Thursday, 16 June 2011

Storm Front

At last I've read Storm Front by Jim Butcher! So many people adore the Harry Dresden series, and I actually bought this first book about 2 years ago in order to see what the fuss was all about. And there it sat, on the shelf like many other 'must reads', mocking me. Well, no more, I've read it now and can hold my head up high. Not only that, it counts as my book 7 for Carl's Once Upon a Time 5 challenge and, likely as not, my last book for that book challenge.



Harry Dresden is a private detective, a *special* private detective... he happens to be the only wizard PI in Chicago. Mainly he covers his own cases, although business is poor, but he also helps Chicago P.D. out with cases that are unexplained or that clearly concern magic.

A woman comes to see Harry and asks her to help find her husband. It seems he's been dabbling in magic and has gone off somewhere: the woman is concerned he may have injured himself. Then Harry gets a call from Murphy, at the police department, to attend a crime scene. When he arrives at the hotel room he finds a man and woman in bed... dead and having clearly been attacked by something magical. The carnage is appalling.

The White Council, a sort of ruling body of wizards, is also after Harry, thinking he might be behind the murders. Morgan, another wizard, has been watching him for years hoping he might slip up and reveal his true personna. The fact that Harry is actually one of the good guys having not quite sunk in. Suddenly, Harry's life is not quiet any more. It's much busier and downright dangerous than he would actually like it to be. So dangerous in fact that Harry is certain his death will be the inevitable result of his own investigations.

I can well understand why this series is so popular. It's rather a nice mix of crime and magic and for me that's always a winner. Harry as a character is all kinds of shades of grey. A wizard and a good guy but also very human with foibles and full of uncertainties. His life is complicated and not many people are willing to give him a break. I got rather annoyed on his behalf about that, I must admit. People who should have trusted him didn't, although I suppose if they had given him the benefit of the doubt there wouldn't have been any story so...

A good start to a 'new to me' series. The plot fair galloped along, pacey and exciting, the narrative reminding me of 1930s style crime yarns with the downtrodden PI being manipulated by person or persons unknown - nothing being quite what it seems. I certainly plan to continue with the series but will get them from the library in future as there are rather a lot and I can't justify buying a stack of books I probably won't reread, much as I suspect I'm going to enjoy them.
~~~oOo~~~

8 comments:

LizF said...

I love Harry Dresden!
I read through the lot, via the library for the same reason as you, as fast as I could get them and am now waiting for them to get in a copy of the short stories about him.
I think there is another Dresden novel in the pipeline but I don't think it is published yet - oh I do envy you with all those books to go!

DesLily said...

oh boy lol.. another series! hahahaha... I am glad you enjoyed the book and that it is good enough to become a new series for you.. you needed a new series! *giggle*

fiction-books said...

Hi Cath,

There was I, getting all annoyed with myself, as I thought that I was missing out on a great new to me detective series.

Then I got all excited about adding it to my must read list ...

Then I checked Jim Butcher out on Fantasticfiction, .... then I read your post properly and noticed that one little word that made all the difference 'WIZARD'

It does look like a fun series however, so although it is not for me, I'm glad that you enjoyed the book, and any more of his books that you may come across.

A shopping trip coming on maybe????

Yvonne

Kailana said...

I read this book and then promptly paused on the series... It was years ago now! I am not sure why that is.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Hi Cathy.....this is a new author to me, but it sounds like a fun series.

Cath said...

LizF: I'm really looking forward to getting to know Harry Dresden a bit better. This first book was such a good read and I'm a sucker for adult fantasy that doesn't take itself too seriously.

Pat: Crikey, yes, I really need a new series... I haven't got nearly enough to keep me going... lol Should I add that this might be series you would like? Okay then, I'll keep quiet...

Oh Yvonne! I'm really sorry. Yes, this is a fantasy crime series. Perfect for me but maybe not for you...

Kailana: I have quite a few series that I read the first book of... liked it... but clearly not enough to rush and get the rest of the books. It happens.

Diane: It's hard to judge from just the first book but all the evidence suggests that is very much a fun series, not to be taken too seriously.

animewookie said...

Oh, I can't tell you how happy I am that you enjoyed Harry...I mean this book...and the series just keeps getting better :D Butchers Codex Alera is very different but also fabulous!

Cath said...

Kelly: yes I'm looking forward to some fun with Harry... er... this series of books. ;-p

I had no idea Butcher had another series to be honest. After I've finished with the Harry books I'll try those.