Friday, July 28, 2006

Review: _Storm Front_ by Jim Butcher

Looking for an entertaining book with magic, action and mystery for the summer? Storm Front by Jim Butcher fulfills these requirements completely. This is an Urban Fantasy set in Chicago and is the first book of the “Harry Dresden” series. The book is entertaining through a mixture of cross genre elements, characters and plot.

Mr. Butcher mixes elements from different genres to create an entertaining story. First, the books has elements of urban fantasy. The story takes place in modern day Chicago where magic exists along with creatures like fairies and vampires from the beyond. Next, the author sues elements from mystery novels with private detectives. This mixture works well and makes a good story with a wry sense of humor. The author demonstrates this with his characters.

Harry Dresden is a private investigator and wizard who practices openly in the city. He lives with a doom over his head due to mistrust by his fellow wizards. Honest and practical, Harry works as a consultant for the police, trading cynical dialogue with a woman cop named Murphy. She is the head of a department that deals with supernatural crimes. Harry has other friends and enemies throughout the book. Told in the first person point of view of Harry, Mr. Butcher brings his characters to life for the reader.

Finally, the plot is a tight mystery that keeps readers hooked until the end. Harry Dresden is called in by the police for help on a gruesome double murder. He must find out if the crime was done by magic. Also, he gets a client asking him to find her missing husband. Both of these cases bring Harry into danger by dealing with organized crime bosses, dangerous vampires and other obstacles in order to solve his cases and get money to pay his bills. The author moves the story at a fast pace with good descriptions of magic in our world

Storm Front by Jim Butcher is a fun book for a summer read. It has mystery, action and magic. The mixing of genres, wry characters and a fast paced plot make the book entertaining for an Urban Fantasy set in Chicago. The first book of a series is great entertainment. One of the cable tv channels is going to make a series from these books. That should be fun too.

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