Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1)

Storm Front Jim Butcher Books Bordeaux


Storm Front introduces an alternate version of present-day Chicago and the difference is, magic is real. Wizards are walking the streets like you and I, and some of the them are available for contract. Our narrator, Harry Dresden, is private investigator who is also a wizard. The danger is real and the body count rises as he works alongside the Chicago P.D. to solve magic-related crimes.

Fun, right? For me, only sort of. I expected Storm Front to be more fantasy-forward, but it’s actually a grisly crime novel with fantasy elements and dark humor informing that primary model. Also, the “present-day” had a noticeable 90’s vibe. If you like crime novels with a bit of humor, a self-deprecating narrator, and supernatural stuff, you will likely enjoy Storm Front.

Some elements that I enjoyed were the few moments of horror included. I liked when

I also enjoyed his jaded worldview and his abuse of his position. For example, when he tricks people by determining their identity with real-world detective tools—like by smelling their perfume—but he lets people think he knows who they are because he’s a wizard. This tidbit grounded the character in this new world for me more than anything else, and it was fun.

Some of the supernatural elements, like the talking skull and the fairy that he captures, were just a touch too silly for my taste. And most of Harry’s interactions with women made me uncomfortable—I don’t exactly know why. As a group we agreed how cool it was that he actually thought out the magical steps for ensnaring a fairy, with the bread and the milk and the blood. I appreciate that Butcher took the time to think through how magic in this world would practically be performed.

One of our members has read all of the books in the Dresden File books (she highly recommends them) and she says that they do get better. So, I may try another one to see what happens. Also, two of us liked the show adaptation that came out in the late 2000’s.

Lastly, I want to call out this adorable Q&A on Goodreads:

Jim Butcher Goodreads Great Hair

Wine Selection & Tasting

Black Cloud Red Blend. <>

Storm Front Discussion Questions

  1. How did you like the world-building? Were the laws of wizardry believable/ consistent/ fun? 
    • Did you like the way the author worked magic into modern day urban Chicago?
    • Did Butcher do a good job of setting up the series?
  2. Were there parts of the book you especially enjoyed, or parts you did not like?
  3. Did the plot take turns you did not expect, or did you find it predictable?
  4. What was the most influential factor in drawing you in or turning you off the story? (Pick a passage, a character, a scene, an idea, etc.)
  5. Which of the characters did you like the most? Which did you dislike?
  6. Did you like Harry’s voice? Consider these quotes from Harry:

Paranoid? Probably. But just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean that there isn’t an invisible demon about to eat your face.

Maybe my values are outdated, but I come from an old school of thought. I think that men ought to treat women like something other than just shorter, weaker men with breasts. Try and convict me if I’m a bad person for thinking so. I enjoy treating a woman like a lady, opening doors for her, paying for shared meals, giving flowers—all that sort of thing.

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

  1. How does Harry treat women? Does it suit the story and the setting?
  2. In this book we see a story-telling technique featuring an ever-growing pile of ever-worsening problems to be resolved in an ever-shrinking, seemingly impossible time frame. How effective is that technique in building tension?
  3. Were there clichés that the author was able to avoid or clichés that you wish had been avoided?
  4. Storm Front is the first in a series. Will you continue reading? Why or why not?