Friday Review: Storm Front by Jim Butcher

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Dresden Files series has been recommended to me many times over the past few years, and it turns out to be one I am very sorry I did not follow those recommendations much sooner. “You don’t know what you are missing” turned out to be all too true with this one.

Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden is a wizard. He works out of a fifth floor office in downtown Chicago, helping people with investigations that are rather out of the scope of the police department, specifically, those that involve magic. He also, on occasion, consults for the police on cases that cross over into Harry’s unique field of expertise.

In Storm Front, Harry is called by the police to help out with a particularly nasty murder investigation that looks like it involves dark magic. As Harry digs further into the case, he runs afoul of not only the Chicago mob, and the wizard’s White Council, which already has Harry on a sort of probation, but also of a mysterious dark wizard who targets Harry for his next grisly victim. In order to sort it all out, Harry must use every scrap of wit and skill he owns, as well as his connections to some otherworldly allies.

The story takes the hard-boiled detective tale and adds the twist of magic. Harry fits perfectly into the private detective role. He’s tough, skilled, tenacious, has a biting wit, and a dark past. He also has a strong moral sense that drives him to right whatever wrong is facing him.

The setting is modern day, and the magic fits in deftly, without being overwhelming or out of place. The idea that there might be magic-weilding folk among the populace of our world doesn’t seem strange or forced. The tone is dark and edgy, which also fits the genre.

Characters are rounded and believable, each with their own strengths and flaws. Harry himself is not quite an anti-hero, but he isn’t completely noble, either. The supporting cast is varied, from Detective Karrin Murphy, who believes in Harry up to a point, to Bob, Harry’s spirit assistant with an over-active libibo who lives in a human skull.

The story is fast-paced and full of action, both magical and real world. Once it gets going, there is almost no time to catch a breath, especially for Harry. It is a well-crafted mystery that pulls you in and nevr lets go.

I enjoyed this book a lot. It blends some of my favorite things into a rollercoaster ride of danger, magic, and mystery.


Six of One

Six of One: A Collection of Short Fantasy by M.A. Kropp is a set of short fantasy stories. Meet wizards, imps, gangster angels, and frogs in this group of varied tales of magic and mischief. Escape from the everyday into worlds of fantasy with Six of One: A Collection of Short Fantasy.

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