Let me start out by letting you know my attention span boarders on the ADD level. So to have something hold my attention for the time it takes to read an honest to goodness novel and said novel doesn't involve Star Wars, that's saying something. Now think about this: I have read ten of The Dresden Files books. Freakin' ten. And I have loved them all. Loved them like a red head who enjoys Iron Man, flea markets and liberal amounts of BBC America. Which is to say a a lot. (Side note: If anyone reading this is, in fact, a red head who enjoys Iron Man, flea markets and BBC America please contact Carly) I have decided to throw out a review of the first book, Storm Front by Jim Butcher.
Harry Dresden (Full name? Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, natch) is the only wizard in the phone book in Chicago. He works as a private investigator, often for the Chicago Police Department. But this book starts like all great hard boiled p.i stories: with a beautiful dame walking through Harry's office door. He takes the case but before he can start properly on the case he's called by friend and frequent employer Karrin Murphy of the C.P.D. There's been a double murder and the police need Harry's help. One of the victims works for the local madam Bianca, who just happens to be a vampire. The other? Employed by Chicago's most powerful gangster: "Gentleman" Johnny Marcone.
That's the setup and it keeps on going from there. It's a fantastic and surprisingly quick read. Jim Butcher has a style that is both easy to follow and spectacularly entertaining. Butcher is especially good at the action sequences, both of the mundane and magic variety.
This is the story that sets up the rest of the series. Many of the mainstays of the Dresden novels are introduced here but nothing feels like a forced learning that is only there to build upon in later adventures. I really cannot recommend the book enough. I have actually purchased a copy for Carlz. Whether she reads it or not is another thing. I got this book from a friend and felt like it was my duty to pass it on. Which I did, to my sister and mother who are both deeply ingrained in the series.
Also of note it the fact that Harry Dresden has crossed over into other medias. There is a roleplaying game which I have yet to encounter but would happily gobble up. There is also a trade paperback of Storm Front. For those of you who fear the written word sans pictures (No judgment) then go try these babies and see if they inspire you to try the original material. Lastly there was a short lived television series on the Sci Fi channel (It was before the Scyfy change). While the series itself was entertaining and fun I would recommend trying the novels or comics before jumping into that series. Try the novel and if you are lazy or cheap let me know. I am always happy to lend out my copy to bring another member into the Dresden fold.
Note from Carly: If you are going to Google this book, make sure you Google "Storm Front" and
NOT "Stormfront". "Storm Front" is a book, "Stormfront" is aparantly a neo-Nazi forum.