By Tracy Sun
Jim Butcher conjures up a magical recipe in Storm Front with all the ingredients that are supposed to work. With a culmination of wizardry, murder, vampires and a dash of romance, Storm Front contains what is so often targeted at the teenage demographic. Even though it is not a literary masterpiece, Storm Front provides satisfactory, mindless entertainment.
Storm Front is the first of a continuing series of 10 books in the Dresden Files series. It is narrated by the protagonist Harry Dresden, who is a wizard detective living in modern-day Chicago. The novel begins with a slow two weeks of business for Dresden until Karrin Murphy, director of Special Investigations (SI) for the Chicago police, calls him in for a peculiar case. As a special consultant for the SI department, he hurries to the crime scene and finds a gruesome double homicide caused by dark, evil magic. This begins the unraveling of the truth behind the murders, which involves much more than he initially anticipates and eventually the endangerment of his own life. The 322-paged novel convinces the reader to turn the page and is filled with nonstop action and drama.
A big plus to Storm Front is the ease of reading it. Butcher doesn’t use a lot of complex literary devices that make the book tough to get through. It’s a fairly fast read despite the fact it is over 300 pages; the smaller pages and format make up for the volume.
Butcher makes the characters and storyline easy to follow as well. Dresden is a likeable character, complex and deep, but he covers it up with a wise-cracking, best friend sense of humor. The description of each supernatural aspect of the book is described with enough detail (however ridiculous they might be), as is Dresden’s own powers and abilities. As the book reaches its climax, turning the page was simple.
Storm Front isn’t any type of groundbreaking or mind-blowing adventure, but it is enough, which is a good way to describe the book. It isn’t anything special or something a reader hasn’t seen before, but Butcher does keep the reader wondering what happens next. The language and literary value of the book was lacking but expected.
Overall, Storm Front is worth the time to read. The ease of read and entertainment from the book casts a spell over the negative components of it and is even good enough to be transformed into a SciFi television movie. Literary matters aside, Storm Front successfully immerses the reader into the dangerous and exciting world of Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, at least for a few hours.
Page Count: 322
Quality of Writing: C+