So, I've finally read the first Harry Dresden book, bringing my grand total up to two. My husband assures me they get better, and that's good to hear, because although this was fun, it also did not live up to my expectations, given all that I've heard about these books.
As you all undoubtedly know, this book introduces Harry Dresden, wizard. Who works as a wizard-for-hire, despite being under a suspended death sentence from the Council. For vague crimes in his past. (Okay, they're not that vague, at this point, but I'll refrain from spoilers.) He's an occasional consultant for the police, so he gets called in to a rather gruesome case where hearts have been exploding from chests. One of those chests used to belong to an enforcer for a local gangster, so not only is Harry under pressure to come up with results for the police, the gangster is gently suggesting that perhaps Harry just take a pass on this one.
And all this while Harry is just wanting to get back to his office to talk to his first client in months.
Storm Front does a good job of outlining the world and its rules, and I know the mythology behind this series grows considerably. The two cases intertwine interestingly, and in the best noir fashion. And poor Harry gets the shit kicked out of him, progressively. His dogged determination is impressive.
I liked the fairy and Harry's interactions with him. I liked Harry's complete anti-hero persona. But Bob has not grown on me yet. I remember that character fondly from the brief TV show, but this Bob seems to have only one setting so far - horny. Which is vaguely amusing, but not really enough.
The chauvinism is not so cute, and not really excused by the faux apologetic "I know I'm a chauvinist, so get over it!" or "If it's chauvinistic to treat women well, then I'm a chauvinist." Well no, of course not. What is chauvinistic is to treat women like they're less than capable, while telling me how great they are. And admitting it? Doesn't make it go away. It just means you expect your in-my-face edginess to make me, what? Swoon? Nod, and say "oh, sure, that makes it okay?" "Congratulations?" Ugh, whatever. Fortunately, it's not so frequent as to really get under my skin, but man, if he keeps excusing his chauvinism with "well, I know I'm chauvinist, but...," that's going to get really old, really fast.
Other people than I have reviewed these books, and with far more knowledge than I. But from the bird's-eye view of an almost complete newcomer, this was fun, vaguely noir, and not quite as engrossing as I was hoping. But interesting and light enough to make picking up the next one nowhere near a chore.