Storm Front

By Jim Butcher,

Book cover of Storm Front

Book description

In the first novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling Dresden Files series, Harry Dresden’s investigation of a grisly double murder pulls him into the darkest depths of magical Chicago…

As a professional wizard, Harry Dresden knows firsthand that the “everyday” world is actually full of strange and magical…

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Why read it?

20 authors picked Storm Front as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

What I enjoyed most about these books was the pure entertainment, blending moments of tension, thrilling suspense, and poignant emotions that resonated deeply. Loved the way it blended the occult with your classic detective novels.

I also really enjoy the character of Harry Dresden and the rich supernatural world crafted by Butcher, where Dresden operates as a supernatural detective (or wizard for hire). Plus, the writing is very similar to the detective noir styles of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, which brings unique vibes.

I find the combination of mystery and fantasy in the Harry Dresden books irresistible, and Storm Front is certainly no exception. A typical detective has to watch out for the as-yet-undiscovered killer. Harry has to watch out for the killer—as well as the White Council, the organization of wizards that is profoundly suspicious of him and more than ready to execute him if he takes one step out of line. And then there are various supernatural creatures who want either to kill humans or to use them for their own purposes.

Butcher’s imaginative humor is second to none. I have…

Jim Butcher’s world of the Dresden Files is rife with politics and magical mishaps.

I love the trope of the wizard who can’t get out of his own way because of his tragic past. The side characters in this book really bring it to life and create a great foil for Harry to come into his own.

The Strange Case of Guaritori Diolco

By Bill Hiatt,

Book cover of The Strange Case of Guaritori Diolco

Bill Hiatt Author Of Different Lee

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Why am I passionate about this?

Author Insatiable reader English teacher Life-long learner Hiker Webmaster

Bill's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Guaritori awakens from a coma to find that he's lost twenty years--and his entire world.

Fiancée, family, and friends are all missing, perhaps dead. Technology has failed, and magic has risen, leaving society in ruins. Most survivors are at the mercy of anyone who has strong enough magic. Guaritori has none. He finds a protector, but his troubles are far from over.

The new society in which he finds himself is superficially friendly but surrounded by enemies and full of secrets. Guaritori doesn't know it yet, but the biggest secret is his. If his protector knew who he truly was,…

The Strange Case of Guaritori Diolco

By Bill Hiatt,

What is this book about?

Coming out of a coma after twenty years, Guaritori--Garth to his friends--discovers that the world he knew no longer exists.

Advanced technology has failed. Magic, which he didn't know even existed, has become much more powerful. Supernatural groups battle for supremacy, forcing human beings to seek shelter wherever they can find it.
Garth's only hope for survival lies with a varied group including a shape-shifter, an alchemist, a tarot card reader, a blacksmith with a flaming sword, and others. But a prophecy foretells that he will bring about the downfall of their leader, the mysterious Ms. M.

Even worse, Garth…


Ok, so I cheated. This is an entire series of books, because I read book 4 through 11 in the past 12 months.

The truth is that I’ve listened to seven of these books in the past year, because they relax me. And, because Jim Butcher (author) and James Marsters (narrator, it’s Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) have become comfort food for my troubled soul when I’m having a rough time. Jim writes a good book, but I suspect that the character of Harry Dresden makes it easy.

I love gritty noir, but I also love gritty magic. And…

This first book in The Dresden Files gets everything right straight out of the box, grounding this urban fantasy series with a likable and believable protagonist—despite the fact that he’s a professional wizard—as well as a terrific supporting cast that ranges from a chillingly urbane mob boss to a zany, pizza-obsessed fairy helper. 

Harry Dresden’s snappy, irreverent narration makes every scene pop, and—best of all—Jim Butcher’s conception of magic works. Its mechanics are easily understood, allowing its uses and limitations to drive the plot forward and ratchet up the tension. An old-fashioned hero in a modern setting, Harry Dresden set…

From David's list on blending the real with the fantastic.

A captivating blend of detective noir and urban fantasy, this one kept me on the edge of my seat.

Set in the bustling city of Chicago, the story follows wizard detective Harry Dresden as he navigates through a world filled with magic and mystery. I found everything I look for in crime fiction, mixed up with fun and creepy, larger-than-life supernatural elements. For example Bob, a spirit of intellect bound to a skull serves as Dresden’s advisor – great comic relief.

I appreciated Dresden’s struggles with his own magical abilities and his determination to do the right thing, even when…

I’m just wild about Harry—Dresden, that is, Chicago’s only wizard for hire. Storm Front is the first of 20 books in the Dresden Files, a great mix of urban fantasy, noir, and pop culture references. When Harry investigates a double murder committed by black magic, he has many suspects to choose from: spirits, ghouls, vampires, and he’s always contending with the overbearing White Council of Wizards with its draconian laws and rules. Butcher’s ability to get Harry out of impossible dangers is impressive. No deus ex machina here. Harry survives by his wits and his snarky remarks. Oh, and…

I must admit, I never read Storm Front or any of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files. I listened to them on audiobook performed by the masterful James Marsters. However, my biggest takeaway from this book and the rest of the series isn't the depth of its characters, the impressive detail of its urban fantasy world building, nor the nail-biting blockbuster action sequences—that's all spectacular. But no, what Storm Front and all of the Dresden Files taught me was the importance of structure. Jim Butcher sticks to a particular structure that he uses in nearly each and every one of these books,…

The Dresden Files aren’t technically fantasy. They are Urban Fantasy, but so what. The Dresden Files are fantastic, and everyone should read them.

For fantasy lovers, Butcher does a wonderful job building a rich world beyond his world, where Fae, Angels, Demons, and otherworldly beings struggle for dominance of the world. In the center, or perhaps a touch off-center from it all, is our lovable protagonist, Harry Dresden… An immensely powerful wizard, and a marginally reliable narrator.

Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series is one of my absolute favorites. A quirky wizard detective working on a shoestring budget and always getting into trouble is always a fun read for me. The characters and the world building are well crafted with many depths and facets. These books are what really started my love for urban fantasy.

From Samantha's list on epic world building in fantasy.

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