Book Review: Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1) by Jim Butcher

Book Review: Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1) by Jim Butcher

Storm Front by Jim Butcher

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Dresden Files (Book #1 of 25)

Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy

Pages: 332 pages (UK paperback edition)

Published: 4th March 2010 by Orbit (UK) & 1st April 2000 by Roc (US)

Storm Front is an introductory and page-turning installment to a beloved urban fantasy series.

I am not much of an expert on urban fantasy sub-genre, I certainly haven’t read as much urban fantasy compared to high fantasy, and almost all of the majority of urban fantasy series I’ve thoroughly loved has been UF series that took place in a fictional world rather than ours; The Green Bone Saga by Fonda Lee and The Divine Cities trilogy by Robert Jackson Bennett are a great example of this. Many trusted readers and friends of mine who understands my reading taste, however, have convinced me that if there’s one urban fantasy series—with a contemporary setting—that I would end up loving, it’s The Dresden Files by Jim Bucher. Well, here I am, I’m officially starting my journey with this series.

“There is no truer gauge of a man’s character than the way in which he employs his strength, his power.”

Storm Front is the first book in The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, and we follow Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden—the only Private Investigator that’s also a Wizard in town. If I’m not mistaken, this series is planned to be 23 or 24 books long. Storm Front is without a doubt an introductory installment to a long series. Many huge fans of the series have warned me that it takes three or four books for the greatness of the series to truly “begin.” I honestly expected this book to be much worse because of this, but as it turns out, I actually thought that Storm Front was very enjoyable to read.

“I don’t want to live in a world where the strong rule and the weak cower. I’d rather make a place where things are a little quieter.

Many readers have voiced criticisms that the first three books are very typical and formulaic by today’s story standard, and yes, that is true. I haven’t read the next books yet, but at least as far as the first book goes, I can’t deny their claim. But, we do need to go back a bit and put some things in perspective here. Storm Front was first published twenty years ago.

Let that sink in for a while.

I wasn’t even in middle school yet when this book was first published! Now I’m reading this in a time of a pandemic. Maybe instead of calling the first three books to be unoriginal because of the formulaic story structure, it would be more apt to say that Storm Front and The Dresden Files series to be—at least one of—the perpetrator responsible for popularizing that formula within the sub-genre in the first place.

“Where instinct fails, intellect must venture.”

I’m not saying that this book isn’t without its issue, it will not blow your mind, but even putting modern storytelling standards into account, I can’t deny that I had a great time reading this short book. Storm Front is a fun and quick read that introduces Harry Dresden, the characters, the magic, and the world-building within a compelling murder mystery plot nicely. Oddly, I didn’t click with Butcher’s Codex Alera series; I haven’t continued the series past the first two books, which is odd because Codex Alera is a high fantasy series—my favorite sub-genre to read. As for The Dresden Files, if Storm Front is indeed the weakest book of the entire series, it seems like we’re going to have a lot of fun adventures together, Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden.

Picture: Storm Front by Vincent Chong

You can order the book from: Book Depository (Free shipping)

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10 thoughts on “Book Review: Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1) by Jim Butcher

  1. I love this series! It gets better the longer you read it. 🙂 I think I’m already at book 6.
    Also I’m sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy “The Codex Alera”. It’s one of my favourite fantasy book series but I suppose if you really dwell in the high fantasy genre it might not be as good as other books. XD Great review!

    1. Thank you! And yayyy! Very glad to hear that. So many people have mentioned the same thing that the series keeps on getting better!

      Yeah, it’s unfortunate for Codex Alera. I was so excited for it but then I found it too tropish to get into! But there’s always a chance I’ll get back to it one day… We’ll see! 🙂

  2. I read books 1 – 5 and liked them enough but I haven’t gone back since. Your starting to read through them makes me consider going back. Maybe I will soon!

  3. I really love your reviews Petrik!! And I’m always amazed with how you are so committed in reading new series out of your comfort zone. I’ve never ventured on high fantasy last year if it weren’t for you. I hope you enjoy reading the rest of the novels!!

    1. Aww, thank you, Divine! I think as long that it still falls in fantasy/fiction genre, I should be able to find something to enjoy! I’m still very happy that you ventured on high fantasy because of me. I hope you’ll find many more amazing books there!

  4. I didn’t like the Codex Alera series either, but I’m up to date on this series and the only ones I was iffy on were 1, 3 & 10. It’s definitely better later on, especially once you get to #7. I hope you like the rest of them!

    1. Thank you, Will! I’m making way through the series slowly at the moment. I should be done with book 2 today, it wasn’t as good as the first one (imo) but I’m still very eager to continue! Can’t wait to reach book 4 where many readers have agreed that it’s the installment that “begins” the series! 🙂

  5. I read this one years ago and never finished the series. Not because I didn’t like it, but because school got in the way. I’ve been wanting to start it again and may reread Storm Front. Good to know it supposed to get better!

    1. I’ve heard it gets so much better from book 3 and so on! I look forward to reading them! Hahaha, I hope you’ll love them too, Jason! 🙂

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