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19 April 2015 @ 06:23 pm
Storm Front by Jim Butcher  
When we signed up for Dysprosium way back when, it seemed like an idea to pick up at least one novel by each of the guests of honour and read them. Of course, the night before packing for the con, I realise I haven't read them (moreover its not clear a Seanan McGuire was ever purchased) and so I threw Storm Front into my bag and resolved to read it at the con.

It's a pretty decent book, certainly entertaining con reading, without being too difficult to put down when panels were calling to be attended. It's the first in The Dresden Files series about which I had heard vague squeeing but about which I knew little beyond that they were Urban Fantasy Detective novels. As a detective novel, Storm Front, holds together pretty well. I'm somewhat frustrated by the trope in which our lone heroic detective is generally shouted at and impeded by his allies but, at least in this case, the ally in question had fairly good reason. Most of the apparent coincidences in the plot resolved themselves with a certain amount of sense, and the set up avoided the temptation to supply the heroic detective with an unfeasibly swanky place of a abode which appears to be a strange weakness of the urban fantasy I've read. I got possibly unnecessarily distracted by the sequence in which protagonist wizard Harry Dresden dashes around Chicago naked in a thunderstorm (things started going down while he was in the shower) because I always worry about things like "won't he hurt his feet" and "isn't that a bit cold" in situations like that.

So yes, good book. I'm not convinced the set up necessarily has the chops to last a full 20 book series (which I understand is planned and, in fact, almost executed) but I'd certainly read one or two more if there were any space left on the "to read" shelf.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/152713.html.
a_cubeda_cubed on April 19th, 2015 11:49 pm (UTC)
I've been reading these since book 4 (I started with book 1, but book four was out). He runs through a number of changes in the situation and evolves the setup reasonably well, particularly introducing new long-term villains. He does a little bit of retconning as he expands the universe, but less than most other long-running series, I think. Book 2 is OK, but I think it's book 3 where he really gets going. Oh, and there's a few Chekov's Guns in the first book that he pulls the trigger on after book 10 (I don't want to give spoilers).
louisedennis: bookslouisedennis on April 20th, 2015 11:39 am (UTC)
I noticed he was somewhat vague about the details of Harry's previous murder by magic, and particularly coy about whether one or other of Harry's parents and the mysterious evil wizard who trained him were one and the same.

*sighs and looks a the to read shelf* I really need to find some way to fit more hours of reading into the day, it's just figuring out what needs to give for that to happen.
Elaine of Astolatladyofastolat on April 20th, 2015 11:04 am (UTC)
I love them. I found the series something of a slow burn, though, and found the first one a pleasant enough read, but nothing more. I read the next few, and decided that although I'd enjoyed them, I couldn't be bothered to read any more. I returned to them some years later, and this time read further on in the series, and ended up loving them.

Each book broadens the scope of the world, and adds more secondary characters and ongoing plots. Characters grow and change. It's certainly a series that evolves as it goes on, rather than establishing a formula in book one and sticking to it. The author claims that the books can be read in any order, and there are passages in all the books that are very obviously there to explain relevant backstory to newbies, but I would strongly recommend reading them in order, if you decide to read on.
louisedennislouisedennis on April 20th, 2015 11:41 am (UTC)
It's interesting that both you and a_cubed think they are a slow burn. To be honest, I'd definitely be buying the next were it not for the size of the to read pile which I'm determined to keep within the space of one book shelf.

I suppose I had better get reading in order to make some space...
fififolle: Dresden Files - Magicfififolle on April 21st, 2015 07:32 pm (UTC)
I read the first four and very much enjoyed them, though I hear they get way better after that?!
I loved the TV series, as a thing on its own, I suppose. Also recommended :D
louisedennislouisedennis on April 22nd, 2015 01:39 pm (UTC)
I got the impression from his talk that the TV series got messed around with a lot by the production company, it's nice to know it still worked.
fififolle: Dresden Files - Magicfififolle on April 22nd, 2015 06:48 pm (UTC)
Yes, I think I remember at the time book fans weren't overly thrilled, but I enjoyed it muchly, and then I think I may have read the books after.
bigtitchbigtitch on April 22nd, 2015 07:09 am (UTC)
This is my bedside reading book on the kindle at the moment. I have to say I'm a bit underwhelmed. I saw the series linked on reviews of Rivers of London/Peter Grant series, which I adore, so I decided to give it a go. It's OK, but the hard-bitten Private Detective has never been a favourite trope of mine. I may not make it to the end of the book.
louisedennislouisedennis on April 22nd, 2015 01:40 pm (UTC)
He's not that hard-bitten though, is he really, though I imagine he may be after 20 books. I got the impression he was more of an ingenue (to almost everything except magic) trying to look tough.