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Book Cover Image: Storm Front by Jim ButcherTitle: Storm Front: Dresden Files #1

Author: Jim Butcher

Narrator: James Marsters

Audio Length: 8 hours, 1 minute

Synopsis (Courtesy of Audible): “My name is Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden. Conjure by it at your own risk. I’m a wizard. I work out of an office in midtown Chicago. As far as I know, I’m the only openly practicing professional wizard in the country. You can find me in the yellow pages, under Wizards. Believe it or not, I’m the only one there.

With rent past due and a decent meal becoming an issue of some importance, Harry needs work, and soon. A call from a distraught wife, and another from Lt Murphy of the Chicago PD Special Investigation Unit makes Harry believe things are looking up, but they are about to get worse, much worse. Someone is harnessing immense supernatural forces to commit a series of grisly murders. Someone has violated the first law of magic: Thou Shalt Not Kill. Tracking that someone takes Harry into the dangerous underbelly of Chicago, from mobsters.”

Thoughts: Storm Front is much like its main character, Harry Dresden – it doesn’t pretend to be something it is not. Harry is a straight-shooter if there ever was one, the cowboy coming to the damsel’s distress, protecting the innocent because he feels it to be his duty, even though he knows he most likely will never be thanked properly for his efforts. Storm Front is a novel that is not pretentious and tells its story without resorting to extraneous words or flowing descriptions. It is gritty, it is simple, and it is utterly addicting. It is a western set in the modern world with magical elements, and it works very well together.

Harry is a character one cannot help but champion. He cannot help that others are out to get him – all he wants to do is live his life, pay his bills and practice his craft in a sanctioned way. His matter-of-fact approach to life is refreshing in its honesty. Better yet, his description of magicks is so forthright that even though the reader knows that this is a work of fiction, his descriptions are so earnest that the reader cannot help but believe.

Even though it is a series, Mr. Butcher ties up the story into a nice, neat little bow, allowing closure for those who crave it. However, he created in Harry an immensely intriguing character and a world that has all the charm of Hogwarts without puberty and teen angst. One wants to read more about Harry’s world.

James Marsters excels as the voice of Harry. He has the the right balance of worldliness, of derision and of humbleness that is Harry. His characterization of other voices is enjoyable and accurate, discerning quite easily among the various women and men of Harry’s acquaintance. He is definitely a narrator I would choose again.

Overall, Storm Front is simply a fun read. It doesn’t tax the brain, and it doesn’t require massive amounts of time to complete. Mr. Butcher’s world is utterly familiar but offers up enough mystery to be intriguing. There is no wonder it has been called one of the more addicting series by bloggers!

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