Thursday, June 19, 2008


Jim Butcher's Stormfront : book one of the Dresden Files was one I long hesitated to pick up, mostly because of the prominence of the "Dresden Files." I have an aversion to series books that is based less on experience than it is a kind of fear that the books will be formulaic dreck. There may be a connection to the genre once called men's adventure in which an endless series of crypto-sexual (his gun spat hot lead at the Cuban) tales were presented to reader.

Anyway, the book turned out to be a lot of fun! The main character, Harry Dresden leans a tad goody goody for my taste, but I found him appealing nonetheless. I was also pleased that Butcher made Dresden inept with women. Main characters are often alter-egos for authors and far too many of these sorts of characters end up being hyper-studs.

The plot is nothing special, and won't surprise crime novel fans, but the story elements are a lot of fun. Butcher, in this first book, has laid quite a bit of groundwork for an interesting system of magic based in our modern world. He has a few surprises with the nasties he deploys and I even liked what he did with the ending, which is often a let down in suspense tales.

With the intersection of the supernatural and a thriller/crime novel plot chassis, these books are like Charles Stross's Atrocity Archives tales and Charlie Huston's Joe Pitt stories. They are just a lot less grimy and wicked. I like all of them, but depending on your tastes you might want to go one way or the other.

No comments: