I truly enjoyed this book! I'd heard great things from a friend, and had seen the SCIFI TV series, but was unsure of how the reading would go; turns out I couldn't put it down! I truly enjoyed the book, and perhaps my perception is a little biased based on my finding enjoyment out of the TV series, but I highly recommend trying this series to anyone who enjoys supernatural or wizardry novels. (It may not be a "forgotten realms" series, but I believe readers of those type novels would enjoy this as well.) I really enjoyed it and plan to read the rest of the very long series, but I truly believe if you are at all interested in the book by its description or what you've heard about it, you WILL enjoy it! It keeps moving and blends all the humor, intrigue, adventure, la la together. It does of course require telling the reader the universe, but I never noticed any "information dumps" or lost any understanding or enjoyment as Butcher very cleverly kept the story moving and didn't leave the readers behind or waiting. Conclusion: Wonderful read. Highly recommended. Truly enjoyable.
Harry Dresden is a wizard who works as a sort of paranormal P.I. Although a little geeky, Harry has a strong sense of justice and an enjoyable tongue in cheek sense of humor. When a nervous wife hires Harry to find out what her frequently disappearing husband is up to, Harry happily takes the case because it means that he can pay his already late rent for the month. Little does he know that his investigation will open up not a can of worms but a can of scorpions along with conjuring a toad-like demon, commanded by an evil magic-wielding bad guy who wants to kill Harry.
This series has been around for a while and has been adapted for a television series. I regret not reading it sooner. Harry is a likable character, and his sidekicks (such as Bob the talking skull and Mister the giant cat) inject a healthy dose of humor into the book. This book has it all - a mystery to solve, LOL comedy, hints of romance, and lots of "spell"-binding (ha ha) action. Highly recommended!
Thank you book gods! This is the very sort of book I want to read. After putting off reading Jim Butcher for far too long (and everyone insisting I wouldn't be sorry) I finally got Storm Front. I devoured it in a day and I can't wait to tackle the rest of the series. This book pulls you in and makes you want more of Harry Dresden's world and his adventures. We're off to a fantastic start, Mr. Butcher and I look forward to the rest of your work.
Fun series, nice debut book. There are some character development issues to address in the series with the secondary characters, but since this is the first one, it's forgiveable. Well plotted with lots of action, this is a supernatural hardboiled mystery.
I enjoyed this book. Harry is an interesting character and I mean to read the others in this series. The SciFi channel has some shows now this this character but they have changed a few things (don't they always) but not a bad show. Read the books, they're even better.
Finally, I've found myself another series to covet that contains some of my favorite things: magic, fairies, vampires, a likeable hero and just the right mix of humor, action and gore!
Harry Dresden's like a lot of us. He struggles to pay his rent, his love life bites, he lives with a cat and his wisecracking attitude often lands him trouble. Oh, and he just happens to be a wizard and shares his basement with a talking and meddlesome skull named Bob.
Harry makes his living doing things like helping the general public find their keys and/or lost spouses and also works with the local police department on their "weird" cases. Just when things are looking really bleak money-wise Harry's business starts to pick up in a big way. He's asked to investigate a gruesome double homicide on the same day that he receives a call from a woman willing to him pay big bucks to locate her husband.
During Harry's investigation he calls in help from a cool little fairy named Toot-toot and draws the attention of the White Council - a group who exist to ensure that magic is not misused. Years earlier Harry disobeyed one of their laws and had the "Doom of Damocles" placed upon him and if he is caught using black magic again, no matter how dire the situation, he will be put to death. And, as if all that weren't nerve-wracking enough, Harry has also ticked off a mob boss and a vampiress!
This is a fast-paced, action packed read that I didn't just couldn't put down because Harry is such a likable guy. He's a true good guy who you really want to see win. His terrific sense of humor remains intact whether he's facing down a bloodsucking demon or going through one of life's most humiliating (and extremely humorous) dates. Harry's next adventure can't come too soon for me!
Of course this book came highly recommended and with the television series I felt the need to read it before watching the show. I am glad that I did as I really enjoyed it and feel like I know Harry now. A bit of a flawed hero that I really like. I look forward to reading more of the series as well as finally watching the television show.
This is a good fast paced story and a fairly quick read. I like the main character-he has a past that has him on a sort of probation with the authorities in the magic world and he has a real knack for getting into trouble in both worlds. He has a strong sense of right and wrong, though. I found this to be thoroughly entertaining.
Harry Dresden, the only wizard listed in Chicago's yellow pages, is called to help the police solve a double-homicide. Needing the money, he is happy to help. But Harry is shocked to find out the victims were killed with magic, a violation of the first law of magic. He is even more shocked to discover that the White Council of Wizards believes Harry is the killer. Now he must find out who or what is behind the murders without getting himself killed.
Interesting start to the series. This story really pulls the reader in. There are great characters, lots of action, and some truly hilarious moments. I highly recommended! My rating: 4.5 Stars.
A very enjoyable blend of film noir/hard boiled detective with fantasy. It does differ from the show in that Harry is more geeky/shubbly...and funnier than the television version of the character. I loved some of the small touches that run through the series of books, such as his magic often breaks any high tech device he comes near, his long suffering car, and his apartment-which is his verison of Baker Street-with his faithful assistant, a arguementative ghost only he can see. Lots of back story about his parents, his checkered past, which are introduced and explored in future books to different degrees. Its a shame Sci Fi channel didn't give the show the chance it deserved, but I take solace in the fact that the books are much better, and more original than the scripts the show used.
This is a fantastic book and a quick ('cause you'll never want to put it down) read. It is a cross between a typical "whodunnit" and a bit of a fantasy book thrown in. Even those who hate fantasy, as my DP does, seem to like this book.
I finally picked up this book to read after having watched the TV series. I loved this book!
The characters have depth and are interesting. The magic makes sense and has real consequences. There is plenty of humor and a well plotted mystery that made me go "ohhh...why didn't I see that?" by the time all was said and done.
Excellent book. I had gotten into the Dresden Files by watching the t.v. series on Scifi and someone on PaperBackSwap told me the books were even better. I agree. The character in the first book is richer than what's protrayed on t.v. If you love fantasy, I'd definitely recommend reading this book.
I called my friend M today. I hated to do it, but I had to tell her that her husband was right: I DO like the Dresden Files books by Jim Butcher. At the very least, I liked the first of them.
Harry Dresden is a wizard who advertises his services in the phone book. Not surprisingly, he is the only wizard in the phone book, so he gets a fair share of nut jobs calling him. This time, however, he gets two calls right after the other: one from a local detective looking for his help and another from a woman who is trying to find her husband. The detective is calling about a double murder using magic â" and Harry is the only local wizard powerful enough to do it. He is under pressure from the human police and the wizard police because they *both* think he's responsible. Along the way, there is a girl and some interesting fights and meetings with otherworldly creatures.
Initially, I thought this was a male version â" and rip off â" of Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake. The whole being on retainer to the police, the adversarial relationship with some of the police force and then being a magical creature himself. After I read a few pages, I more or less got over that. The writing is more Sam Spade-like than LKH, which can be distracting at first. Again, once I got a few pages into it, that fell by the wayside and I just enjoyed the book.
The character development isn't that great but that's often true of first books. Lieutenant Karrin Murphy is fairly one-dimensional as is Dresden's love interest, Susan Rodriguez. To compare again to LKH, that was true of Dolph and Jean Claude until at least the 3rd book of the series, so I think there's hope. There are (I think) 10 in this series, thus far, so I'm sure Butcher gets better in that arena. He did well enough this time that I want to continue to read the series.
I'm a fan of series book and this promises to be one that I'll continue.
Overall I found the concept of this book to be interesting and entertaining. Harry Dresden is an unusual main character. He is frustrating at times, dense at others, clever when he needs to be, and lucky when he has to be.
Seeing as how this was a debut novel, I did find some things that were pretty cliche, supporting characters that were a little weak, a not-so surprise villain that I saw coming halfway through the book, and one too many oh-so-narrow, death-defying escapes.
For me this was easy but enjoyable reading. It is not that hard for fantasy to bog itself down sometimes, but this book was quick, fast-paced, funny, and original enough to make me curious about what the rest of the series has in store. It is not earth-shattering fantasy, but it will keep you entertained and curious enough to continue the series and see what happens next.
I enjoyed this gritty book about a wizard trying to solve murders without getting in trouble with the Council. I especially liked the way he battles the demon, the giant scorpions and the black mage - often without extra help from props.
After the hype, I found this a little disappointing. Don't get me wrong - it wasn't a bad book, but I expected more out of it for some reason. I've been a big fan of Simon Green's Nightside series and maybe I was hoping to enjoy it as much. It was still good enough to want to read the next in the series.
Love the entire series....have read, re-read and listened to all of them. This is first book in a series that takes you into multiple new worlds, as you follow the development of a young wizard living in modern Chicago....running a detective agency with a twist...nuff said.
I was surprised that I didn't love this book. I didn't quite hate it, but I didn't enjoy it either. I found it to be fairly two-dimensional and flat. The secondary characters were literary stereotypes. I found Harry, the main character annoying. I am very disappointed. The book came highly recommended, but ultimately, it did not meet my expectations.
I began reading this book because a friend gave me the whole series (it was 9 books at the time) and I figured I might as well give it a try. It didn't start as one of those books that I could not put down, but once I reached the end I realized that I loved Harry Dresden (the main man) and I needed more of his life. I finished the rest of the books in the series within a week and a half and loved every minute of it. The Dresden Files is a great series and this one kicks off the fun.
I found this book to be very entertaining. Harry is a wizard and there are a series of murders which he could end up taking the blame for if he does not find the true killer. Even though Harry comes across as inept at times, that is what I find truly engaging about him. I think that if he had done everything correctly I would have been bored with the story. The situations that he finds himself in are, at times, hilarious. I recommend it for anyone who likes something a little different. I can't wait to read the next one.
The Dresden Files, now a series on Sci-Fi channel,is a very good read. Harry Dresden gets himself into all kinds of trouble, on his way to solving several murders. There are a few times that are laugh out loud funny, but most of the time it is a good, solid detective story. A mage in modern times. Very good.
Harry Dresden hangs out his shingle as a Wizard. He doesn't do parties or anything along entertainment. Harry is having trouble making rent money even though he has a contract with the Chicago PD as a consultant. He and other paranormals answer to the White Council who serve as "police" and Harry is sort of on probation. He is the only practicing wizard in the country and doesn't seen too adept at it. Then he is called in on a double murder and things go from bad to worse. And Harry wasn't as inept as I thought he was! When he gets mad or fights for his life, the power rages forth!
If you enjoy books about magic and the not too distant future this one is for you. Harry Dresden is a wizard and a private investigator who works with the Chicago police to help solve cases that may have been committed by use of magic of some sort. He is a white wizard who fights against black magic.
I enjoy the Sci-fi offering of the Dresden Files, but the book is so much better (and some of it is very different from the show). The secondary characters are great - there's much more of Murphy in the first book and I got to know her better than I thought I would; also, Bianca the vampiress makes an appearance, and "Gentleman" Johnny Marcone, Mob boss, is intriguing. And there's much, much more to the story...
After watching and enjoying the Sci-Fi Channel series I was interested in the books that inspired it. As usual, the book is definitely better. Reminded me of a mix between the old Rockford Files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I much prefer the storyline and mix of characters in the book. I am currently looking to read Book #2 becuase I liked it so much.
This is the first book in the Desden Files series. Harry Dresden is a wizard who lives in Chicago and specializes in paranormal investigations. He provides paranormal investigative advice to the police department. He is also on probation with the "White Council" due to some problems in his past. He gets into hot water when he becomes the suspect by both the Chicago PD and White Council in a grisly double murder committed with black magic. Harry must solve the case before he gets arrested or killed by the wizard who actually did commit murder.
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 the 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 get... interesting.
Fans of Charlaine Harris, Kelley Armstrong, and early Laurell K. Hamilton will enjoy this read. Paranormal mystery with a wizard investigator. A little slow in places, but definately a good read. I look forward to reading more of this series.
I dislike Urban Fantasy. But after reading some of the "Codex Alera" series, and thinking it was the best fantasy I've just about ever read, I was convinced to read some other stuff by Butcher.
It was ok. Don't really see what the fuss is about, but I suspect that that is because of my first sentence :-) I enjoyed this enough to read the 2nd one right after this one.
I found this book to be incredibly boring. The hero, Harry Dresden, is a piddling wizard who needs a faery spirit to help create all potions. He is more like a bungling idiot than a wizard. In every chapter of the book, someone or something is out to kill him. Harry didn't have a prayer of investigating the magical homicides for always trying to protect himself mentally and/or physically from all the attacks. It was beyond annoying to try to read this book and figure out the mystery with all the beating interruptions.
Okay, I finished Storm Front by Jim Butcher. It was awesome; 5 out of 5 stars. The main character Harry, is both amazing and flawed and completely likable. The supporting cast all had great depth. We didn't get to learn to much of anyone's backstory, but I think you will learn more as the series continues. The story moved at a great pace and the action scenes were vivid, but did not contain so much detail that you were bogged down trying to picture it correctly. I guess if I had to pick one thing I wasn't crazy about, it would be world building. Mr. Butcher hinted around at a lot of things, but it never congealed into a whole in my brain. I don't really understand what is commonly accepted, what is accepted but mocked, what is disregarded, etc. and I don't understand the Nevernever at all. That I am sure will be focused on in later books. This was almost a 3 way cross genre experience. It was a mystery, an urban fantasy, and a science fiction book. If there is anyone who hasn't read this series yet, besides me, I highly recommend you pick it up as soon as possible. You won't regret it!
A great start to a series. Jim Butcher has an incredible voice for his lead character. Witty, relaxed, and very distinctive. This was an easy read, engaging, and you become attached to the lead. I love the tie of a magical world to what would otherwise be another detective novel. If you are looking for a series to read, this would be a good one.
I have to agree with the previous reviews and state: "This is a beautiful beginning to a hopefully long and fruitful series!"
I think one critic said: "The rated "R" version of Harry Potter." I'd like to add: "The rated "R" version of Harry Potter set in a muggle's world."
What do we mean? The reader follows Harry Dresden a real life wizard with real life problems in Chicago. His problems stem from the magical world, as well as the 'everyday' world. He advertises as a wizard or paranormal investigator and on occassion the Chicago P.D. consultes him.
In this particular book, he starts off with a missing husband case and a double homicide undoubtedly done with black magic.
Great character development (at least for Harry) and wonderful writing - at times I might have snorted myself since the sarcasm was dripping off the pages!
Harry is a real wizard, named after 3 magicians, he takes his life's work as seriously as he can. A hilarious mystery taking place in Chicago during the present, but all the dark things that go bump in the night are real. For fans of wizards, please give Harry a try.
I had listened to the audio version of this, and wanted to compare. This is an interesting first book in a series that gets better with each bookbut they do build on each other, so best to start at the beginning! If you like "urban fantasy," I think this is one of the best.
It took me a long time to get around to this series, and I wish I'd started sooner! It's a light urban fantasy about a professional wizard, Harry Dresden, who is asked to help with a murder investigation that is obviously connected to black magic. Unfortunately, Harry's profession makes him a suspect. If he doesn't find the real killer fast, he'll be in serious trouble not just with the law but with the wizard council who already have him on a short leash. And with them, punishment won't be jail time but execution.
I really enjoyed the fast pace and snappy dialogue. While I thought there were a few moments when the story faltered, Butcher still keeps it tight, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.
The first time I heard about Harry Dresden was when someone mentioned a TV series to me called The Dresden Files and lamented that it was canceled after only one season. Networks do that sometimes, cancel shows leaving fans scratching their heads wondering what the heck happened. So I looked it up, watched the episodes that were available in a Dresden-a-thon of sorts and loved it. Then I discovered that the show is actually based on the books and you can guess what happened to my TBR list right after. This year after reading several serious books in rapid succession I was ready for some light-hearted fun and picked up an omnibus of the first three Dresden Files books at the library.
Storm Front is Butcher's debut novel and it shows. It's obvious that in writing it he was testing himself, flexing his writerly muscles, becoming comfortable with the characters and Chicago's clandestine underworld. It isn't perfect but it is so much fun that it's hard to care about perfection. Harry Dresden is a black duster-wearing detective in the tradition of noir mysteries, a scruffy, wise-cracking bachelor, behind on his rent and with no personal life. He is also very old-fashioned, self-deprecating and with a past so painful he would rather not know what a person who looked into his soul would see. Murphy is his only friend, hesitant to believe in the supernatural but wise enough to go in with her eyes open and hire the only guy in the city who actually can help.
In this novel, and its sequels, Butcher combines three of my favorite genres: fantasy, mystery and adventure, add in tremendous imaginativeness and a break-neck pace that doesn't let up and we have a book I couldn't put down. There's also another very important ingredient: this book has heart, most likely because all the good guys know what's worth fighting for and they'll do it every time, and also because amidst all the witty banter and spell-casting there's always a quiet attention to the people involved, understanding of their feelings, hardships and humanity.
One of my other favorite things about the world of Dresden files is how the supernatural is tightly woven into the regular crime underbelly of Chicago: there are competing drug barons who go beyond the regular unsavory means to reach their ends and there's a madam who is on a very special diet and is more two-faced than one would think. Who said that a semi-automatic is all it takes to succeed in shady business?
I have just discovered my favorite new literary character - Harry Dresden. He's chivalrous, conflicted, sometimes bumbling and inept, sarcastic, witty, powerful - and a wizard. He seems to get in trouble with almost everyone he meets but generally has good intentions. This book series is the most fun reading I've had in quite a while! After the first book, I went ahead and ordered the second - I can't wait to read the whole series!
This is the 1st in a wonderful series of books about a modern day wizard and his exploits. I was immediately addicted to the character, Harry Dresden, and all of his wacky friends and couldn't wait to read the next in the series ( I believe the total is up to 12 books now). Each one is just as enjoyable as Dresden battles vampires, faeres, ghosts, trolls, wizards, zombies, and all manner of magical and human characters with daring and above all - humor! I absolutely love this series. And, although it was a tv series on SciFi for one season, I tried to watch on Hulu and couldnt get through the 1st episode. It wasn't the Harry Dresden that is in the books. Skip the tv series but DON'T skip this series.
Stereotypical characters, plot, and setting, if that's all possible at once. Ifyou want your book to feel like a TV series, then this one works that way. It's the detective on the edge of skid row who also happens to be a wizard. He ends up solving the mystery and surviving evil. I only read the whole way thru to find the last couple strands of the story which was otherwise painfully apparent to me. Don't get me wrong, I sometimes like a book to deliver exactly what I predict. That's why someone else may enjoy this.
Someone who doesn't mind if everyone in the entire book swears a blue streak or engages in orgies. Even the most typical man on the street in this book was involved in the most bizarre behavior. Or, aware of it but turning a blind eye. Oh well.
Here I was, reading a comic book called "Storm Front" with Harry Dresden in it. The issue I was reading ended with a Toad Demon coming after him. Instead of buying the next issue, I got the book instead. I should have stuck with the comic book! Although the book was not bad, it was way to wordy and chock filled with silliness. The comic book was more serious (did I just say that) and to the point. Since this was the first of the series, I will read one more to see if that changes. This book could have lost 65 pages and flowed a lot better. Overall, it was good but could have been great!
This book was awesome! There is never a dull moment throughout the entire book. Normally it is a chore for me to start a book as the buildup of the story and construction of the world can be boring. However, with this book, I was hooked after the first page and never lost interest.
Dresden is a wizard that you can actually relate to. Other than using magic, he is a normal guy trying to do the best he can. You immediately root for him and that only builds as the odds stack up against him.
This idea is also really awesome and pretty unique. It takes classic noir and mystery and mixes it with fantasy and magic. I finally found a new series to get excited about!
Harry Dresden. The only wizard listed in the Yellow Pages. BUT ... not the only wizard in the Chicago area ...
In Storm Front, Jim Butcher introduces us to Harry Dresden. Dresden lives the stereotypical life of a private investigator in a noir novel except that Dresden's talents lie in the supernatural, as do the cases that he is called upon to investigate. The Powers That Be do not like the fact that Harry allows his wizard status to be known by the outside world, even if he abides by the rules that they set for all wizards. The Powers That Be ALSO don't trust him after all, he DID skirt an earlier charge on a technicality.
Storm Front suffers from the problem that all supernatural tales have especially one shot stories or early books in a series (like this one) the rules of the environment in which the character is set are not documented up front. It is ALWAYS possible for the protagonist to get out of a tight spot (or the villain to put him or her IN one) using some sort of non-scientific means to which the reader had not yet been exposed. "Oh, Fellow-Well-Met, I'll COUNTER your Planet Neptune Ice Rings with my Fire Farts from Hell ..." In later books, one can judge whether the author successfully lives within the rules of a universe that he or she created, but in the early books, one can never be sure if the device / spell / whatever wasn't invented simply to close a plot hole. To be fair, Butcher seems to be consistent within his own novel, and I am certainly willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. He has me intrigued enough to make me want to check out the next book in the series.
Aside I listened to this book in audio form. James Marsters, best known for his acting role in the "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer" television series, does an EXCELLENT job telling this tale. I have not heard him do audio narration before, but believe he should certainly consider doing more of it between acting roles.
Harry Dresden is a detective that is also a powerful wizard. The Chicago P.D. ask for help on a double murder case that was done by black magic.
Great story line. I enjoyed Harry Dresden's humor and that he was allowed to show strength and weakness. . Some of the characters lacked depth but over all they were all interesting. Looking forward to the next book in the series.
The Man of the House Says-"I'm undecided on this series. This read like the author's first book. I'll find out if I read the second one...I read this on the recommendation of a friend. I guess when compared to Scalzi, nothing else will quite measure up.
I'm debating whether or not to continue the Dresden files but might try reading the next one in the series before making a final decision because I've heard they only get better from here".
I love Harry!!!! He cracked me up through out this book!!! I love Vampires and Warewolves, but don't care for witches, I had never read anything about Wizards, how fun!!! Can't wait for Full Moon to get to me so I can read it too!