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Storm Front (The Dresden Files, Book 1) by…

Storm Front (The Dresden Files, Book 1) (edition 2000)

by Jim Butcher

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
9,175386325 (3.81)2 / 559
Title:Storm Front (The Dresden Files, Book 1)
Authors:Jim Butcher
Info:Roc (2000), Edition: First Edition, Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:detective, urban fantasy

Work details

Storm Front by Jim Butcher

  1. 141
    Fool Moon by Jim Butcher (Siesser)
  2. 110
    Something From The Nightside by Simon R. Green (amberwitch, plutoempress, lookitisheef, DovSherman)
    amberwitch: A tough P.I. with a number of convenient talents making a living and trying to uncover the secrets of his own origin in the magical Nightside of London.
    plutoempress: similar style, though i (and this is my opinion) find john taylor funnier than harry dresden.
    lookitisheef: Jim Butcher and Simon R. Green both have created great supernatural male-lead detective series. I think they provide a nice balance to the girls-kick-butt series out there...don't get me wrong, I love the work of Kim Harrison and Laurell K. Hamilton (to name a couple), but it's nice to see that authors can create plausible male leads in the supernatural fiction world, too.… (more)
  3. 110
    Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch (majkia)
    majkia: both involve paranormal mystery and smart-ass dialog.
  4. 80
    Hounded by Kevin Hearne (clif_hiker, al.vick)
  5. 70
    Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko (FFortuna)
  6. 92
    Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison (cjacklen)
    cjacklen: A crime-fighting witch quits her job to become a PI. Faster pace and more addictive than than "Storm Front".
  7. 61
    The Man with the Golden Torc by Simon R. Green (dmacmillan, Scottneumann)
    dmacmillan: Similar in tone to Butcher's Dresden Files but bigger in scope and with perhaps an even wilder storyline.
  8. 94
    Neverwhere: A Novel by Neil Gaiman (Polenth)
  9. 30
    Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines (kqueue)
    kqueue: I found many similarities between Isaac Vainio and Harry Dresden. Both are cynical, powerful, heroes with a dark sense of humor, who are on the fringes of their official organization but are called in to save the day. Both books feature many mythical creatures, and have a good versus evil theme in a fast-paced adventure.… (more)
  10. 30
    Nightlife by Rob Thurman (gluestick)
    gluestick: Brothers Cal & Niko Leandros battle monsters while on the run from Auphe.Doesn't help that Cal is half Auphe.
  11. 30
    Thicker Than Water by Mike Carey (BeckyJG)
  12. 21
    The Devil You Know by Mike Carey (amberwitch, TheLibraryhag)
    amberwitch: Same noir feel, more interesting first person narrator. Lovely London descriptions.
  13. 31
    Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews (Strict31)
    Strict31: Lotta "urban fantasy" books out there. So many that simply stick to a formula. I was jonesin' hard for some Dresden when I stumbled across the Kate Daniels series. Like Dresden, it's a rare gem among a drawer filled with common stones. Kate doesn't spend her time on her back or pining for super-handsome creatures of the night. And she's not just an action surrogate for a male hero. There is action and there is romance. But it all fits. The series was not created to serve the needs of a genre, but rather, the needs of the character. It's a different type of storyline than Dresden, because the world has been irrevocably changed by the existence of magic. But a lot of the things I go to Dresden to get are also found here.… (more)
  14. 20
    Dead Eye: Pennies for the Ferryman by Jim Bernheimer (enrique_molinero, gluestick)
    gluestick: Lone wolf hero.After coming back from Iraq and getting a donor eye he starts seeing ghosts. Next best thing while waiting for the newest Dresden files book.
  15. 20
    Unshapely Things by Mark Del Franco (MyriadBooks)
  16. 20
    Sweet Silver Blues by Glen Cook (MyriadBooks)
  17. 10
    Among Thieves by Douglas Hulick (ow1goddess)
  18. 10
    The Man Who Crossed Worlds by Chris Strange (terriko)
  19. 10
    Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham (FFortuna)
  20. 10
    The Man Who Walked in Darkness by Chris Strange (Kaczencja)

(see all 39 recommendations)


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Showing 1-5 of 380 (next | show all)
I found this fun and interesting. Glad I finally read it. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
I found this fun and interesting. Glad I finally read it. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
I found this fun and interesting. Glad I finally read it. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
I found this fun and interesting. Glad I finally read it. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |

Cross-posted to Knite Writes


Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden is a Private Investigator Wizard living in Chicago.

Reread that sentence four or five times until it starts to make sense.


Okay, so, Harry splits his time between solving problems for people who need help from a wizard — for whatever reason — and aiding a special division of the police department that deals with “weird” (read: supernatural) crimes. Murphy, the leader of this division, has an amiable but strained relationship with Harry, mostly because she doesn’t really understand the supernatural world and frequently gets annoyed that Harry won’t explain it to her. That, and he’s an awful sexist. But more on that later.

In this book, Harry finds himself being pulled in two directions. First, a woman calls him up for help finding her missing husband, but before he can really get much work done on the case, she retracts her request for help, leaving Harry baffled. Especially since she already gave him five hundred bucks. Secondly, someone is going around using thunderstorms as a power boost to use a really shady spell that makes people’s hearts explode out of their bodies. Yeah, that would be the case Harry’s helping Murphy on.

After capturing a fairy named Toot-toot for information, fighting a frog demon naked in the rain, getting attacked by a pretty vampire who turns into a freaky monster when struck by sunbeams, and having an elevator battle with a giant scorpion, Harry finally tracks down the answer to both of his problems — turns out the woman’s husband is the evil wizard causing people’s hearts to explode out of their bodies. Two for one deal. Yay?

Harry ends up having an epic battle with the evil wizard (and some naked people who were having sex to help power the spell). Of course, it ends with him hanging over a burning balcony by a pair of handcuffs while an army of giant scorpions stings the bad guy to death a story below him. So, sorta-kinda victory?

He almost ends up dead, but his magical parole officer saves him at the last minute — and by parole officer, I mean the guy with a magic sword who spends the novel thinking Harry is the evil wizard behind the heart-exploding spell because he blames Harry for everything evil int he world. All because Harry killed his wizard mentor when said mentor actually turned out to be evil and attacked Harry. Yeah. Wizard justice for you.

Anyway, everyone lives (except the bad guy), and Harry moves on to his next adventure.

Sequel time.


My Take

Lots of thoughts on this one. One, it’s the most fun I’ve had reading in a very long time. Jim Butcher has the perfect blend of comedy, drama, and action. There’s a comedic lightness to the story that balances out what could very easily morph into a morbid urban fantasy tale about a doomed wizard whose life pretty much sucks because he tries to be the good guy.

Two, Butcher brings a great host of interesting characters to life, and most of them aren’t even magical. I love a good urban fantasy that incorporates a few badass normals into the plot line. I have a tendency to roll my eyes at urban fantasy stories that ignore the non-magical and pretend they’re entirely ineffectual in the grand scheme of the world despite being the majority.

Three, his world-building is fantastic. We learn just enough to keep us chugging smoothly through the plot, and there’s a few generous hints at Harry’s backstory and current status in the magical world that are woven cleanly into the current plot line. No humongous fantasy info-dumps. No long-winded backstory flashbacks. The book has a moderate to fast pace and doesn’t really lose steam at any point in time.

Four — and here’s where I get to the negative — Butcher portrays Dresden as a huge sexist. Now, I don’t necessarily have a problem with a sexist character. He’s a character. And like people in real life, he has his biases and prejudices and misguided beliefs in stereotypes. That’s how people are, and the traits of people are taken and molded into representations of people within fiction. No problem whatsoever with a sexist character. Seen them in plenty of books. See them all the time. Hell, Butcher even goes out of his way to make sure that Harry gets criticized for the flaw, which means that Harry’s design was purely intentional. And that’s a lot more than I can say for many authors, some of whom appear to unintentionally write blatant sexism into their stories.

So, no, I don’t have a problem with the “sexist hero” concept, especially the “sexist hero who always get berated for his sexism” concept. What I have a problem with is that the story is told in the first person, so I have to sit there and listen to Harry go on and on and on and on and on about boobs and asses and the other many “fine features” that women tend to possess. Now, don’t get me wrong, descriptions of men finding aspects of women attractive aren’t necessarily a detriment in and of themselves. In fact, such descriptions and their opposite sex counterparts make up a hefty amount of sexual and romantic descriptions in many, many books.

My real problem is that Harry has an awful tendency to describe said “fine features” at the most distracting and inappropriate times. To the point where it started to grate on my nerves. Once I was able to pick up the cues of an upcoming “woman spiel,” I would very consciously skip over it to get back to the story. I know what women look like; you don’t need to tell me everything. Just says she’s pretty, hot, sexy, good-looking, gifted, busty, physically blessed, whatever and get on with it. Save the sensual, steamy descriptions for the bedroom scenes and get back to the ass kicking and spell casting.

Anyway, that’s my annoyed rant for the day.

Besides that, Storm Front was great.



Quick-paced, witty, and very close to the protagonist. It works, especially with the comedic elements of the story. It gives Harry a lot of interesting flavor that might otherwise be missed in a more distant POV/style.


Is It Worth Reading?

Oh, yeah. Unless you have major issues with the sexist protagonist thing. I can ignore it, rolls my eyes, and move on, especially since Butcher’s intention was for Harry to be an often-mocked/criticized sexist. But I understand that for some readers, it may just be too irritating to come across those narrative passages.



3.5/5 ( )
  ClaraCoulson | Nov 16, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 380 (next | show all)
Storm Front's premise is pretty slim.. But Butcher makes it work, through a combination of interesting characters, tight plotting, and fresh, breezy writing. This is definitely not deep reading, but it is a whole lot of fun.
added by Shortride | editSF Site, Victoria Strauss (Aug 1, 2000)

» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Butcher, Jimprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Langowski, JürgenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marsters, JamesNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McGrath, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Debbie Chester, who taught me everything I really needed to know about writing. And for my father, who taught me everything I really needed to know about living. I miss you dad.
First words
I heard the mailman approach my office door, half an hour earlier than usual.
Paranoid? Probably. But just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face.
"An actual wizard?" he asked, grinning, as though I should let him in on the joke. "Spells and potions? Demons and incantations? Subtle and quick to anger?"
"Not so subtle."
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451457811, Mass Market Paperback)

For Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, business, to put it mildly, stinks. So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry's seeing dollar signs. But where there's black magic, there's a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry's name.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:03 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A modern-day mage and consultant to the police finds his stale life suddenly enlivened by the presence of a rival in the black arts.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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