Friday, April 22, 2011

Review of "Storm Front" by Jim Butcher

“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. My ad looks like this:
Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations.
Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates.
No Love Potions, Endless Purses, Parties, or Other
-Page 2 & 3
This is the first in a series of books which brings magic into this world. The idea is it has always been here, but most people just cannot wrap their minds around something they do not understand. Harry is our main character, but he has a few reoccurring characters throughout the different books in the series. One of these is Detective Karrin Murphy who is the Director of Special Investigations in the Chicago Police Department. The two’s relationship is purely professional during this first book and a few times Harry is on the wrong side of Detective Murphy as he tries to hide the disturbing facts of his world. Murphy understands there are things out there that actually go bump in the night, she may not understand or know what those things are, but that is why she has hired Harry to be a consultant on most of her cases. If there is something strange going on, these two will be on the case.
Harry has another side which Detective Murphy knows nothing about, but this is due to the fact that it would be most likely negatively received by her as it would be the same as having served time on death row while somehow getting parole. Harry’s past hangs over him and he has to watch his steps as he investigates the particular murder in this book. It could possibly be conceived as breaking one of the laws of magic which all wizards must follow or be condemned to death. Harry has already missed the executioner’s axe once, but this case could be the one to bring the axe again upon his neck and through it.
Of course, what better than to have a “parole officer” to be looking after Harry for such a disturbance in the balance of magic. Unfortunately, this guy thinks Harry is just a sneaky smart wizard who has figured out how to pull the wool over the eyes of the council. Harry could breathe wrong and could possibly be condemned if it accidentally killed a fly. It is quite entertaining to watch the two “duke” it out, though, and this is only the first of many times Harry has to prove he is not using magic for ill reasons.
The story is well written and Jim Butcher is very good at adding comedy to some very dark and scary scenes. Harry is very human in this series with all the qualities and flaws that come from being so. You will get to love the character and hate the ones who discriminate against him. Once you read Storm Front you will want to pick up the next book Fool Moon because you will want to know what other antics Harry Dresden is going to get into.
And remember:
“Paranoid? Probably. But just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean that there isn’t an invisible demon about to eat your face.” - Page 9

(Posted on April 12, 2011)

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