Jim Butcher – Storm Front (Dresden Files book 1)


Storm Front is technically book 1 in The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, but I get the feeling that each book will be a new story so it won’t actually matter if you read them in any particular order.  Sure certain plot lines like romances might carry over and extend, but I don’t believe that’s all that important in a book like this.

Storm Front is an Urban Fantasy because everything takes place in modern time with the additional twist that people can perform magic.  Well, not everybody of course but in this world we also have vampires and fearies running around, unknown by mortals.  And by extension all Dresden File books are Urban Fantasy.  Basically The Dresden Files are mystery / detective novels with the use of the paranormal to commit and solve crimes.

Let’s see…….Harry Dresden is a consultant for the Chicago police department and a very skilled detective in his own right.  The things he is asked to investigate are of the paranormal nature.  In Storm Front he is asked to investigate two lovers whose heart exploded from the inside out.  Literally.  He is also a wizard.  An actual practicing wizard as in people pay him to use his magic to perform tasks like find lost car keys.

Hmmm………. One good thing I can say about Mr. Butcher’s writing is that it is simple.  It’s not flowerly or overly descriptive.  People are usually pretty or not pretty.  They will have blue eyes or brown eyes.  Lots of readers probably dislike this, but it makes for quick reads so the reader can focus on the story which is the obvious main attraction of this book.

Now the problem is that the story is boring.  The descriptions are so vague I can’t even get a vested interest in any of the characters, including Harry.  It’s quite simply a mystery / detective book.  Normally I don’t discriminate against genres, I just didn’t like this particular book.

Well Jim Butcher has something like 12 books in The Dresden Files now and he is a New York Times best selling author, so obviously his books have merit to some people, most likely the people who are looking for a mystery / detective novel.  I just feel like these people are better off finding true mystery /detective novels where the crimes are realistic.  If that prospect sounds boring, then perhaps you are beginning to see why I prefer to read fantasy books over others.

The twist was pretty obvious too.  Two seemingly random events are introduced at the same time, of course they are connected.  And connected in the most obvious way.  It’s very convenient how Harry forgets or is unable to perform magic at certain times just to make his situation more sticky, but when he needs it to save his life it’s always there with less than a second to spare.  Strange how he could have easily casted a spell to remove the handcuffs on his wrist before entering a battle for his life but he chooses not to and the handcuff ends up saving his life.  So silly it makes no rational sense.

I shouldn’t say it’s all bad.  The inevitable fight between Harry and a demon was pretty epic.

Still, not the type of story I enjoy, but I do believe at some point I shall try reading other books in the series because those fight scenes are pretty good.  And truly, Butcher’s writing style is very refreshing.

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