Monday, 19 September 2011
Storm Front group read - week 1
Last week was week 1 of the group read of Jim Butcher's Storm Front for the RIP VI Challenge. I read some of this fun series, the Dresden Files, a while ago, and then kind of lost the thread, so I'm really happy to start again at the beginning (I'm a great one for starting over). Although I've got some scenes from later books in my head, I really don't remember too much of the plots by now - for instance, I honestly don't remember who makes it through to book 2!
1. What are your first impressions of our main character, Harry Dresden?
I like the way he tries to be hard-boiled and never quite succeeds. You know pretty quickly that he’s a really soft touch and doesn’t mind being one, despite all his protestations. But he’ll carry on trying to persuade himself nonetheless. Oh, and you've got to have a good coat to be a hero, and Harry takes his seriously.*
2. In the first section of the book we are introduced to a large cast of characters. Some in support of our main character and others who are involved in the multiple investigations with agendas unknown to us. Are there any of these characters who stood out to you?
I’ve fallen for Mister the cat, of course, and Bob the Skull. Bob is a brilliant way of getting round the need for a reliable source of information! But I’m always wary of animal characters – authors too often decide that it’s okay for bad things to happen to them just as you get really attached, and I do hope that’s not going to be the case here. Karrin Murphy is obviously set up to be an important character, too.
3. Did you ever watch the Syfy channel's Dresden Files TV adaption? If so did it effect how you approached the novel? Were there positive and/or negative differences that stood out to you?
I’ve got the series on DVD, to watch when I’ve finished reading the books it relates to. I am really hoping that I’ll like it!
4. Any thoughts on Jim Butcher's magic system, Harry's Watcher, and/or the White Council?
The magic is very much the old-fashioned kind: the rules aren’t so clearly defined that contradicting them will become an issue, and the reader is not going to get hung up on checking for consistency. At the same time, it’s defined enough so that the author can’t just do anything, there’s got to be an internal logic to it, and I approve of that. The Watcher is obnoxious, but believable, and the White Council fits well with our preconceptions of a world where magic is part of the nature of things. An all-powerful wizard without the constraints of Watcher and Council would get dull to read about, I think.
5. Lastly, any guess on where Dresden's multiple plot threads will lead and/or any favourite scenes the first section of the book?
I’m not going to go down the where-will-it-lead route because I’ve read Storm Front before (albeit ages ago, and I really can’t remember that much detail) but I do like the scene with the fairy Toot-toot, with both Harry and the fairy playing their roles to the hilt. And there’s something oddly compelling about the potion-making – is it because I like reading cookery books, I wonder?
I’m really looking forward to getting on with the story…
* my son's got Vash the Stampede's duster from Trigun - I'd kill to have one like it, except that I would look ridiculous, it's one of those that you need to be over six foot and incredibly skinny to wear...