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 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 start to get… interesting.
Magic. It can get a guy killed.
I read Black Magic Woman (review) and Evil Ways (review) earlier this year and it was my first real taste of urban fantasy, witches and wizards and all that jazz. I enjoyed them both immensely and quickly heard that the Dresden Files were the series to read when it comes to this genre. So, after much delay I finally got around to reading Storm Front, the first Dresden Files book. Did it live up to the expectations I had after hearing such great things? Of course it did!
When you’re reading a book focusing on one character and despite how good the story is, if that one character doesn’t feel right or is a character you just don’t like, then there really is no hope in continuing to read it. Harry Dresden is not one of these characters. Jim Butcher had given us a great character here, a wizard that knows his stuff and is the kind of loner you would expect from being what he is, especially as he freely advertises the fact.
Harry knows many things, both human and other, and it is through his knowledge and history that we find ourselves thrown in quite happily to a fully realised world. With a great character you have to have a decent background to tell their story, and the magical elements are bought into the story very nicely and with little effort. It’s because of this that I found myself really enjoying reading Storm Front, the style and prose working very well with this sort of story and not being too worried about not knowing one thing or another straight away, I knew that the story would tell itself and I would walk away without too many questions.
The actual story itself is told very well. As we start out with Harry we follow him working for the police on a strange murder while he also has a rather hesitant and secretive client come to him about her missing husband. With these two plot threads in motion we start to glimpse more and more of Harry’s world and the various creatures that inhabit it. The pace is quick and doesn’t let up much and although the general direction of the story is pretty obvious, it’s a fun journey.
I will quite happily recommend this book to anyone that enjoys urban fantasy (although I suspect I’m the last one joining this train) or to anyone that wants to try something a little different and wants a fun read with nothing too taxing. I’ve already got the sequel, Fool Moon, on the shelf and I’ll be slowly building up this collection with all the releases – it’s just so easy and enjoyable to read!