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ArcherOfTheAsylum

Archer's Asylum

I'm a big bloke (7ft tall) and I am forever reading. This will mostly be my thoughts as I am reading and possibly a review or two. You may know me as Archer.

 

I am basically a lurker. My life revolves around my wife, my cats, Books, and entertainment.

 

I'm working on building and setting up a forge and I'm generally one of those people who can be found causing or in the middle of mischief somewhere...

Storm Front

Storm Front - Jim Butcher Now let me make one thing abundantly clear before I go on. I am a huge fan of this series. This is probably my 6th or 7th full read through of these books in the last 3 or 4 years. I can't get enough of them. And I could read them over and over until the day that I die. But let me be perfectly honest, as much as I love this (the debut novel from the now best selling Jim Butcher), it is by no means the best book in the series. This was his debut, his first published foray into the world of authordom (yes it's a word... well it is now anyway). And in some parts of the novel it shows. There are a few places where I feel he skipped over a few little things but that's just me. But don't let that one little gripe put you off from reading these books. They are by far some of the best Adult Urban Fantasies that I have ever read and Storm Front is just... well... in my opinion... astonishing really. The writing style is very informal, very believable. The novel reads almost like a Journal/Case file of the main character (yes I know that's the point of calling the series The Dresden Files, I'm not stupid). There is a tone of humour that is uncommon in reading this type of noirish detective yarn, that I think comes from the contemporary settings, the sarcastic wizard and the perverted talking skull (Yes there is a skull, named Bob, who is a perv... well he isn't really a skull but I digress...)The story starts off fairly simply. You are introduced to Harry through an interaction with another who thinks he's full of shit... well if you saw that someone was selling their time as a wizard for hire wouldn't you think that there was something severely wrong with them mentally? And then, with the series' now trademark humour, the plot thickens to something dark and sinister that actually let you into the mindset of what it could be like for a Wizard in the real world. The use of the Greater Chicago area as a backdrop for the series really helps to make the boks stand out from other fantasies of this kind because most of them are set in rural small town America or somewhere in Europe. It's nice to see a metropolitan backdrop from true urban to suburban. The use of pop culture references as pseudo-philosophy is there from the start, from Eldorado jokes about Harry's coat to the way that chivalry seems to have almost died you get the impression of a world carefully crafted to essentially be ours... but not. This is a world that unfolds in tandem to our own with little differences that bubble under the surface. I find myself, again and again, drawn into these books and seeing the stark truths of the world we live in penned faithfully on the page. The darker tones of organised crime running parallel with the darkness of black magic, rituals designed to kill, demons, and giant magical scorpions, the fact that quite simply, the vast majority of people are apathetic to anything that doesn't affect them, to the point that they see two men fighting and do nothing, the judgements that the masses make based on appearance, guy in a suit and mac... obviously can't be the guy who started the fight can he? not in this new millenium!. Whilst being entertaining I am also made to think, about how far the collective community that humans knew as little as 30 years ago has disappeared. No one cares about anyone, it really is that simple. I am honestly nothing short of gushing over this book now and do you know what?I'M NOT EVEN SORRY.I can't help it. I honestly can't. This is a series where the author has joked that it is Dirty Harry meets Harry Potter, and in some ways he's right but in others he isn't (IMO) it's so much more than that because it shows you that even in adulthood that no matter how alone you feel and how desperate a situation is... there's always a way. It might not be an easy choice but there is always a way.I dunno I'm rambling now, but I implore you. If you like good fantasy, with dark notes and are maybe interested to see how it would work in something other than a medieval style setting then seriously, check these books out. And even if you don't take from it what I do... on the surface it's still a good detective wizard story!