Monday, October 03, 2011

Storm Front Readalong Part 3

Harry Dresden--Wizard
Lost items found. Paranormal investigations.
Consulting. Advice. Reasonable rates.
No Love Potions, Endless Purses, Parties, or Other Entertainment.

Harry Dresden is the best at what he does. Well, technically, he's the only at what he does. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal creativity or capability, they come to him for answers. For the "everyday" world is actually full of strange and magical things--and most of them don't play too well with humans. That's where Harry comes in. Takes a wizard to catch a--well, whatever.

There's just one problem. Business, to put it mildly, stinks. So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry's seeing dollar signs. But where there's magic, there's a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry's name. And that's when things start to get... interesting.

Magic. It can get a guy killed.
This is the last week of the Storm Front readalong which is being hosted by Carl as part of RIP IV. If you want to see the previous week's readalong post then click on the Storm Front Readalong label below.

1. Were you disappointed that we didn't get see any more of Bianca and Harry together?

Not really. For me the more interesting relationship that I think has the most potential going forward is the uneasy relationship between Harry and Murphy.  I suspect that we haven't seen the last of Bianca in the series though.

2. We finally get to see Harry go on the magical offensive in this section of the book. Any favorite action moment?

I think my favourite scenes were in the elevator and then when he used the broom at the lake house. My main reasons for liking these scenes is that Harry was down to his last options in terms of his power. It really was just Harry against the world. No staff. No rod. Just Harry drawing from deep within himself to fight to stay alive. I also thought that even within the storm of action, Butcher still managed to infuse humour into the situation, particularly in relation to the use of a cleaning spell in the big crescendo scene at the house!

3. How did you feel about where Harry and Murphy's relationship was at when the book ended?

For me, this is the most interesting dynamic in the book. Murphy needs Harry's expertise and his information, Harry needs to protect the paranormal secrets as much as he can and so really can only give her information on a need to know basis which pisses Murphy off. In addition though, Harry really needs the income that working for the department provides. So they both need each other, but they both also protect themselves from the other as much as they can.

4. (This question morphs somewhat into Jeff's 'Harry and Murphy' question, but) How did you feel about the wrap up after the climax, the brief mentions of various characters as part of Harry's closing narration?

I guess all the loose ends have to be tidied up! I tell you that  I would love to read some short stories of what exactly it is that Bob gets up to when he gets out of the skull! They would obviously have to be a little censored because I think he likes to party very hard, but they would be really fun to read!

5. Now that you've seen Harry in all three acts of a story arc, what are your thoughts about him as a character, particularly in light of this being a debut novel for the series.

Harry seems like a great character to hang a series from, a fact that seems to have been born out by the longevity of the series. This book was published in 2000 and the 13th novel was published this year, not mention that there are several short stories in various anthologies.

I think this passage really shows us about Harry's character and innate honour. How could you not like a guy like this (from page  291):

I took deep breaths, struggling to see clear of the anger, the hate, the deep lust that burned within me for vengeance and retribution. That wasn't what magic was for. That wasn't what magic did. Magic came from life itself, from the interaction of nature and the elements, from the energy  of all living beings, and especially of people. A man's magic demonstrates what sort of person he is, what is held most deeply inside of him. There is no truer gauge of a man's character than the way in which he employs his strength, his power.

6. Any finally, a two-parter: Discuss your overall experience with the book and/or the group read and will you be reading the next book in the series?

This was a reread for me, and I have to say I enjoyed reading the book a bit more this time around. I am not sure if it was the questions that made me think things through a bit more, the fact that I didn't rush through it  as I tried really hard to keep to the reading schedule, or perhaps even the fact that I knew what to expect having read the next couple of books in the series as well.

I will be rereading Fool Moon as well and I hope to continue on with the series. I meant to keep reading the series before but I kept on borrowing Summer Knight but never actually getting to read it! This time, I will (probably).

Having read the first book I hae also been prompted me to watch the Dresden Files TV series. It's different to the books and the jury is out, but it's not too bad a way to spend some time.

Thanks to Carl for running the read along and to his friends for coming up with the discussion questions.


  1. Hi Marg! I just read that book today. Hehe it would indeed be interesting to see what that skull dude gets up to :P albeit censored =P

    I didn't really think of Bianca & Harry much actually, after that scene she was sort of wiped from my mind (bad thing??).

    Although I enjoyed the book, it wasn't a OMGOSHSOAMAZING type of book for me. I wouldn't mind reading the other books in the series, I guess .. hmm

    How many other books have you read in the series? :)

  2. I have read two others and intend to keep on reading the series in due course.

  3. These Dresden books seem to be enjoying a lot of popularity and interest right about now, and every time I see a review of one of them, my curiosity is piqued. I wonder if any of them are on audio, as they would probably be perfect to share with my husband for our nightly listen. Great post today!

  4. Nice idea to have a read along.

  5. I really want to read the next book. I will have to do so soon.