Storm Front (novel)
First edition cover
|Cover artist||Lee MacLeod|
|Series||The Dresden Files|
|Genre||Science fiction, Fantasy novel|
|Publication date||April 1, 2000|
|Media type||Print (Paperback) & AudioBook (Audio Cassette & Audio CD)|
|Pages||322 pp (first edition, paperback)|
|ISBN||ISBN 0-451-45781-1 (first edition, paperback)|
|LC Classification||CPB Box no. 1853 vol. 11|
|Followed by||Fool Moon|
Storm Front is a 2000 novel by science fiction and fantasy author Jim Butcher. It is the first novel in The Dresden Files, his first published series that follows the character of Harry Dresden, professional wizard.
Dresden is hired by a woman to find her husband Victor Sells, an amateur magician who has been acting oddly. Later that day, he gets a call from Lieutenant Karrin Murphy, director of the Special Investigations (SI) Unit of the Chicago Police Department. Murphy's partner shows him the bodies of two people, gruesomely murdered by having their hearts ripped out. Dresden realizes that he is the chief suspect for these magical murders.
Eventually, despite encounters with vampires, the unknown warlock, and the ever-suspicious Warden Morgan, Dresden learns that the affair centers around the drug "ThirdEye", which allows normal humans to temporarily acquire The Sight, something which can drive them insane. Victor Sells has been manufacturing ThirdEye to edge out mob boss Johnny Marcone. Using the energy of thunder storms and the orgies held at his home, he powered the spells to remove his enemies, namely Marcone's men and any one else threatening his operation, in order to gradually bring down Marcone and corner the drug trade.
Dresden interrupts Victor's spellcasting and attacks him, "brains versus muscle", eventually burning down Victor's house while Victor is still inside grappling with monster scorpions and a demon he had summoned to kill Dresden. Dresden survives, but is himself trapped on the balcony of the burning house until Morgan steps in to rescue him. Morgan had witnessed the fight with Victor and, knowing now that Dresden is innocent, reluctantly testifies on Dresden's behalf to the White Council.
Plot points introduced
- Soulgaze: An event where a wizard locks eyes with another human (and only another human, as faeries, vampires etc. don't have human souls) and sees a piece of their souls. It is normally a daunting experience. Later books reveal that the experience is different based on the people involved. Some wizards experience the soulgaze as they would a work of art. Some hear, rather than see, the soulgaze, and some, like Dresden, see symbolic representations of who the other person is.
- Doom of Damocles: A strict probation sometimes issued in lieu of the death sentence for wizards who break the Seven Laws of Magic. If a wizard under the Doom commits another violation, he/she faces immediate execution. Harry was placed under the Doom after he killed in self-defense his mentor, who was trying to turn him toward dark magic; Morgan, a Warden, was assigned to keep watch over him. After Harry exposes and halts Victor Sells's crimes without breaking the Laws again, the White Council lifts the sentence.
List of characters
- Harry Dresden: The protagonist; a professional wizard, the only one listed in the phone book.
- Monica Sells: One of Dresden's clients and the wife of Warlock Victor Sells.
- Lieutenant Karrin Murphy: Director of Special Investigations, Chicago PD.
- Detective Ron Carmichael: Murphy's partner at SI.
- Jennifer Stanton: An employee of the Velvet Room and Monica Sells' sister.
- Tommy Tomm: A bodyguard for Gentleman Johnny Marcone.
- Gentleman Johnny Marcone: The lord of the Chicago underworld.
- Hendricks: A bodyguard for Gentleman Johnny Marcone.
- Spike: a man of Marcone's.
- Mac: The owner-operator of McAnnally's tavern.
- Susan Rodriguez: A reporter at the Midwestern Arcane, and Dresden's love interest.
- Toot-Toot: A dewdrop faerie who helps Dresden.
- Warden Donald Morgan: A law enforcement warden for the White Council, who has a mandate to aid the innocent and punish the guilty.
- Mister: Dresden's 30+ pound house cat.
- Bob: An intelligent air spirit who resides inside a skull in Dresden's sub-basement laboratory.
- Madame Bianca St. Claire: The owner of the Velvet Room and a Red Court vampire.
- Linda Randall: A former employee of the Velvet Room; the Beckitt’s chauffeur; friend and sometime lover to Jennifer Stanton.
- The Beckitts: A rich couple who provide money for Victor Sells.
- Donny Wise: A photographer for a local adult magazine.
- Victor "Shadowman" Sells: The villain of the novel; a warlock; and Monica Sells' husband.
- Jenny and Billy Sells, children of Monica and Victor Sells.
Storm Front in other media
- Storm Front has been recorded as an audio book, narrated by James Marsters.
- The plot of the novel was condensed into a 90-minute prospective television pilot for the Sci Fi Channel. Although the television movie was not used as the pilot episode, it was edited and aired later in the first season.
- The novel was adapted into an eight-issue comic book mini-series, adapted by Mark Powers and illustrated by Ardian Syaf and Brett Booth.
- This novel is available in ebook form on various ereading applications.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Storm Front (novel)|
- The first two chapters of the book and several MP3 clips are on the author's official website.
- Review by J. K. Pelletier FantasyBookNews.com, October, 2009