Author: Jim Butcher
Series: Dresden Files #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
The Overview: For his first case, Harry is called in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with the blackest of magic. At first, the less-than-solvent Harry’s eyes light up with dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage. Now, that black mage knows Harry’s name. And things are about to get very…interesting.
I don’t think I’ve ever had a conversation about urban fantasy books without this series being brought up. It’s definitely one of the most recognizable stories of the genre and certainly among the top sellers. For some reason, I’d been stalling on reading it. It was one of those that had so much hype surrounding it that I was afraid I wouldn’t like it. Then, after some encouraging feedback from both my husband and best friend, I finally read it… and loved it.
The story was well woven and interesting – taking on a traditional mystery with a paranormal twist (as most urban fantasies tend to do). It had a delightfully layered plot that gave the protagonist plenty of things to “peel” away as the story progressed. It also had plenty of action, which increased in its intensity as it got closer to the end. Overall, it was a very well-conceived and well-paced book.
Character was my favorite writing element of Storm Front, specifically the voice in which the book was narrated. It was dry and sardonic, yet completely hilarious. Butcher’s great use of humor when a long way to revealing the character of his protagonists and making him someone I enjoyed rooting for. I also appreciated the myriads of side characters and look forward to seeing where their individual stories go in future books.
Overall, if all of his novels are as funny, fast-paced, and intricate as this first book, I’m going to be one happy camper.
Recommendations: this was a fantastic mix of mystery and paranormal. I would hand this to customers as a “gateway” novel to get them into urban fantasy (along with Moon Called by Patricia Briggs). It definitely deserves a place in the top five best urban fantasies out there… at least as far as I’m concerned.
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