A few years ago I asked some science fiction authors at DragonCon what book they had read recently that they really enjoyed. I was surprised when more than one of them said “Storm Front” by Jim Butcher. I am sorry it has taken me so long to begin reading the Dresden Files series; I should have taken their advice and read Storm Front much sooner.
I am reviewing these books together as I listened to them as audio books from Audible one right after another; I am currently listening to book three.
The audio books are read by James Marsters who also played Spike on the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. James is such a great actor that I could not picture him being the reader even though I have met him at DragonCon a couple of times. He creates voices for the characters that really bring them to life for me.
The Dresden Files centers around a Wizard named Harry Dresden that lives in a world very much like ours but where magic, spirits, demons, werewolves, vampires, and such walk the street and cause all sorts of trouble. He offers his services to the public similar to a private investigator but also works as a consultant for the Chicago police. I think of them as modern paranormal detective fantasies.
From Jim Butcher’s web site:
Harry Dresden is the best at what he does. Well, technically, he’s the only at what he does. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal creativity or capability, they come to him for answers. For the “everyday” world is actually full of strange and magical things — and most of them don’t play well with humans. That’s where Harry comes in. Takes a wizard to catch a — well, whatever.
There’s just one problem. 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. And that’s when things start to get… interesting.
Magic. It can get a guy killed.
Business has been slow. Okay, business has been dead. And not even of the undead variety. You would think Chicago would have a little more action for the only professional wizard in the phone book. But lately, Harry Dresden hasn’t been able to dredge up any kind of work — magical or mundane.
But just when it looks like he can’t afford his next meal, a murder comes along that requires his particular brand of supernatural expertise.
A brutally mutilated corpse. Strange-looking paw prints. A full moon. Take three guesses — and the first two don’t count…
I rate these books a 9 out of 10 and recommend them for anyone who enjoys any of these genres: paranormal, detective, or fantasy.