As Chicago's only openly practicing wizard, Harry Dresden knows a lot about bizarre occurrences. He's also a private investigator, so when the police have a case that can't be explained through normal detective work, they usually call in Harry. They've enlisted his help in solving a gruesome double homicide that appears to have been committed using black magic. As Harry tries to determine how it was done, he also takes on a female client. She wants him to find her missing husband, who might have been dabbling in sorcery. While on the surface, the two cases seem to be unrelated, anything is possible where magic is involved.
The Gathering Storm is a graphic novel adaptation of the first half of Storm Front, the inaugural novel in the Dresden Files series. The book contains four chapters, and each chapter was originally released in comic book format, then collected together into this one hardcover volume. At the end, there is also a bonus comic adaptation of the prequel short story, Restoration of Faith, done by a different artist and story adapter. And at the very back of the book, there are both the line drawings and finished covers for the comic books.
I won't bother critiquing the overall story, because I've already done a review on the full-length novel version of Storm Front, a book that I very much enjoyed. What I will say is that IMHO, The Gathering Storm is an excellent adaptation of the novel into graphic novel form. Even though it's been a while since I read Storm Front, it's all coming back to me, and now in living color.:-) I really like Ardian Syaf's illustrations. I feel like they capture Harry and the other characters, as well as the situations in which they find themselves, quite well. While I've categorized some of the other Dresden Files graphic novels under young adult as well as adult, I would say that The Gathering Storm is firmly in the adult category. It contains some mild to moderate sexuality. Harry is seen naked throughout one scene, although the important parts are strategically covered. There is also a fair bit of violence, including a particularly bloody, gory murder scene.
As for the bonus content, the graphic novelization of Restoration of Faith was done very nicely. When I read the short story, I must have missed that Karrin Murphy was the cop who helped out Harry and his young charge. It was probably because I wasn't yet familiar with the characters who would be playing key roles in the books, so it was nice to get that little blast from the past. I didn't like the art work in this one quite as well. It was done by a different artist, and there was just something about it that didn't quite speak to me in the same way as Ardian Syaf's work on The Gathering Storm did. But overall it was a nice addition to the book. I also enjoyed seeing the original comic book covers at the end.
Overall, I very much enjoyed The Gathering Storm and don't think they could have done any better job of capturing the look and feel of the novel as well as the salient plot points into a comics style format. It was extremely well done, stayed true to the original source material, and is highly recommended by this reader for graphic novel fans.
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