Home > Literature, Reviews > Review of Storm Front by Jim Butcher

Review of Storm Front by Jim Butcher

Storm FrontI have two or three friends who’ve been reading The Dresden Files (named after the main character, Harry Dresden, rather than the German city), so it was really past time I got round to sampling them myself. I saw Storm Front in What the Book? in Itaewon a little while ago, bought it and purposed to read it at the earliest opportunity.

My experience of it probably suffered a little by having read it shortly after two very intelligent, literate novels, The Name of the Rose and Journey by Moonlight. Even so, I wasn’t unduly impressed by Storm Front. It wasn’t awful by any means, but I found it a lightweight read.

Harry Dresden is a wizard – to all appearances, perhaps the only openly practicing sorcerer in the world, although there is a secret organisation, the White Council, overseeing the activities of magicians. He puts his skills to use as a private detective in Chicago, and at the start of the novel is presented with two cases – a sorcerous double murder and a missing husband. Inevitably the two cases are linked.

It might be best to characterise the book as a bog standard detective novel spiced up somewhat by the addition of a number of equally bog standard fantasy/horror elements: Dresden is a loner and seemingly continually down on his luck – he’s continually behind on his rent, and modern technology often refuses to work because of his magical aura; he works sometimes with a police detective who is open to ideas about the supernatural, but she’s always pestering him for results and their relationship deteriorates; the White Council is suspicious of him and has set a minder to keep tabs on him; in the course of his investigations he is perpetually running out of resources and must improves, and is nearly killed several times; the book is written in first person perspective.

On the plus side, it’s a fairly quick read.

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