Storm Front by Jim Butcher (Dresden Files Book One)
Returning to "Storm Front" by Jim Butcher after having read fifteen books was an interesting and enjoyable experience. I was impressed when listening to it by both how much of the character and world was there in the first book and also by how much wasn't. If you want a totally spoiler safe review than I'll just say go read, or listen to, "Storm Front" it's a fantastic book. If you want more then continue on.
Starting with what was in the book. Dresden is of course there and largely the same character. He still makes quips and references and still throws himself into mortal danger to protect other people. Karrin Murphy is there too and every bit as tough and cool as she is in the rest of the books. The parts with Susan felt a bit more important in this read and people who have read the later books will know why and then of course there is Bob, who is entertaining in every scene he is in no matter which book he is in as is Toot-Toot who is the entire representation of the fay in this book. Of course there is Marcone is around being both a reluctant ally and problem for Dresden the same as always. Finally we have Mister who is running Dresden's house and pretending she doesn't care about any of the things going on.
But there are plenty of things that aren't there. First, none of the Carpenter's are in this story, or as I recall in the next. Michael and later Molly are some of my favorite characters. Thomas is also missing as is Maggie though she has good reason to not be in this story. There are plenty of other minor character such as Butters and Father Forthill. And of course Mouse isn't in this story probably for the same reason that Maggie isn't.
Beyond the characters there are a ton of worldbuilding elements that aren't yet in this book. Dresden mentions both the nevernever and his fairy godmother in this story but neither really make an appearance. There are any number of enemies who also don't show up and while the white council is a major part of the story the only part of it that is actually in the book is Morgan and since he does almost no magic the only real wizard magic we see in the story is what Harry does.
Even with so much that I know is coming and miss not being there this was a great experience helped in part by being able to share it with someone else. The Dresden Files is one of the best book series around and I can barely wait for Peace Talks.