Friday, November 18, 2011

Review: Storm Front

Storm Front
Storm Front by Jim Butcher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Blurb (from GoodReads, who lists the source as the publisher):  My name is Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden. Conjure by it at your own risk. I'm a wizard. I work out of an office in midtown Chicago. As far as I know, I'm the only openly practicing professional wizard in the country. You can find me in the yellow pages, under Wizards. Believe it or not, I'm the only one there. 

With rent past due and a decent meal becoming an issue of some importance, Harry needs work, and soon. A call from a distraught wife, and another from Lt Murphy of the Chicago PD Special Investigation Unit makes Harry believe things are looking up, but they are about to get worse, much worse. Someone is harnessing immense supernatural forces to commit a series of grisly murders. Someone has violated the first law of magic: Thou Shalt Not Kill. Tracking that someone takes Harry into the dangerous underbelly of Chicago, from mobsters to vampires, while he himself is under suspicion of the crimes. One thing is certain, if he can't stop whoever is on this killing spree, Harry will be the next victim. 

This was a reread, based on the fact that I got my hands on the audio edition. I hadn't found the dead tree version of the book compelling enough to bump the second book up on my to-read list, but one of my favorite actors reading it to me? Yes, please.

I was already familiar with the story, and so I was a bit more nitpicky this time around. I noticed some inconsistencies, that one of the two children in the book with a speaking part spoke nothing like a child, and that the story lacks any kind of nuance or layers, to the point it's almost simplistic.

But my biggest criticism in my original review is that Harry is unlikable, and that was significantly softened with James Marsters as a narrator. He reads Harry as subtly self-deprecating, as less self-assured than he lets on. While there are still chauvenistic lines within the text, I didn't hate Harry for them this time around. They were a quirk within an otherwise relate-able protagonist.

The paperback version of this is okay, but I highly, highly recommend the audio edition.

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