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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

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Performance
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  •  
    8BitJ 02-23-10
    8BitJ 02-23-10 Listener Since 2009
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    "Macabre, Humor, and Addictive"

    This was an outstanding read/listen.
    Context: 5/5
    Magic, crime, love, suspense were all reagents in this story. The blended well to form an addictive read.
    Pace: 5/5
    It read quick and did not bore - ever.
    Characters: 5/5
    All characters were very interesting, and the author used the right amount of text to describe them. Written in a first-person perspective kept the character development well paced.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeannette Covington, LA, USA 08-30-09
    Jeannette Covington, LA, USA 08-30-09 Member Since 2005
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    "Storm Front"

    Well developed personalities, plausible plot (even for a mystical premise ) and character motivations.

    Very entertaining private eye genre with a "cliff hanger" in nearly every chapter making it difficult to put down.

    The series isn't so much about magic as it is about a tough and determined guy who gets a difficult or impossible job done with some magic involved.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jefferson 01-02-13
    Jefferson 01-02-13 Member Since 2010

    I love reading and listening to books, especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, historical, and classics.

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    "Harry Potter as a Hard Boiled PI?"

    Like Harry Potter, Harry Dresden, the narrator and protagonist of Jim Butcher's Storm Front (2000), has great magical ability and power enhanced by a magical education (though he received his before Storm Front begins), casts spells in Latin, uses a tool (a staff) to focus and amplify his magic, has trouble with authority figures and members of the opposite sex, and is at times drawn to the dark side but is really a good wizard who champions the ethical use of magic: "Wizards control their power. They don't let it control them. And they don't use it to kill people. They use it to discover, to protect, to mend, to help."

    Unlike Harry Potter, Harry Dresden is also a private investigator, being the only openly practicing (and advertising) wizard and specializing in finding lost things and solving paranormal mysteries. He also does consulting work for the Special Crimes branch of the Chicago police. Like most hard-boiled detective genre private investigators, Harry Dresden has trouble paying his rent, lives in a seedy apartment, has no wife or girlfriend, and projects a cool, macho exterior beneath which pulses a chivalrous and soft heart.

    In the first pages of the novel, Harry vomits at a crime scene, is told to take a vacation by the ruling Chicago gangster Johnny Marcone, and is hired by a suspicious woman to find her husband. Soon Harry is caught up in a dangerous case involving a pretty and strong woman who heads the Special Crimes unit, a lovely paranormal magazine reporter who is digging for a scoop, an informant fairy who likes pizza, a vampiress Madame who runs an elite escort service, a sexy former prostitute who may have some helpful information, and a black wizard who makes and sells an addictive drug that may give users the "Third Sight" through the surfaces of the mundane world. And the secret White Council of wizards is closely monitoring Harry to execute him if he ever misuses magic again.

    Storm Front is a page-turning novel that fuses the detective and fantasy genres and explains magic--being based on the energy in nature, emotion, and will and being inimical to electronic gadgets--far more than does the entire Harry Potter series. Harry Dresden is a likeable character, a good guy with a complicated and tragic past and, unlike Harry Potter, a sense of humor. However, Harry also at times seems unintentionally juvenile. And many of his lines are corny, like "All I had were more questions for Miss Randall, and she was as closed as a bank on Sunday," or "If I didn't get out of that room in a hurry, I was going to start crying like a little girl," or Black Wizard: "You!" and Harry, "Me!" And Harry refers a few too many times to his long legs or tall frame. And he may be a bit sexist, believing "that men ought to treat women as something different than just shorter, weaker men with breasts." And the novel could be denser and richer.

    James Marsters does a good job of reading Harry's narration--making him seem like a real person who feels, breathes, and swallows--and the lines spoken by the various characters, enhancing their personalities and emotions without doing uncomfortable falsettos for women.

    If you'd like a quick read and are intrigued by the idea of a wizard private investigator, try Storm Front, but keep in mind that it is less hard boiled and bleak than Chandler and less magical and philosophical than Le Guin. I enjoyed it, but won't be in a hurry to read the remaining 14 or so books in the Dresden Chronicles.

    7 of 11 people found this review helpful
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    green ice cream garden miramar, FL United States 12-08-15
    green ice cream garden miramar, FL United States 12-08-15 Member Since 2016
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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
  •  
    Catherine J. Pondozzi Laurel, Maryland 11-18-15
    Catherine J. Pondozzi Laurel, Maryland 11-18-15 Member Since 2013

    I am someone who enjoys audible books very much now that they exist. As a young student (real young) I can remember a teacher telling me how books can transport people to different places & open up a whole new world. This is how listening to audible books make me feel. Now if I can just stop falling asleep while listening to them at night I would be fine. Ha ha

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    Joel NEWPORT BEACH, CA, United States 10-04-15
    Joel NEWPORT BEACH, CA, United States 10-04-15 Member Since 2011

    Joel Szerlip

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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
  •  
    Mike T. 07-25-15
    Mike T. 07-25-15 Member Since 2017
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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
  •  
    Bill Maurer Minnesota United States 04-09-15
    Bill Maurer Minnesota United States 04-09-15 Member Since 2016
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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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    Micah 04-08-15
    Micah 04-08-15 Member Since 2013
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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
  •  
    B. Elliott 12-04-14
    B. Elliott 12-04-14 Member Since 2017

    Bruce

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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
Sort by:
  • 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.

    37 of 37 people found this review helpful
  • Iain McCorkindale
    Mid-Devon, UK
    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!

    15 of 15 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!

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • A User
    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.

    10 of 10 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.

    9 of 9 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.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • EC W
    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.

    9 of 10 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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • SB
    4/21/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "great tale"

    My first Jim Butcher book,absolutely loved it...reeked sarcasm and humour giving Dresden an addictive quality. looking forward to going through all the Dresden Files.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • mrs
    BRIGHTON, United Kingdom
    3/7/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lacklustre, immature and sexist !"

    This is a very average sophomoric story more suited to teenagers . I would lend it to my son but it's too sexist! Like a lame James Bond meets a dull Harry Potter but without much of a plot . The narrator isn't too bad, but you are subjected to heavy breathing , sighs and swallowing throughout . Buy this if you have nothing else to listen to and if you don't want to use any part of your brain!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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