Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Fantasy Book Annotation

Storm Front
By Jim Butcher


Lost Items Found.  Paranormal Investigations.  Consulting.  Advice.  Reasonable Rates.  No Love Potions, Endless Purses, 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 don't play 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 black 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.

(from GoodReads at

Elements of Fantasy:

Butcher's Dresden Files series, of which this is the first book, is firmly in the Urban Fantasy subgenre of Fantasy, so this book introduces the readers to a world extremely similar to our own, except magic exists.  Storm Front focuses mainly on Chicago, Illinois, where Harry has taken up residence.  Readers also get a peek into the magical side of this world in this first book that is explored and expanded throughout the series.

Fantasy means magic:
Harry Dresden, the series' protagonist, is Chicago's only Wizard Private Investigator, who uses his magical abilities to solve the mysteries no one else can and protect his city from magical threats.  Harry uses foreign languages and faux, "butchered" Latin commands to perform his spells in the novel and throughout the series.

Storyline - Good vs. Evil:
The plot of Storm Front centers around the mystery of a magic practitioner using their powers to commit murders.  This person is the clear evil in the story to contrast Harry's good.  Other characters, such as mob boss Gentleman Johnny Marcone and Detective Karrin Murphy, lean to one side or the other but are more in the middle gray area as they at times help and other times hinder Harry throughout the novel.  Harry himself, with all of his power and future potential, sometimes is tempted to release control and join the dark side.

Characters are often inhuman:
While many of the characters in this first book of the Dresden Files series are human, there are some inhuman characters, such as the fairy Toot-Toot, vampires, demons, among others.  As the series progresses, more inhuman types of characters are introduced.

Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series by Laurell K. Hamilton

Angel's Ink by Jocelynn Drake

Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison

Nightside series by Simon R. Green

Garrett Files series by Glen Cook


  1. Julie, I like how you intertwine the elements of fantasy with the book. I think it draws someone in to read the book. I haven't read any of Jim Butcher's books but I know they are very popular in my library system. This sounds like a good read, a detective or private investigator type novel with some darkness and magic added in to increase the intensity.

  2. Nothing like a little black magic to spice up an investigation! I like the idea of a good paranormal mystery, and this sound like it really fits the bill! I also agree that you did a good job highlighting some of the characteristics of fantasy in this novel.

  3. Julie, loved this annotation! I have never read Jim Butcher books, but this description made me want to pick this one up. I like how you explained each of your book's characteristics well and really explained how they make this story a fantasy. Great job!

  4. One of my all time favorite books/series! Great annotation, your appeals are spot on. However, please summarize the book in your own next time. Full points.