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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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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    15,871
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    8,918
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    3,269
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Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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smorgasbord of complex fun

I've heard about the Dresden Files through listeners I follow and never paid much attention, which was a mistake. I turned to it when there wasn't anything else of interest and now I am hooked. It has a bit of all the genres I enjoy - paranormal, suspense, romance, mystery, and a little police procedural. The best part is that it is witty without being trivial, but you have to be a quick wit. Not to mention that the variety of characters promises enjoyment for several more sequels. I ignored books I had cued in my library to buy Book 2, that's how much I liked it.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Pretty Good Book, Great Narration

And i don't even like Sci Fi books, to the point that if i do buy one by accident, i will send it back. Sometimes it is not easy to tell. But this book was very entertaining & the Narrator was great. He had a talent to make himself fall naturally into the main character. It was also quite humorous. And i learned a lot about wizards too.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Joel
  • NEWPORT BEACH, CA, United States
  • 10-04-15

Copperfield He is Not

You would think that with a series that has been running as long as Jim Butcher's Desden Files series it must have started with a great debut novel. At least that's what I expected. Sadly after jumping into Storm Front a week ago I did not see what all the fuss was about. My guess is people were captivated with the world more then a story. It's an urban fantasy novel that follows Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden (amazing name) a wizard in what at least in the first book seems to be in our world and time frame although I don't believe its explicitly pointed out.

Harry who's basically a detective with magical abilities is put on two cases early on in the novel while he also struggles to do normal human things like pay the rent. Lucky for him he's a Wizard and as such has abilities the normal police department don't have. What follows is a pretty run of the mill murder mystery with the added magical bits. The book very rarely makes use of its one big departure from the standard murder mystery and as such kept me entertained but never on the edge of my seat.

The other big problem is that because I listened to the audio version of the book the production value (which there was none) was a big distraction from the story. There was a lot of background noise, heavy breathing, other odds and ends that I've never heard in an audiobook before. I think the narrator was trying to read it differently since the story is told in the first person but it didn't work. All in all its not a bad book but I really doubt I will be going back for book 2 anytime soon.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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The world vs. Harry Dresden...

Harry Dresden gets beaten up more than any PI character I can recall. Still, he gets up and keeps throwing his magic at the baddies, without any superhuman feeling to it. Enjoyable world building. Will follow this series for a while at least.

James Marsters does'nt read the book, as much as he acts it. Not always a good thing, but he pulls it off admirably. It takes a while to get used to his "reading voice" (breathing, sighing and all), but once you do, it fits the character perfectly.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Good story! Annoying narrator

It was a good book, but the narrators heavy breathing got really old really fast. Listen if you can manage.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Fun book but not so hi fi recording.

Derivative but to be expected in a genre mash up tale. I'm late to the party with this series but the concept is really fun.

The recording leaves a lot to be desired. The reader is great, but clearly was not directed or edited well. You can hear stammers, saliva, lip smacking, etc. Doesn't ruin the ride but sure doesn't paint a talented narrator in a very good light. Producers and editors need to step it up.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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loved it hated it

Where does Storm Front rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This ranks up in the top 100 books I have listen to

What did you like best about this story?

I liked the idea of magic portrayed in a matter of fact, relevant to modern times manner

What aspect of James Marsters’s performance would you have changed?

I was not a big fan of the breathing and other throat smacking which could be heard. For me this was a distraction kind of fingernails on a chalk board. I found if I speeded it up to 1.25X it minimized the distraction somewhat.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

In a world where Magic was thought to be staged illusions….

Any additional comments?

I am looking forward to hearing the rest of the series

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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good, but flawed performance

Would you consider the audio edition of Storm Front to be better than the print version?

Marster's does an excellent job of giving the story the right noir/gum-shoe feel. Like a fantasy Phillip Marlow

What was one of the most memorable moments of Storm Front?

The scene where Dresden confronts Biancha was tense and had a cinematic feel.

What about James Marsters’s performance did you like?

Marsters' acting ability was well suited to the first-person narration. He was an excellent choice. Unfortunately there were semi-frequent places where he might mess up the inflection, breathe at the wrong time- things that should have been re-recorded but made it feel like it was rushed and they couldn't be bothered. It detracted from the experience, but not enough that I wouldn't recommend listening.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, the chapter breaks were well placed for tension and length.

Any additional comments?

Looking forward to hearing more in the series, hopefully the director/editor will have done his job and not make it feel slightly low-budget or amateurish.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Goodbye credits...

My dad was looking for a new series...I'd heard good things about this one - so I picked up book 1 to evaluate - and that was going to be it. It was good, and I got a bunch of the paperbacks for my dad, the end.

Well...then there was that 3 for 2 sale...so I got 2 and 3...so I could discuss with my dad. Thing is...the series starts getting good right around book 3. I had a bunch of credits...so, fine, I'll get one more...Now I'm on the last hour of book 10, and just spent my LAST credit on book 11. Every time I tell myself this will be the last one, and every time I'm buying the next one before the one I'm on is done.

Butcher does an excellent job of catching you up on what happened in the previous book - and by "excellent", I mean he spends about 15 seconds hitting the high points - perfect. The characters in this series all just continue to grow on me - Dresden is a very lovable main character - but the other characters are just as good - Murphy, Michael, Marcone, Toot-toot, Thomas, Ivy, Kincaid, Molly - my god - I'm just realizing how long the list of characters I like is...and yeah, some of the few I listed aren't in book 1...or aren't...as important yet.

Marsters is an excellent narrator - I'd have given him 5 stars, except that he makes a few small changes throughout the series - from the voice or accent of a character to the pronunciation of a name - and in his defense, the changes are few - and they are the correct changes...

Anyway - the only real complaint I have about this series is that I go through the books so fast.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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The Man

I first met Harry Dresden one lonely Saturday night. He was tall, perfectly spoken and I spent all the time I could with him before we were parted by circumstances beyond my control. Darn single season television.

I was hooked and was extremely excited when, after my weekend binge, I discovered that Harry Dresden was THAT Harry Dresden of the book that I had downloaded based on a review all those months ago and sci-fy recommendation and hadn't had the time to listen to yet. Needless to say, I MADE the time right then and there. I was in love and wanted more.

And he gave it, in spades. Jim Butcher has created a character in Harry who is totally believable, even if you, like me, think that a wizard is someone who belongs anywhere medieval but not modern day. Harry is a roughened character who...feels...right. Someone you would know and love to hate because of his smart mouth, attitude and general piss-you-off-regularly personality. We all know people like him and we all love and hate them. This book is the perfect introduction to Harry Dresden and will leave you eager for more. Even my guy, who rarely actually pays attention to what I am listening to, was drawn in and asked for more.

While there is magic in this book and series, its not airy-fairy...though there are faeries...and vampires and...other things but I won't spoil anything, I promise. The magic is seamlessly woven into the daily life of Dresden, not overpowering any one aspect of the story and it is wholly believable that Harry's Chicago, and world, could be mine too. Coming from someone who lives 50 miles away from Forks, has been camping in La Push and never looked twice to see if anyone sparkles or looked for a wolf in the forest, let me tell you, it was a fantastic feeling.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-06-17

very enjoyable first book to listen

with so much choice a friend mentioned this would be something I would like and he was not wrong. with magic and crime in one and the narrator fits the story so well that you can actually believe he is Harry Dresden. I look forward to the rest of his books.
I recommend this book.

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  • D Nicholson
  • 09-28-17

good story let down by odd voice work

I really wanted to like this book; Wizards, mystery, and voiced by a professional actor who I thought would be a great fit after Buffy the vampire slayer.

unfortunately James's voice acting left me bored and confused. not only is his narration voice distinctly lacking in emotion and often sounded like he was recording during his first read through the book (due to odd sentence breaks or pauses), but his portrayal of Harry Dresden was so unaffected by his situation that it sounded like he had recorded all of Harry's lines without context. Harry just got shot; James narrates in his normal monotone Dresden voice. Harry just got threatened, monotone Dresden.

there's maybe one or two characters that he voices with emotion and context and that's right at the end so the entire rest of the book was a struggle in concentrating on what James was saying and trying to re imagine it as Harry might have actually said it.

overall I'm a bit put off trying the next book in case it's more of the same. hopefully though he had some feedback and emotes correctly.

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  • A E WHYTE
  • 08-24-17

Superb narration makes all the difference

What made the experience of listening to Storm Front the most enjoyable?

James Masters narration, without a doubt.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

A good enough ending, like much of the book.

What about James Marsters’s performance did you like?

He's simply brilliant. Brings the book to life.

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

There were a couple of moments but I don't like spoilers.

Any additional comments?

I'm not a big fan of Wizards and Trolls etc but this is a good enough story to keep the reader engrossed. The fantastic narration lifts it up to another level. Well above average listening.

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  • MS P WILSON
  • 08-24-17

Enjoyable mix of Marlow and an adult Potter

A well narrated enjoyable tale. A blend of noir and wizardry. Will definitely seek out both author and narrator again.

  • Overall
  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-18-17

Obvious

Its Dresden.
Its Jim Butcher.
Its obviously a good read.
The character remains one of the best in the genre, whatever that is...urban fantasy, supernatural detective, who knows.
Dresden may be the Charlie Brown of the genre but, this aint peanuts!

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  • James
  • 08-16-17

Pretty good - read in a day

I enjoyed the universe created and the simplistic but fun story arc of the detective noir style

Reading was done quite well, though he misses where sentences continue or end sometimes

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  • Mr. M. I. Tomlinson
  • 08-09-17

Couldn't put it down

A fantastic performance by James Marsters, he truly brought Harry Dresden to life. The story itself was a great Magical Noir thriller, as a first time reader of the Dresden Files I was completely drawn in by the story, plot and characters

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  • Imran Rajah
  • 08-08-17

Phenomenal

Beautifully and engagingly narrated, this book had me enthralled from beginning to end. James Marsters brings the character of Harry Dresden to life.

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  • England fan 1
  • 08-06-17

Daily deal win

Got this on a daily deal and I really enjoyed it.
I wasn't sure about it at first as I remember the the TV show being a bit cartoony. However I really enjoyed this production and highly recommend it. I will be getting the other books.

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  • t p hook
  • 08-05-17

Goodbook

Enjoyed this book. Good reader kept me Interested from start to finished. Good story line. Recommended.