Title: Storm Front & Fool Moon
Author: Jim Butcher
ISBN: 9780451457813 & 9780451458124
Pages: 384 & 352
Release Date: April 10, 2000 & January 9, 2001
Publisher: Print - Roc / Audio - Buzzy Multimedia
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Audiobook
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4 out of 5
In the first two novels of The Dresden Files series, readers are introduced to wizard-for-hire Harry Dresden, consultant to the Chicago Police Department’s Special Investigations unit. Harry finds himself involved with Chicago’s crime boss Johnny Marcone, grisly murders, a drug ring, and strangest of all, werewolves, in his efforts to reconcile the magical world with the one we live in every day.
If you read this blog regularly, you know that I absolutely love the series The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. I’ve reviewed the later books on this blog, but after listening to and being very impressed with the audio of Side Jobs: Stories from the Dresden Files, I decided to go back and start the series from the beginning on audio. I’ve been wanting to reread them for a long time, and I thought this would be the perfect way to do that.
I was surprised at how little I remember from the first book, Storm Front. A lot of the major players aren’t introduced until later, so there were only a handful of familiar characters in the book. It’s also clear that Jim Butcher hadn’t finished fully fleshing out the world of magic that Harry lives in. There weren’t really any discrepancies, but things weren’t quite as detailed as they become later. It’s clear that this was Butcher’s first book, as his writing isn’t quite as sophisticated as it is later. But the story is solid and he does a great job introducing Harry and endearing the reader to him. I also loved that the book is filled with Dresden’s trademark sense of humor.
The second novel, Fool Moon, didn’t stand the test of time as well. While good, I found myself more than ready for the end of the book. I enjoyed the introduction of later favorites Billy and Georgia, but didn’t like the adversarial nature of Harry and Murphy’s relationship. That’s not to say it was bad - I still enjoyed it quite a bit, but I have a feeling it’s going to be my least favorite of the series during this re-read/listen.
The audio production wasn’t the highest quality for Storm Front. It didn’t really even sound like a professional job. James Marsters is amazing as Harry Dresden, though he didn’t sound quite as comfortable with the character as he did in Side Jobs. Still, I’ll definitely be listening to future audio versions of these books, as the quality has to get better at some point. The audio version of Storm Front runs 8 hours and is unabridged. I didn’t notice anything bad about the audio production of Fool Moon, though, perhaps because I was so engrossed in the story and had gotten used to the quirks from the first listen. James Marsters really comes into his own in this book - he really became Harry for me. The audio production of Fool Moon runs 10 hours and is unabridged.
I really enjoyed my re-listen of the first two books in the Dresden Files series and am looking forward to moving onto the next book, Grave Peril. I’m really enjoying tracing the development of the characters I’ve come to love so much, as well as watching the mythology behind Harry’s world take shape. These novels are a great choice for audio, and I highly recommend them to anyone looking to try out some urban fantasy.