DATE: Sun 06 Jun 2021 09:36 By: HexDSL@Posteo.net
Series: Dresden Files. Book: Storm Front. Written by: Jim Butcher.
In my discord group there is a room (are they called rooms?) called #book_club where us bookish folks exchange recommendations and thoughts on, you guessed it… Books! It was there that someone reminded me about the Dresden files. It had previously been recommended to me a friend which is why it was already on my kindle.
When something is recommended to your by two unrelated people its usually a good sign that at the very least its well written. I was looking for something a little outside of my usual Science-Fiction wheel house and high quality modern urban fantasy sounded like a good time. Couple this with the fact that its a good detective story and you have my attention.
People were not wrong! This was GREAT!
Harry Dresden is a wizard for hire, a finder of lost things. He is essentially a magical private detective and the book is told from his point of view with him monologuing the entire story. He gets hired to investigate a missing persons case while at the same time being called in as a consultant by the police, on a possible magical murder.
The story is clear and strong. We get to see Harry puzzle out his cases and work his magic. The magic is grounded and consistently written. It feels like it has one solid foot in reality and doesn’t (as I feared it would) use “magic” as a catch all plot-hole-plug. The magic is very much part of the story not a bolt on. It has it own rules which, our author follows to the letter.
I have dipped toes into the Urban Fantasy genre before and it was always pretty bad. This is what I had hoped the genre would be. Not the torrent of “How I slept with a Vampire on prom night” crap that I usually see on the shelves of book stores. Not that there is anything wrong with that stuff. It just isn’t for me.
Harry is likeable, unlucky and optimistic (an interesting combination) but the thing that stands out to me is that he is skilled at both detecting and wizarding. Never using magic as a catch-all but instead a tool on his belt. He also seems to be very aware at how absurd his life is. I like him.
He has lived a life before we meet him in this first volume and the alludes to his past a few times to peak the readers interest but never bored me with fragmented tangents. I was left wanting to know more about this man’s life and was disappointed that it wasn’t laid out for me, but that disappointment was addictive. This was not the story to fill in Harry’s whole life. It would have been outside of the clear scope of this story. Just excellent writing that makes me more likely to start the next book.
Not right away. After coming off an eleven book series I wanted to go and soak up a bunch of stuff and there are a lot of books in this series. I think I’ll use it as a filler for in between other things, not mainline them like they are made of tea!
Given how strong this one was, I can’t see a way that I won’t be able to read the rest. The second one is already on my kindle.
I really like detective stories but I loathe police stories. I also have a love of stories about magic (I know right, the Wiccan loves magic as a theme. Way to be a stereotype.) If you feel like this resonates with you. Give it a go. The writing won’t let you down. I can say that for sure.