Monday, December 28, 2009

Book Review: Storm Front by Jim Butcher

Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1) Storm Front by Jim Butcher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I like urban fantasy, but it's dominated by women writers and after a while the girly-girl and lady-porn aspects can distance me. Well, at least the girly-girl scenes. :)

I picked this up because Jim Butcher is the best selling male author of urban fantasy, and he has a male protagonist. I'm writing an urban fantasy, and I have a male protagonist, so there is my motivation.

Great, book, with powerful, muscular writing. Not a girly-girl scene in sight, and plenty of great fantasy-noir action. The magical action choreography was riveting, and there were parts where I found myself unable to sit and read -- I was so pumped up I had to stand and pace while reading.

The protagonist, Harry Dresden, is a Wizard/Private Eye in Chicago, and people are turning up dead in gruesome ways and it looks like Harry better find and stop the killer or he will be next.

The world building is well done, if a little inconsistent. Vampires, fairies, wizards and more exist in the shadows of our modern world. Magic and technology do not mix well, and Harry's mere presence causes machines to fry. In this world, most people do not believe in magic, but there is plenty of proof and plenty of believers, so I had to shut down the part of my mind that insisted this magic stuff would be on CNN 24x7.

While some of the initial character motivations were lost to me in the world building of the first few chapters, once the plot was rolling, I couldn't put the book down. Lots of quirky minor characters, including a horny spirit who lives in a skull in Harry's basement, gave the book a wise guy fantasy feel. Harry's cluelessness with the ladies was ladled on a bit too strong, but I have the feeling Harry will be working on this problem in the rest of the series.

Quibbles aside, I loved this book. I read it on my Kindle, and wanted to read faster and faster, so I was alway pressing the next page button before I finished the current page. I need to stop doing that.

If you like noir and fantasy, check out Harry Dresden.

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