Review of Storm Front (The Dresden Files, Book 1) by Jim Butcher

stormfront4 out of 5 Stars

How do I feel about this book? Ugh! Crazy conflicted. Here goes my attempt to try to explain myself.

I love love love wizards. So yeah, I’m going to like Harry. Did I really like him? You bet. Did I love him so much I couldn’t put down the book? Sadly, no. I mean, I really liked him. Um, did I mention he’s an awesome wizard? So yeah, really liked him. But (yes, there is a “but”) I felt a little distant from him. I couldn’t get a solid picture in my head and I couldn’t imagine him. Don’t get me wrong, he’s described and developed well. Maybe it’s the more humorous edge of his narration that kept me peering into the story instead of planting me firmly in it. I like humor, though, and I had no problem riding alongside Sir Edric in Thaddeus White’s comedy, Sir Edric’s Temple. For some reason, I thought Dresden would be a tougher and more aloof character. Now that I mention it, that was exactly my problem. I went into the book with a preconceived notion that wasn’t right. I was expecting something else, something my mind concocted based on the book covers. I’d even been warned that this wasn’t a dark series, but I somehow clung to the thought of a brooding character. That said, I think now that I’ve read the first book and have had my assumed character blasted apart, I’ll enjoy the second book far better.

Yes, you read it right. While I wasn’t in love with Harry to the point of lost sleep (like I was with Royce, Vaelin, or Kvothe), I am highly addicted to the story. I thought the magic system was great and handled brilliantly. I thought the characters were wonderfully developed (Murph was probably my second fav character next to Harry). And I found the writing to be accessible and just plain entertaining. I like Butcher’s voice. As I’ve said before, I don’t laugh out loud often when reading and it takes quite a bit to wrestle a tear from me. I laughed loudly at one part, chuckled a few times, and smiled quite a bit. For that reason alone, I will continue reading this series. But there are other reasons that are equally tasty. Like I said before, I loved Butcher’s voice. This was just a fun book to read; short, funny, clever, likable, and vastly entertaining. Though the first half dragged just a hair, the rest of the book was delightfully fast paced and kept me flipping pages. The end was satisfying and made me want more without dangling unanswered questions in front of me. I see myself reading a Butcher book once a month, maybe twice, until I’m caught up.

I’m rather surprised by my reaction to this book since I’ve yet to find one outside traditional fantasy that I enjoyed as much as Dresden. I’ve liked quite a few, but this one spoke to me a bit more than the others. I think it was because of the heavy dose of magic compared to others. Have I mentioned how much I like wizards? I’m making myself a bet that I’ll grow to love this series the longer I read it.

Just to give you an idea, here’s a few lines that I absolutely loved:

Paranoid? Probably. But just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean that there isn’t an invisible demon about to eat your face.

The only things I had clean were more sweats and another T-shirt, this one proclaiming in bold letters over a little cartoon graveyard, “EASTER HAS BEEN CANCELED—THEY FOUND THE BODY.”

So to conclude this rambling review, I’d highly recommend this to anyone looking for a fast, funny, and highly enjoyable read. Just go into it expecting something light in tone.

Where to find the author:

2 comments on “Review of Storm Front (The Dresden Files, Book 1) by Jim Butcher

  1. Cheers for this review. I really liked the Codex Alera but I’m not fond of fantasy set in the real world, as a rule, so was quite interested to see what you made of the Dresden Files.


    • You know, I didn’t think I’d like it because I’m not a fan of the real world setting either. I was expecting to hate it, but I’d heard so many good things about it that I thought it was time to gave it a try. And after my many misses with fantasy books, I wasn’t as hesitant as before. I think the humor was a big bonus for me, and then definitely the pace of it. I’m eventually going to read everything of his. I like his writing quite a bit.


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