It’s no secret that The Dresden Files novels by Jim Butcher are some of my favorite books. I started reading them back in high school and have picked up the subsequent novels sporadically throughout the years as new ones have been released. To improve my own writing style, I’m going back and rereading some of my all-time favorite books- to learn from the masters of the craft 🙂 I found a second-hand copy of the first book in the series so figured it was time to revisit it.
Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment.
Harry Dresden is the best at what he does. Well, technically, he’s the only at what he does. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal creativity or capability, they come to him for answers. For the “everyday” world is actually full of strange and magical things—and most don’t play well with humans. That’s where Harry comes in. Takes a wizard to catch a—well, whatever. There’s just one problem. Business, to put it mildly, stinks.
So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry’s seeing dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry’s name. And that’s when things start to get interesting.
Magic – it can get a guy killed.
As expected, I still loved this book but was a little surprised the second time around. Although it’s a humorous and thrilling beginning to the series, Jim Butcher’s writing overall has improved DRAMATICALLY since he wrote this first novel. Everything from his style to the character interactions seemed slightly forced, though it was still highly enjoyable. It really only gets better from here 🙂
The series is told from the point of view of Harry Dresden, a professional wizard who can’t catch a break. The narration is just plain funny, whether it’s Harry’s self-deprecation or the outright ridiculous situations the characters find themselves in (for example-fighting a giant toad in the middle of Chicago…naked). The other characters are vibrant, each with their own backstories and intriguing motives. Detective Karrin Murphy is a particular favorite of mine, cute and tiny but ready to take down an evil wizard with her black belt or her gun slinging skills. As a warning to readers, Harry can tend to be a bit chauvinistic at times, but Karrin is all too ready to call him out on his crap.
Set in Chicago, Butcher uses common landmarks throughout his books that make you feel like you’re right in the city. My husband and I spend a lot of time in the Chicago, so I always get a kick out of finding references to actual sites around the city. Butcher’s writing style is sharp and to the point, not really leaving room for flowery descriptions, but he’s on key creating the grim and dark ambiance necessary for this gritty detective novel.
The plot moves fast, action packed and fantastic. The reader has in depth view of Harry’s wizarding world, learning spells and magic right alongside him as he solves his mystery, essentially Harry Potter for adults! And this book definitely is meant for adults. Sex, drug abuse, mobsters, and demonology- these books are not for the faint of heart.
I loved this book, giving it five out of five stars, but honestly Storm Front is only the beginning. The series gets better and better with each novel, and I can’t wait until Butcher’s next book, supposedly titled Peace Talks, gets released 🙂