The score is 3 (Cait) to 2 (Jessi) to 1 (Erin)! Keep track of our Literary Bingo progress here.
Bingo Square: Read an Urban Fantasy, Read a Book in a Week
Book: Storm Front (Dresden Files #1), Jim Butcher
First, a word on the “read a book in a week square.” As previously mentioned, I have been on something of a hiatus from reading. I could make excuses here about work, life and other distractions, but that’s unnecessary. The point is that I required focus and challenge to read more. My experience with the last several books I’ve read have been that I read them on my lunch break at work, get distracted and thus, take ages and ages to get through what should be an easy read. Thus, the square.
What broke this streak for me was a short, cheesy noir-style novel, recommended to me by a friend. Storm Front tells the tale of a wizard for hire who also happens to be a detective. Awesome.
It perfectly fits the urban fantasy genre (thus, killing two squares with one stone… Err, book) – it’s set in modern-day Chicago, yet riddled with magical creatures. Vampires, faeries, mishaps with love potions. In short, exactly what you’d hope for in a novel of this type. And bonus – the story is told as a campy crime noir, complete with trench coats – excuse me, I mean dusters – hot dames, and no-nonsense cops.
Now, Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden (how’s that for a name) is arrogant, snarky and spends, in my opinion, entirely too much time describing how he’s “old fashioned” and likes to open doors for ladies and whatnot. This air of superiority often makes me feel like he is dangerously close to tipping a proverbial fedora at me (like those of the internet neckbeard cringe-worthiness).
However, I am not one to balk at cheesiness of this type – this book appeals to the sides of me that love Castle (who is more arrogant than Richard Castle?) and books about vampire strippers. The mystery was a little predictable, but the drama unfolded at a pace that kept me chuckling and engaged. It’s easy to see that Jim Butcher hadn’t hit his stride with this novel, but he builds out his universe with magic lurking in the dark corners of reality in such a way that you believe it might just be possible.
I’m midway through the second in this series, and I’m already hooked. If you excuse me, I have a date with a tall, dark, hawkish noir stereotype, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.