“Storm Front” by Jim Butcher
“My name is Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden. Conjure it at your own risk. I am a wizard. I work out of an office in downtown Chicago. As far as I know, I am the only openly practicing professional wizard in the country.”
“Storm Front” is the first in a series of 15 books (so far) called “The Dresden Files” based on the wizard Harry Dresden in this urban fantasy setting by author Jim Butcher. I admit I have come to this series a bit late as I have known about it for awhile both by recommendation and the TV series called “The Dresden Files” (which I loved by the way) and its untimely demise in 2008-09. This series of books is wildly popular enough to have spawned of a TV series as well as an RPG Game. This game is really what pushed me into the novels as I had recently been asked to review the game for a website. After reading through a good portion of both core manuals, I knew I need to read the books as the manuals were cool enough on their own and brought me into a whole new exciting world. I had already purchased the first to two books of the series awhile back and just hadn’t gotten around to reading them yet. I am glad I finally did and disappointed I hadn’t read them earlier.
In “Storm Front,” Harry is brought in to help consult on a double homicide case with mysterious circumstances, as he is often asked to do with the Special Investigations team of the Chicago Police Department. Detective Karrin Murphy heads this team that brings Harry in to ask his “advice” on things out of the ordinary. One of the two deaths have a mob tie to it seemingly and the other death is a bit more puzzling.
Quickly after leaving the scene of the crime, Harry is confronted by the mob and asked to avoid helping in this case, which of course, Harry declines as he smells something is not quite right with this situation and, well, he needs the money as you can imagine, wizards aren’t on everyone’s first call list for solving problems.
Harry gets back to his office for another appointment and finds himself involved in a missing persons case. Unbeknownst to Harry, both cases are of course tied together and things get rough very quickly. Soon Harry is being roughed up by strangers, attacked by a giant scorpion, an known wizard Harry calls Vic “Shadowman” is attempting to kill Harry at every possible opportunity, while trying to avoid the mob as well as attempting to help Detective Murphy as much as possible even though he is not able to be completely honest with Murphy as per the rules of the White Council, a type of governing body for wizards unknown to the public. Harry has a Warden of the White Council on his tail all the time it seems who is just gunning to get Harry killed because he doesn’t trust Harry and things he works in the “Black.” That being black magic of course. Harry’s not being able to be honest with the police also lands Harry in hot water to add to his troubles.
The thing about “Storm Front” is it is completely fun! The narration in which the story is told left me chuckling many times. I love a book that has a sense of humor to it. The character of Harry Dresden is one that many people can relate to and it just draws you in. Harry is one of the best at what he does; yet he struggles to make a living. He tries to do the best he can, help as many as he can and yet, things are always going against him. I am sure many of us understand how hard it is to be very good at something, but not make a great living at it. I know that Detective Murphy is a main stay in the series and I am sure her character will be much more fleshed out in the later books as obviously there is a special relationship between her and Harry.
Butcher does a great job of telling a fun, exciting story that compels you to keep reading. The world is completely imaginable and the tension is just enough to make you want more. Of course I will read the other books in the series as so far “Strom Front” has done an amazing job of detailing a world of magic, mystery and danger with a touch of humor and making it completely fun.
If you love urban fantasy or fantasy books of any kind, I highly recommend “Strom Front” to you. You don’t want to pass this one up!
I am giving this book 5 out of 5 stars.
You can find out more about Jim Butcher and his books here: www.jim-butcher.com
David Lowry was first attracted to the guitar at the young age of twelve. By the age of fifteen he had surpassed many teenagers’ wildest dreams as he performed regularly in bars as a part of various cover bands emulating rock icons such as Winger, Slaughter, Firehouse, Bone Angels, XYZ and Johnny Lang. During the early years of his career David also held the position of “guitar tech” for Shrapnel recording artist Todd Duane, David’s primary guitar instructor, as well as R&B Billboard chart toppers Mint Condition. Deftly skilled in all areas of music, from the technical to the creative, David has also worked with some of the Minneapolis Jazz legends on charting projects for the local jazz scene while developing a personal teaching curriculum for guitar theory. A graduate of Musicians Technical Training Institute in Minneapolis, MN in 1996, David has expanded his reach in the music industry to record music for HeadGames Publishing, now Activision Value on their best selling series of games for PC with Matt Fink (Dr. Fink) formerly of Prince and the Revolution.
David joined Difference United in 2006 and launched his new creative outlet immediately launched a tour through the Eastern European country of Romania. Since then the band has toured the United States, China and India.
In response to an overwhelming number of Nashville-based musicians seeking his management, in 2008 David founded The Lowry Agency. The Lowry Agency is a full service artist management/development and promotions agency. David and his dedicated, passionate team, work with musicians, actors, speakers, authors, voice over artists, entertainment companies, music coordination/supervision for film and TV. They strive to help their clients identify and fulfill their clients’ entertainment and business goals. The Lowry Agency’s talent roster has included such stars as Damon Johnson, Brother Cane, Juno Award winning songwriter & Candian Idol host Sass Jordan, TV personality Todd Newton, and up and coming rocker Goldy Locks.
In 2010 David launched the popular blog talk radio show “Live From Music City.” The show won the “Shorty” award for best radio show on twitter in its very first year of operation. The show focuses on how to make it in the music business with both music business professionals and successful artists who share their music business experience. David has interviewed guests such as The Oak Ridge Boys, King’s X, Billy Ray Cyrus, The Guess Who, Richie Kotzen, Tommy Emannuael, CJ Snare, Jesse James Dupree, Andy Timmons, Sass Jordan, Foghat, Warrant, Damon Johnson, Gunnar Nelson, Little River Band, Rik Emmett, Neil Zazza and Ambrosia.
David is also a staff writer for the “Rock School” column at Metalholic Magazine and a staff writer at Geek Eccentric for board game and RPG reviews.
More information about The Lowry Agency and David Lowry can be found on www.thelowryagency.com.