Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Review: Storm Front by Jim Butcher

I was introduced to the Dresden Files by a friend of mine who recommended it to me. I went in search of the  books and happened to find an assortment of them in a locally owned bookstore. I picked one up, and on the first page, in the first paragraph, it said "“An errand is getting a tank of gas or picking up a carton of milk or something. It is not getting chased by flying purple pyromaniac gorillas hurling incendiary poo!” (From Blood Rites, a book later in the series.) Hmm. Demon monkeys flinging balls of flaming poo at the protagonist?? This is my kind of series! I grabbed all that were there and purchased them on the spot. (Thank goodness for used books!)

The first in this cleverly written series by Jim Butcher is Storm Front. In it we meet the central protagonist, one Harry Dresden, a wizard of not necessarily sterling repute with a wry outlook that matches the bizarre life he's been leading up to the point we meet him. Dresden has chosen to use his powers to help people, but for a fee; he's a private detective who works as a consultant to the Chicago police department. (This particular book was adapted for the television on the Sci-Fi network, though ironically not as the pilot, but as with most things, the book was better, so if you've seen the episode, try to set it aside and read the novel.)

The author's style is crisp and keeps the story moving along at a just-right pace. The perfect blend of humor and  tension exists throughout the novel; Butcher pulls you in from the start and keeps you engaged until the last paragraph on the last page. Fortunately, he is still writing this series, so even though I've got a good bit of catching up to do, it's good to know I can look forward to more to come. From Roc and available from your local, independent bookstore. (Make a difference in your local economy: shop local, independent retailers, especially your local bookstore!)

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