Storm Front by Jim Butcher is the first book of The Dresden Files, a series of books telling tales of one Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, a wizard and paranormal consultant for the special investigations unit of the Chicago Police Department. I first heard about these books from my college roommate and later had them recommended to me by a number of sources including Brandon Sanderson on Writing Excuses. I finally got my act together and went to the local library to see what all the fuss was about. In addition to the great premise I was instantly drawn in by Dresden’s humor and wit.
Butcher does a fantastic job with pace. I read the entire book in about six hours (of one day) and really had a hard time putting it down. In Storm Front Dresden gets called in by the Chicago Police department to check out a particularly nasty double homicide. He wants to help out Karrin Murphy (his friend in the SI unit) but has to tiptoe around on a number of nasty rules of magic/troublesome backstory that prohibit him from doing it in the most direct way possible. Butcher does an amazing job at giving the reader the information they need without dumping it on us. As the story proceeds we slowly gather information about how Dresden’s magic works, a little about his backstory, and a lot of about how Butcher’s world of magic works, all with great humor and fantastic action sequences along the way.
One thing I appreciate in any book that Mr. Butcher did exceptionally well was foreshadowing. In addition to subtle (the only good kind) foreshadowing of events later in the book he leaves several very blatant
threats hints of danger that I’m sure will come in later books of the series.
This book was strong all the way through, the blend of magic/fantasy and contemporary features was seamless and provided an intense setting for an action-packed story. I highly recommend Storm Front, book one of The Dresden Files to anyone who likes happiness.