Title: Storm Front (Dresden Files #1)
Author: Jim Butcher
Pub. Date: November, 2007
Summary: Storm Front is Jim Butcher’s first novel and introduces his most famous and popular character-Harry Dresden, wizard for hire.
For his first case, Harry is called in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with the blackest of magic. At first, the less-than-solvent Harry’s eyes light up with dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage. Now, that black mage knows Harry’s name. And things are about to get very…interesting.
Length: 8 hours, 1 minute
Narrator: James Marsters
I’m relatively new to the world of audiobooks – prior to Storm Front I had only listened to one (Manhunt, which I HIGHLY recommend!). This wasn’t intentional, it simply never crossed my mind. I can easily be seen as the target audience for audiobooks: I’m always listening to my ipod on my daily commute and when I exercise. It only seems natural that I’d enjoy audiobooks.
At work, Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series is pretty hot right now. Customers ask about the books on a regular basis and multiple co-workers have read the series and really enjoy it. I came across the audiobook one day and decided to give it a shot. I’m SO glad I did!
Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden is one of the last wizards in existence and the only professional wizard-for-hire (he’s even got himself an ad in the Yellow Pages). Harry has a tiny office in Chicago where plays Private Investigator while occasionally taking on freelance work with the Chicago PD. It is in the first chapter that the police ask Harry to take a look at a crime scene – the gruesome display could have only been the work of dark magic.
While attempting to solve the crime and track down the culprit, Harry mingles with faeries, has a delightful conversation with a vampire, crosses the wrong mobsters, dukes it out with a demon or two, and gets relationship advice from Bob, an age-old spirit trapped in a human skull. And still manages to find time to feed his gargantuan cat.
One problem I had with the book was how every single female character was described not by her personality or characteristics, but by her make-up and figure. If a female character wasn’t trying to sleep with Harry (which happens quite often despite Harry adamantly insisting he has no luck with women), then she was too busy being a weeping mess somewhere or she as the bitchy, tough-as-nails cop Murphy. A number of readers have written off the series as misogynistic, but I’ll refrain from passing further judgment until I’ve gone through a bit more of the series.
Although plenty of things happened in Storm Front, there wasn’t much action. Fortunately, that wasn’t much of a letdown for me. The book did a fantastic job of setting up the world Harry lives in and was a great start to the series.
As far as the narration goes, I thought James Marsters (of Buffy fame) did an outstanding job. He was perfect as Harry and came off sounding exactly as I imagined the wizard. I was equally as impressed with his female narration. I was a bit wary of how he would do female voices, but he was great and didn’t sound annoyingly high-pitched at all. An all-around fantastic job.