The Dresden Files Book 1: Storm Front - Jim Butcher

Paranoid? Probably. But just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face.

I had only vaguely heard of The Dresden Files (something on the Sci-Fi channel?) but recently I read a few reviews of Book Nine, or whatever he's up to these days. The particular review I remember reading didn't really care for the latest book, but recommended going back and reading the earlier ones when the ideas were still fresh. So, I decided to check it out to see what it was about.

It's about a wizard named Harry, but other than that it doesn't bear any similarities with the better-known series. Harry Dresden is a wizard in Chicago, the only one listed in the phone book. He's sort of like a private investigator, one of those hard-boiled film-noir types who's always behind on his rent and works in a shabby little office. Except, of course, for the magic bit.

In this book, Harry gets called in by the Special Investigations department to consult on a case: a guy with mob ties and his girlfriend have been killed by supernatural means, and he's the only one who can give them answers. Unfortunately for Harry, he's also the prime suspect of the White Council, a sort of wizarding court of justice. In the meantime, he's got mobsters warning him to keep his nose out of the case, an unknown wizard who probably wants the same thing, and no clue where to go next.

I haven't read many conventional mysteries, but this one's a fun read. Harry's sort of an anti-hero, a self-admitted magic geek who has nothing better to do on a Friday night than sit in his basement lab and mix up potions with Bob, the talking skull. It's a fast-paced book, with just about all the action taking place in a week.

The writing is okay; it's riddled with cliches but it's meant to be playing with the genre. It's no Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, which looks fine on a shelf with "literature." No, this is a pulpy paperback written for mass appeal: easy, fast, but not filling.

Fed to jonathan's brain | May 08, 2007 | Comments (0)


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