Storm Front (The Dresden Files #1), by Jim Butcher
If I were a movie, what would I be rated? R
Summary: 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 of them 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.
One of my best friends loves this series and recommended it. But what ultimately made me pick it up was someone else I know also liked this series. So, I figured, “Hey, one of them is one of my best friends and I know the other semi-well. That’s two people liking the same book. Let’s give this a try.”
So I did. I wasn’t super impressed. I’m glad I saw Jill’s comment on Storm Front’s page, though. This book gets your feet wet. It introduced its main characters, obviously, and gave you an idea of how magic works in this world. It’s interesting. My reaction was mostly “eh” with a bit of “I will stick this out because I think it’ll find its feet and get really good.” The second reaction is mainly because I trust the opinion of one of my best friends. Jill’s answer sold it in terms of academic interest as it were, though.
The most interesting line to me in this entire book—there were one or two that tickled my fancy, but this is the one I actually folded the corner of a page down for (and it was a library book, so shhhhh)—was this one on page 291:
A man’s magic demonstrates what sort of person he is, what is held most deeply inside of him. There is no truer gauge of a man’s character than the way in which he employs his strength, his power.
So, it’ll be interesting in seeing what the rest of the series holds. The characters were okay in this. Hard to get a read on**. The characters will all develop more in future books, I presume. The writing could’ve done more showing instead of telling. I really could’ve done without Harry pointing out again and again that he was old-fashioned. It rankled. (Show, don’t tell!) A few info dumps took away from a scene that could’ve been more heart pounding. Plot was average. Like I said, I think I’ll settle in for the long haul.
What some people might be uncomfortable reading about in this book because of personal opinion or belief: while not delighting in describing sexual scenes or gory details, they are said scenes. Harry never has sex himself in this (although it was kind of hinted at in one sentence in the last few pages?), but there is sensuality and others do off screen. It’s urban fantasy. He’s a PI investigating grisly murders. Proceed with caution.
**Ha. Do you like my pun?