Author: Jim Butcher
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Length: 352 Pages
Release: April 2000
Fantasy is my favorite genre, urban fantasy, however, is difficult for me. This book has been recommended by a lot of friends, so I decided to give it a try. Overall I'm really glad that I did.
The writing style in this was a little difficult for me. The sentence structure confused me at times as it felt like commas were in odd places. This caused me to reread several passages, reworking them in my head, which threw me out of the story at times. After a while I got used to this and it became less of a distraction, but for me there was just something off about the style.
Harry, our main character, who happens to be a wizard investigator living in Chicago, was a really interesting and likable character. I liked how he was somewhat old fashioned and polite, treating women with respect. Some people might read this as being misogynistic, but honestly I found it refreshing. He respected the women that he worked with, found them talented and capable, but he recognized that they were different from men. If everyone was the same the world would be a boring place.
The main thing regarding Harry that bothered me was the lack of background we have on him. There were points throughout that hinted at things that he had done in the past, the family that he lost, but we don't find out a lot of concrete details. Since this is the beginning of a long series, it makes sense that not everything would be explained now, but I would have liked a few more details. It was nice to see that he wasn't an overly confident jerk. He had limitations and he knew what they were. He was also tempted by the darker sides of magic, but he worked his hardest to steer clear of its taint, doing what he believed was right.
All of the side characters were interesting and well developed. Murphy and Mac are two that I am curious about, so I hope that we get to see more of them later in the series. Mister was also a favorite. It was always so much fun to have him around and it made Harry more human.
The worldbuilding was quite good and made it believable. It was nice that Harry wasn't trying to live in secret among the inhabitants of the city. Not everyone knew about him, but it was a nice change from stories where the magical side of the world is a hidden thing. Because that never makes much sense.
The mystery and investigation side of things was a bit lacking for me. A lot of it was fairly predictable and left me slightly detached. I just never felt fully invested in the story.
Overall I enjoyed this, I just didn't think it was amazing. I will be continuing the series at some point and hope that the it gets better as it goes.