Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Book Review - Storm Front (JS)

Storm Front: The Dresden Files Book One by Jim Butcher

Storm Front
Review by Jacqui Slaney

Having read so much historical fiction lately, I decided to take a break from that and go for a fantasy novel for my next book.

I actually decided on this one, as saw a later book in the series in a bookshop and liked the sound of it, also had a vague memory of Rob talking about this author (very bad of me not to remember!).

Meet Harry Dresden, Chicago's first (and only) Wizard P.I. Turns out the 'everyday' world is full of strange and magical things - and most of them do not play well with humans. That's where Harry comes in. Harry is the best at what he does - and not just because he's the only one who does it. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal capabilities, they look to him for answers. 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.

For someone who enjoys the Rivers Of London series you can see this was an easy choice for me to make. Instead, of a trainee wizard police officer, Harry Dresden is a fully trained wizard who is a private investigator just to pay the bills.

To help the money situation, he first takes on a case that appears to be about a missing husband and then in his role as advisor to the police department goes to a double murder scene. He soon realises that these cases are intertwined and is dragged into a situation, where being arrested as a suspect in murder could be the least of his worries.

As I have mentioned before, I am wary about reading books about magic, some of them are overdone with all things magical being thrown at you left, right and centre. The writing here is much more subtle, with the story set in very similar time to ours, except with things going wrong, more and more people are turning to the arcane for help.

 Harry is an excellent character and has a strong supporting cast of police, fairies, mobsters and vampires, which makes this a very enjoyable book. I liked the character of Murphy and that of Bob and Toot-Toot (what a great name for a fairy). There is a good baddie, and some demons and giant scorpions thrown in for fun as well (see there is something for everyone).
The story zips along at a good rate with writing that sets the scene well. The descriptions of what Harry sees when he opens his third eye, is well described and should be creepy enough for anyone.

This book made a nice change for me and I will definitely be looking for more by this author as have been told that the later books only get better.

9 out of 10