Posted on January 13, 2009 by Monica Valentinelli
First published in April 2000, Storm Front is the first in Jim Butcher’s popular series – the Harry Dresden Files. This particular story introduces us to the wily wizard from Chicago by telling a story about a mysterious murder. Dresden’s investigation involves a dangerous mobster named Johnny Marcone, a deadly-yet-beautiful vampire named Bianca, and Chicago’s finest. Along the way, you find out more about this unlikely investigator and why he’s the guy with this shingle outside of his door:
Lost items found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses or Other Entertainment.
Having been out for almost nine years, the story of Storm Front has been covered by multiple mediums. A loosely-inspired version of Storm Front appeared as an episode in the Dresden Files TV series. Dabel Brothers announced a comic book adaptation of Storm Front last year, and this audio adaptation of the popular novel is another interpretation of Butcher’s tried-and-true sloppy detective with his own code — and some powerful magic to boot.
James Marsters, while best known for playing Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, has also appeared in Angel, Torchwood and Smallville and the upcoming Dragonball Evolution, due out this year. Marsters’ version of Harry Dresden is a less in-your-face, sarcastic version of the character than we’ve seen in the TV series. Instead, he’s very much a film noir version of the character, the hard-boiled detective we might expect based on Jim Butcher’s writing.
The CD/MP3 has great production value, but I should mention that there is very little mood music or sound effects in the performance. This translates to a stronger focus on Marsters’ voice, but you won’t be disappointed. The diction is clear and he delivers a performance that ranges from female characters to the supernatural. There are a ton of files on this CD, but you won’t be able to see the mp3 file size until you open it up. I’m hoping that Buzzy Multimedia will change this so that listeners will know how big the files are. On the flip side, you can hear the first few chapters of Storm Front for free on their website — very cool to preview this rendition of the book!
For more about Storm Front, you can read the description right on the Storm Front Audio Book product page. If you’re interested in learning more about the story, there are several reviews you can choose from including the SF Site Featured Review or the review of Storm Front on RPG.net.
Review by Monica Valentinelli