Lost items found. Paranormal Investigations.
Consulting. Advice. Reasonable rates.
No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or
Harry Dresden 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 come to him for answers. Because the everyday world is not as 'everyday' as it seems. It's actually full of strange and supernatural 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 it is the police are having trouble with this time.
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 initially found out about Jim Butcher and his "Dresden Files" series after purchasing, by mistake, "Turn Coat" which happens to be the eleventh book in the Harry Dresden series. The blurb on the back cover seemed interesting enough the first time around so I decided to purchase and read the first (at least for now) book in the series. I'm glad I made that decision.
"Storm Front" is a very entertaining novel of magic, humor and the financiary struggles of Harry Dresden (actually, Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden) that seems to be just an average Joe. With a twist. He's a wizard and not only that but he is the only wizard you'll ever find in the phone book as he's the only openly practicing wizard in the country.
The novel is written from a first person perspective (obviously Harry's perspective) and from the beginning it's clear that Harry is no usual wizard: he's not very sharp but he has great self-deprecating humor. The supporting characters are not very fleshed out, being mostly reduced to the level of sidekicks or helping the narrative to move along. One particular character that I would've liked to know more about is Bob, the spirit trapped in a skull in a basement. He slightly reminded me of Bartimaeus, from The Bartimaeus Trilogy, albeit on a sexual overdrive.
The villain (trying not to spoil too much there) is basically one-dimensional and has no redeeming qualities but it does not really hurt the novel overall.
There are some interesting things in the novel in terms of the magic system that's being used by the wizards with the staves and rods being used to channel the magic power, the tapping of energy from storms, the usage of summoning circles etc. Sure, it's nothing very original but it is interesting to see how Butcher uses them to suit the book's and/or the character's needs. Unfortunately, the Sight (the Third Eye of the magicians, where they can See the actual energies and forms of the things around them - sort of like the plane scanning in The Bartimaeus Trilogy but on a smaller scale) is something that is not very detailed and I hope that in future books we'll get to find out more about it.
"Storm Front" is in no way a masterpiece of contemporary literature. It's not epic neither in scope nor prose. It's sheer Fun and it's a great way to spend some hours. It never reaches the levels of The Bartimaeus Trilogy, for example, in terms of humor or character development but, as I mentioned above, it's worth a read. I'm very much looking forward to reading the other books in the series and I'm sure I'll have a lot of fun with Harry Dresden.