Storm Front: A typical potboiler.
Once upon a time, an amateur writer enrolled in a writing class to learn more about the art. While a member of this class, he, frustrated with his teacher's advice, intentionally wrote a novel to be utterly formulaic and derivative.
That novel then got published and, in my ignorance, I purchased and read it.
is not, despite its author's intentions, a dreadful book. As we at TV Tropes
have often said, Tropes Are Not Bad
, and neither is formula
- there's a reason why these patterns persist, and it is because they are reliable ways to create a good story. But like most hack writing, it is rarely surprising, barely original, and never insightful. You will not be smarter, wiser, or better educated in any sense after reading this book; you will merely be an hour or two older. A pleasant hour or two, possibly, but that's all.
(I say "possibly" - meaning Your Mileage May Vary
- due to the protagonist's reactionary attitudes towards women, a cringeworthy scene halfway through with a "love" potion, and a plot-driven lie
urban fantasy is your thing, I won't stop you, but there are better ways to spend your time.
Edit 2011-02-18: A recurring theme in the responses to this is, "Read the whole series!" As a devoted reader of webcomics, I can understand the idea of Growing The Beard
, and there was at least one truly excellent action scene in the book — but all I can evaluate is what I read, and on its own I do not believe Storm Front
withstands critical scrutiny.
25th Sep 09
25th Sep 09
As you say, Storm Front is quite formulaic. Almost the entire plot is obvious from about a quarter of the way into the book. Later books, especially those involving the Fae, Denarians, or White Court, have more complex and interesting plots and more awesomeness.
18th Oct 09
Write a review!
19th Oct 09
Hmm - I've been looking to get into the Dresden Files, and I wanted to start somewhere good. Would it be okay to just skip the first book, then, or should they be read in sequential order?
23rd May 10
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16th Nov 10
The first two books are decent. The rest escalate from "good" through "excellent" to "AWESOME". If you don't wanna miss out, read them all. They become increasingly difficult to put down.
15th Jul 11
It's simply not a fair review when you pick the worst book out of the series to review and stop there.
26th Jul 11
26th Jul 11
(edited by: Scardoll)
I have to say, for anyone who's discouraged by reviews that call it bad or average just buy book seven 'Dead Beat' and read that. It gives you by far the best picture of the series as a whole.
27th Nov 11
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2nd Jul 12
I may be the odd man out here, but I really enjoyed Storm Front. It's no award winner, certainly, but it used what it had in a fun, entertaining way. Yeah, maybe Harry is a bit sexist, but at least his heart's in the right place. He's not thinking this way because he sees women as lesser, he just wants to help. The books do get better as time goes on, but I think the fans here are really short-selling the first two. They have problems, that's only to be expected, they're Butcher's first published novels. That doesn't change the fact that they're enjoyable in their own right, and a neat glimpse into the awesomeness to come.
2nd Nov 13
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