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. Storm Front 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.) If troperiffic 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.
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