Summary from goodreads:
Storm Front is Jim Butcher’s first novel and introduces his most famous and popular character-Harry Dresden, wizard for hire.
For his first case, Harry is called in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with the blackest of magic. At first, the less-than-solvent Harry’s eyes light up with dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage. Now, that black mage knows Harry’s name. And things are about to get very…interesting
I am of two minds on this book, so I will present this review looking at both.
It being a book I loved:
This idea is so cool! It is basically a typical detective novel…but there are magical elements to it! Go read another detective story and you will see all the similarities from how the plot gets set up, to the police that the main character does consulting for, to everyone being in danger. I love a classic mystery, so I think this is incredibly cool, especially when you add a council that is watching Harry’s every move because they think he is killing people, some demons, and lots of death.
Like any good detective novel, there are twists and turns throughout that are unexpected and exciting. There is some flirtation, fun, and a hilarious spirit that lives in a skull (since wizards can’t use computers since technology doesn’t get along with them).
Looking at it strictly from an entertainment standpoint, I really enjoyed it and would jump right into the next book.
But it was also a book that made me very angry:
Harry is one of the most chauvinistic characters I have ever read. Defenders will claim it is just because he is from a different time, but he goes further than that. I noticed it from early on when he talks about refusing to just see women as “weaker men”. Excuse me? That is not what feminism is about! He has very negative attitudes towards women and there are so many comments in the book that show this. I wish I had written them down while I was reading. I had to stop several times and read a passage to Jason and just say “Really??”
It isn’t just the main character either. None of the females in the book are really characters. They do things and say things, but there is nothing to them. Most are portrayed as using men to get what they want and being evil. The couple that are good are portrayed as being less intelligent than the men. It was infuriating to read that! There were a couple times I wanted to throw the book across the room and makes me not want to read any other books in the series.
I am in a conundrum about this series because of this. If I knew that his attitudes came back to hurt him or he faced major consequences for being a misogynistic jerk, then I would be more inclined to continue. I did enjoy the plot a lot..but I don’t know if I can overlook my feelings on the gender issues.
Have you read the book? What do you think? Let me know in the comments!