always required in UF, and my biggest one was actually a fairly prosaic concern: dude has magic powers, in a world where those are pretty rare (the book is not altogether consistent about whether the wizarding world — yeah, I'm gonna call it that — is "secret" or just generally goes incognito) and yet he's struggling to pay his bills. Okay, I get it, Magic Has Rules and you can't just conjure up a pile of gold, but still, as the only wizard in the entire Chicago area, and supposedly a pretty formidable one (despite the fact that he gets his ass kicked by everyone he meets, magical and mundane alike), you'd think Dresden could come up with more innovative ways to profit off of his talents than advertising in the phone book as someone who will find your lost wallet.

    Some of the worldbuilding is intriguing (the White Court, the rules of wizardry which seem to be reasonably well thought out without being excessively infodumped) and some are just lazy (vampires, faeries, ghosts, etc., Butcher seems willing to drop the whole fantasy kitchen sink into his universe).

    As a character, Harry Dresden is a neckbeard's wet dream, a clueless virgin who most of the gorgeous women he meets (all of the women he meets are gorgeous) throw themselves at, so he can manfully refuse their advances and congratulate himself on what a stand-up guy he is for not exploiting the chicks whose boobs he's totally not ogling. We get lots of passages about what a tortured bad-ass he is: his "soul-gaze" routine, where he looks into someone's eyes and they see into each other's souls and most people faint because Dresden is so, so dark inside, man! — is kind of contradicted by everything else he does, which is bumble around cluelessly, get bushwhacked by thugs with baseball bats, bullied by cops and mobsters, and try to figure out those mysterious confusing lady-creatures.

    That said... the book was fun in a well-trodden way, there were some small bits that were neat, and I found it passably entertaining. Do I really want to go on and read the rest of the series? Practically every Dresden fan says that the first few books aren't very good but Butcher gets a lot better deeper into the series. That's not exactly an alluring prospect: "Read two or three mediocre books before you really get into it." But at some point I'll probably pick up the next one.

    18 of 25 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dawn Carty 06-18-12
    Dawn Carty 06-18-12
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    "Reader was terrible"

    The story itself was pretty interesting but the reading was flat. I don't know if the character was supposed to be bored through the entire story but the reading sure was.

    18 of 25 people found this review helpful
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  • Amazon Customer
    5/4/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Annoying narrator"

    Would have enjoyed the book more with a narrator who wasn't always swallowing puffing and huffing and making horrible noises. I like a clean listen and this wasn't it

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • nicole
    United Kingdom
    9/9/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    1 of 1 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
  • 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
  • Peter
    Beulah, United Kingdom
    9/7/10
    Overall
    "A Wizard Detective? Great fun!"

    Read this book after reading an audible review of someone who had read and enjoyed lots of similar books to me. Like them, I greatly enjoyed this different and interesting book. The protagonist is like a slightly cynical, hard-nosed Harry Potter whose life didn't quite work out the way he wanted it to and is now a P.I. The story is a good one, and the usual mobster, his pea-brained henchmen and gansta-moll avoid any cliche by the unusual wizard element to the story.

    Recommended as an unusual read that is well-narrated, passing the time atmospherically and at times humourously.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Richard
    LondonUnited Kingdom
    7/20/10
    Overall
    "Pure Entertainment"

    Narrated in a gruff, world-weary voice that captures the emotion and attitude of Jim Butcher's celebrated Harry Dresden, this first installment of the series offers much to enjoy. (Listen, for instance, to how the narrator knows exactly when to make Harry sigh.) Sure, you won't come away from this experience thinking about life in profound new ways, but you will certainly have laughed outloud a few times, never once gotten bored, and you'll perhaps never view scorpions or toads the same way again.

    This is a fast-paced fusion of noir detective novel and grown-up wizard story. It's at once dark, creepy, funny and frolicking. One scene in particular, involving a magic circle, a toad demon, a love-potion and a spirit trapped in a talking skull (narrated with a slight and amusing British accent), stands as one of comic fantasy's funniest, and rivals anything Terry Pratchett wrote. Highly recommended, if a little short at only around eight-hours listening time. I look forward to listening to, or reading, the whole series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Little Miss Happy
    London, United Kingdom
    1/26/10
    Overall
    "Surprisingly brilliant!"

    I bought this book out of complete curiosity - a private detective who happens to be a wizard? I was hooked within the first 30 minutes - BRILLIANT narrator (one of the best I've heard) - excellent storyline - the magic side of the story grows as it progresses - fun and creepy, fantastic and mystical all at the same time. Harry Dresden is a great wizard - the magic weaves through the story ending in a brilliant action blasting conclusion. I found it a really good read and hope to be reading more of this series in the future.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    5/19/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "awesome!!"

    really interesting and different, nice change from other books I've been reading. book two here I come.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    5/10/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic book, well narrated, amazing series."

    Possibly the best set up to a simply fantastic series... review apparently needs more words.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • William North
    5/8/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Spike from Buffy blows you away with his voice."

    A new take on magic in Harry Dresden, brought to life by honeyed words from James Marsters.
    Excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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