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Thursday, 30 June 2011

Review: Storm Front by Jim Butcher. Book 1 of the Harry Dresden series

Oh I like this one. And the ooooh means I mean it!

No, I really do. The main character is awkward enough, clumsy enough and generally human enough to appeal. And I like how he is both an awesomely powerful wizard capable of so much, while at the same time being several kinds of dorky and human.

I also love the little tricks of world building like electronics not working near wizards. Little things like that make a world :). Which is big and rich – but I haven't seen it all. Which is good – I'm on the first book and I shouldn't see the whole world in a several book series yet. This is how world building is done – in increments not info dumps, in lots of showing not long lecturous tellings

And I love the magic system, I love the system of imagery and symbolism that makes it up. I like it a loooot :)

But above all I like the story. And I didn't think I would. I'll be honest, the supernatural consultant to the police isn't something I dislike, but it is something that has been done a whooooole lot and it's beginning to feel just a tad tired to me. However Harry Dresden is a police advisor in a Masquerade world that is a little bit of a twist and it was done well enough that it didn't bother me :). I think it also got the right balance for a crime mystery – complicated enough that the detectives don't look like fools for not getting it right away without being so convoluted that the whole thing just didn't make any damn sense at all.

There's a wizard out there and he's killing people. Killing people in big, nasty messy ways. Harry has to find them. He also has to make rent, which is overdue, complete work for one of his few paying clients (being Chicago's only public wizard doesn't pay well – not with most people not believing in magic) and deal with saving himself from the attentions of the same murderous wizard. As an added bonus, the White Council, the wizard ruling body, thinks he's done it and is willing to execute him unless he proves otherwise. On the side he has to deal with a cynical police force that doesn't believe in magic and a curious journalist who very much does.

Read the rest at Fangs for the Fantasy