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Storm Front

The Dresden Files, Book 1
Narrated by: James Marsters
Series: The Dresden Files, Book 1
Length: 8 hrs and 1 min
4.5 out of 5 stars (39,281 ratings)

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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 to vampires, while he himself is under suspicion of the crimes.

©2000 Jim Butcher (P)2002 Buzzy Multimedia

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Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    11,052
  • 3 Stars
    3,849
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    776
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    429

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    22,186
  • 4 Stars
    7,810
  • 3 Stars
    3,010
  • 2 Stars
    731
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    469

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    3,565
  • 2 Stars
    677
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    309

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tom
  • Hillsboro, OR, USA
  • 05-20-10

Excellent Story, Distracting Sound Engineering

I loved the story and the narrator voice acting, but, like others, found the excess captured physical noises like breathing, swallowing etc very distracting. The chapter or section transitions were also very abrupt...breaking the flow.

I am glad I purchased it and would highly recommend it to all, but I hope they fix the sound issues for future books.

171 of 222 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

ZERO STARS FOR THE NARRATOR !

I CAN'T STAND THE SNIFFING.

Does Masters have a cold or is he just a pig?

The rest of the book was fun and it sounds like from the reviews that the narrator
gets a little better with each book. I will try the next in this series .

103 of 134 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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!

43 of 56 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • Avoca Beach, Australia
  • 03-19-12

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.

33 of 43 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Narrator annoying

I honestly had trouble getting into what I think is likely a good story because the narrator was so distracting with his deep breaths, sighs, swallowing, etc. I couldn’t tell if this was intended as part of bringing Harry to life or not.

17 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

So disappointing!

I had heard good things about this series of books, but I was so disappointed! The story was shallow, predictable, and mediocre at best. And even though I have been a fan of James Marsters for many years, his reading of this book was terrible! It was so full of heavy breathing, heavy sighing, and without any kind of animation that he came across as incredibly bored, which made me bored very quickly into the book. I reluctantly finished it in order to be fair, but it was so breathy that it was like listening to an 8 hour obscene phone call! So sorry, but I won't be listening to any more of these books.

14 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Donna
  • Columbia, MD, United States
  • 07-13-09

Excellent listen and a great start to the series

It must be hard - harder than just publishing your book - to publish a book in this format. Not only does the book win or lose due to it's quality, but it has the added complication of being able to fail due to the narrator being unsuitable to the material.

This book, and it's narrator, bring Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden to wry, sarcastic life.

What the book and narrator have, the audio editing could have brought out more. You do hear James Marsters take many a deep breath, and for many of those, it seems to fit into the nature of the character being portrayed. After a while, you understand that better editing would have alleviated the background product of getting long passages of text out.

I had still made the decision to download the next few books in this series by the time I'd reached the middle of the book. I'd checked first to make sure that the narrator was the same, and he is, before doing so.

A bad narrator has often caused me to stop downloading what might have otherwise been an excellent choice. A good narrator, like this one,
has caused me to listen to entire series I might otherwise have gotten in paperback.

I recommend this to fans of mysteries, magic and modern fantasy.

120 of 160 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

45 of 60 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Disappointed

I finally picked up this book after several of my friends had highly recommended it. I've heard that this series really takes off once you've reached book four and that Storm Front is one of the weaker books in The Dresden Files.

This book had the potential to be something great but ultimately fell very short of that mark. The best thing I can say about it was that James Marsters narrated the audiobook. Unfortunately Harry Dresden just wasn't big or bad enough to make me want to continue reading the series.

The characters in this story all feel incredibly one-dimensional with little to no character development. Jim Butcher seems to grasp at every cliche and trope that he could seem to find on a badass loose cannon stereotype male lead. One of my biggest issues with the book was the way he portrayed his female characters. The author can't seem to give any description of a female character without comparing her to a cheerleader or coming off incredibly sexist. Not exactly a quality I want to see in my Protagonist. The only purpose the women in this book seem to serve is to swoon over and further propagate Harry Dresdens need to be a "badass" alpha male.

The story comes off as more of a poorly written fanfiction by a 90s high school kid who still thinks wearing a duster makes you as cool as Batman. It doesn't. I may try to pick this series back up in the future and see if it really does get better after the fouth book because it really does have the potential to be something better. Unfortunately my back log of books is a bit intimidating with many offering a promising and gripping story right from the get go.

19 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Horrible narrator

The breathing and swallowing noises of the narrator were too distracting for me; you can even hear him turning the pages. For the price of an audio book, you would have thought the production and narration would not be of the lowest quality.

19 of 25 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tom
  • 08-14-09

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.

53 of 54 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Iain
  • 05-20-11

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!

22 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Joanne Kendall
  • 08-12-09

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

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-07-13

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tessa
  • 03-03-11

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!

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • EC W
  • 05-15-13

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

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • gamegirl
  • 01-14-17

ewww!

The narrators loud breathing and saliva noises were very off putting. Apart from that it was OK although he could have put a bit more life in to the performance.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Cheryl M-M
  • 10-06-11

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.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Peter
  • 09-07-10

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • SB
  • 04-21-17

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

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Damien
  • 04-28-16

An Eager Start

I had heard a lot about the Dresden Files, it was highly recommended to me by my friends with the advice that it may be slow to start but the series pays off in the long term. I found I actually thoroughly enjoyed the first book and am looking forward to the rest. The plot gave a good grounding point for the stories to come and it introduces Dresden almost like a layman, if not for his power it isn't too hard to imagine him as just like anyone else, at the same time he isn't crazily powerful, nor does he suddenly just have destiny dumped on him, he's a regular office worker, except in magic and he's a private eye... and he doesn't have any money.
The narrator was what truly tied it all in for me. I considered it a stellar performance, it was the same as Daniel Radcliffe being the perfect image of the young harry potter we all had in our minds on reading the philosophers stone for the first time. The voice just clicked into place, to me James Marsters is Harry Dresden. I also appreciated the effect that not editing the narrator, to cut out his breathing and the sounds he made when he opened his mouth, had on the story. It legitimately made it seem as though the story was being recorded by dresden after the case. At the same time it also gave me a sense of presence, it was though I was sitting in a room with Marsters casually reading a book which I thouroughly enjoyed.
If you don't read the rest of the review at least read this, I would HIGHLY recommend this book to ANYONE.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Gina
  • 02-08-17

Interesting creation

Overall this book was pretty enjoyable, it integrated and explained this mixed world that included wizard. It was fairly well-paced and interesting.
The one thing that I disliked about this book was that with the introduction of every single female character he had to mention their appearance, and whether or not they were attractive and feminine and the tone the performer used was very off putting and uncomfortable.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Damien
  • 01-31-17

Great Listen, Sweet Story, Nice Tight Plot

I can't believe the author wrote this as a joke it's so damn good. can't wait to start the next one

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-26-16

Great fun. Looking forward to the next book. 😊<br />

Really enjoyed this book and I'm starting the next one now. Highly recommended to all.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ralf
  • 10-14-16

Always Go

loved it. couldn't stop listening to it. very Film noir / pulpy usually I'm not here into either, but somehow it works here.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Misfire551
  • 07-14-16

Is James Marsters bored?

I love the story, don't get me wrong, but the effort from James Marsters isn't what I expected. I feel like he's whispering his lines in places and theres no effort put in when the character is supposed to be yelling something. the recording isn't great either. Too much swallowing and other mouth noise.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Charli E.
  • 04-21-16

A dull story

The book is boring and it's difficult to get into when the mouth noises from the narrator haven't been edited out. There's lots of sighing and lip smacking. It was painful.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr. J. M. Eames
  • 11-03-19

Very enjoyable book

The performance is fantastic, the writing is great, and I was genuinely interested in the story. A few cliches here and there, but nothing too bad. My only complaint is it's quite short for a full audible credit. I'm going to have to spend a fortune if I want the whole series. Would love to see better options from audible for long series like this. The entire 72 hour Sherlock Holmes series is 1 credit (insane value), and these are 1 credit each for short 8 hour books. It would be nice to see some kind of middle ground.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Aaron Compton
  • 10-03-19

editing of audio not great

great story but near the beginning of the book the audio isn't great- some of the editing is a little too close on a couple of sentence breaks, not enough of a pause between them. at one stage there's some kind of back ground noise. By the time i got into the story though, i stopped caring, simply because it's such an engaging narrative

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-18-19

amazing book

love every second of it
really looking Forward to next one and the many others.