Storm Front – final section

With one foot in the nether world of Grad School and the other in reality of the Blogosphere, I have succeeded in doing not much in terms of posting for the Group Reads. I make promises that I never keep! Shame on me! But, here are the final questions for Storm Front by Jim Butcher’s Group Read:

1. Were you disappointed that we didn’t get see any more of Bianca and Harry together? 

Not really. I feel like Jim Butcher is saving her for future plot-lines. She pretty much did her part in this story, but as a character there’s much more interesting baggage to be rummaging through, there. I expect to learn more about her in the next books.


2. We finally get to see Harry go on the magical offensive in this section of the book. Any favorite action moment?

The part when Harry masters the demon and Victor is shrieking, “What are you doing? Kill him, I say! Kill him!” or to that effect but the demon turns on him, instead. It was quite satisfying. Uhh…also, the part when Harry wakes up to realize Morgan just gave him CPR.


3. How did you feel about where Harry and Murphy’s relationship was at when the book ended?

It was frustrating and also cute. Frustrating because Murphy kept messing up Harry’s plans and not trusting him even when she was lying on the office floor being saved by him whilst slowly dying of scorpion poison. But it was also cute because Harry genuinely respects Murphy and their friendship (or, could it become more?) causes him to grumble only slightly under his breath before rushing off to get her out of a sticky situation she didn’t even know she was in. But, definitely, the breach of trust between the two thanks to Harry’s complicating situation might make things tense between them for a while. I feel like Murphy’s not someone who trusts other people easily but she obviously cares about Harry, and it may take a lot to completely ruin their relationship with each other.

4. (This question morphs somewhat into Jeff’s ‘Harry and Murphy’ question, but) How did you feel about the wrap up after the climax, the brief mentions of various characters as part of Harry’s closing narration?

The ending was fitting of a literature-noir. I both liked it and wished for a little more – I guess it’s just perfect, then, for the first book of a series. I certainly finished the book with a sense of elation for Harry’s ultimate success at fixing most of his big problems – I wanted to give the guy a high five and a pat on the back (and possibly, a towel and a dry change of clothes, the poor man seems to run around in the rain naked more than is usual).

5.  Now that you’ve seen Harry in all three acts of a story arc, what are your thoughts about him as a character, particularly in light of this being a debut novel for the series.

I began the story not really feeling anything special for Harry. He seemed to fit into the stereotypical detective persona, and that was comforting, at least, but not much connection beyond that. As I continued reading, he started to grow on me. I have to confess that I don’t often read first person pov books where the main character is a guy, I guess ‘cause I don’t connect as well. The second stage of attachment began with me wanting to give Harry a hug or pet him, the poor guy! He drew out the nurturing instinct in me! Then, I started to empathize with his crazy and sometimes just plain stupidly annoying situations (i.e. the White Council stuff involving Morgan). I moved on from being all, “Aw, poor puppy dog,” to “Oh snap! Nice entrance and very nicely done! You show him! (massive grinning following)”. I don’t know exactly when I moved from bleeding heart mother-relationship to best buddy bro-handshaking-sidekick relationship. I kind have this weird, sisterly feeling towards him, now. Like I want to nose around in his basement, or muss up his hair. Weird, eh?


6.  And finally, a two-parter:  Discuss your overall experience with the book and/or the group read and will you be reading the next book in the series?

I’m sorry to say I was being really not dependable in terms of my contributions to the group read. But, one thing that fell out nicely is my new series and character discovery! Yes, I will be reading the next book. This first one had an excellent plot and even more importantly, a relatable character.

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3 comments

  1. Dear Sharry,

    I’m an award-winning author with a new book of fiction out last month.
    Ugly To Start With is a series of thirteen interrelated stories about
    adolescence published by West Virginia University Press.

    All the stories in my collection have been previously published in
    well-regarded print and online literary magazines such as The Iowa
    Review, Passager, The Bitter Oleander, Confrontation, Salt River
    Review, The Foliate Oak. and The Cortland Review.

    Can I interest you in reviewing it?

    If you write me back at johnmcummings@aol.com, I can email you a PDF of my book. If you require a bound copy, please ask, and I will forward your reply to my publisher. Or you can write directly to Abby Freeland at:

    Abby.Freeland@mail.wvu.edu

    My publisher, I should add, can also offer your readers a free excerpt of my book through a link from your blog to my publisher’s website:
    http://wvupressonline.com/cummings_ugly_to_start_with_9781935978084

    Here’s what Jacob Appel, celebrated author of
    Dyads and The Vermin Episode, says about my new collection: “In Ugly to Start With, set in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, Cummings tackles the challenges of boyhood adventure and family conflict in a taut, crystalline style that captures the triumphs and tribulations of small-town life. He has a gift for transcending the particular experiences to his characters to capture the universal truths of human affection and suffering–emotional truths that the members of his audience will recognize from their own experiences of childhood and adolescence.”

    My short stories have appeared in more than seventy-five literary journals, including North American Review, The Kenyon Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and The Chattahoochee Review. Twice I have been nominated for The Pushcart Prize. My short story “The Scratchboard Project” received an honorable mention in The Best American Short Stories 2007.

    I am also the author of the nationally acclaimed coming-of-age novel The Night I Freed John Brown (Philomel Books, Penguin Group, 2009), winner of The Paterson Prize for Books for Young Readers (Grades 7-12) and one of ten books recommended by USA TODAY.

    For more information about me, please visit:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Michael_Cummings

    Thank you very much, and I look forward to hearing back from you.

    Kindly,

    John Michael Cummings

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