October 07, 2011
Storm Front by Jim Butcher
Harry Dresden is doing the best he can in his home in Chicago. He's your average guy, likes to wear sweats, t-shirts, enjoys paperback books, and casting magic. That's right, magic. Harry really isn't such an ordinary guy in actuality. He's a wizard, and a pretty good one at that. Good enough that he even has a spot in the yellow pages, but no parties please. Down on his luck he is overjoyed when two cases come to him at once. The first one seems pretty straight forward, its a missing person's case but the woman is very nervous and flighty and makes Harry a bit suspicious on what's really going on with her husband. The other case is from the police and is a double homicide in which hearts were ripped out of the victim's chests while they were doing the dirty. After seeing this, Harry would much rather work the missing person case but knows that he has to take the case; it was done by magic.
People aren't going to make these tasks easy for Harry though. The mob is in on it, and they have worries with a shipment of "Third Eye" (a drug that gives you the power to see beyond) competing with their regular non-magical drugs. They don't really want Harry getting into anything. Someone else is after him too, and his witnesses. His thoughts are that it's the unknown wizard who caused the murders, but he isn't sure who would have that much power. With the help of his friend Bob a talking skull and under the watchful eye of Morgan his "parole" officer (long story, read the book) he has to try to stop this man before he kills again.
Harry is an awesome character. Butcher did a great job when creating him and makes him very life like. He has faults, not a lot of luck with technology and the ladies, and this all makes him very real instead of the super-wizard good guy he could be portrayed as. A lot of the other characters were very creative as well although since I had seen the TV series first it was very disconcerting that they changed a lot of the descriptions of them (i.e. Lt. Murphy being blond instead of the brunette in the show) and other differences. Once I got past that though I was able to enjoy the other characters more. I would have liked to see more of Bob the skull but considering he isn't very mobile I guess it's not surprising he didn't appear more.
Butcher is very, very descriptive with his writing and this for the most part is a good thing. There are a couple times when he was describing magic and the way it works that I became confused however. It got kind of complicated. This book probably wouldn't be very good for younger readers or those who don't like gruesome descriptions. As said before people get their hearts ripped out, and there is a lot of detail on how that looks. There are some other vulgar things but none that come near the aforementioned scenes.
This was definitely a nice start to the series. I'm definitely hooked and want to see what happens next. My hope is, that like most authors, the book gets even better with time and experience. Happily since I have all the other ones at home, I can start on the next book right away.