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Ghost Story

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When we last left the mighty wizard detective Harry Dresden, he wasn't doing well. In fact, he had been murdered by an unknown assassin. But being dead doesn't stop him when his friends are in danger. Except now he has no body, and no magic to help him. And there are also several dark spirits roaming the Chicago shadows who owe Harry some payback of their own. To save his fr When we last left the mighty wizard detective Harry Dresden, he wasn't doing well. In fact, he had been murdered by an unknown assassin. But being dead doesn't stop him when his friends are in danger. Except now he has no body, and no magic to help him. And there are also several dark spirits roaming the Chicago shadows who owe Harry some payback of their own. To save his friends—and his own soul—Harry will have to pull off the ultimate trick without any magic...


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When we last left the mighty wizard detective Harry Dresden, he wasn't doing well. In fact, he had been murdered by an unknown assassin. But being dead doesn't stop him when his friends are in danger. Except now he has no body, and no magic to help him. And there are also several dark spirits roaming the Chicago shadows who owe Harry some payback of their own. To save his fr When we last left the mighty wizard detective Harry Dresden, he wasn't doing well. In fact, he had been murdered by an unknown assassin. But being dead doesn't stop him when his friends are in danger. Except now he has no body, and no magic to help him. And there are also several dark spirits roaming the Chicago shadows who owe Harry some payback of their own. To save his friends—and his own soul—Harry will have to pull off the ultimate trick without any magic...

30 review for Ghost Story

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dan Schwent

    Six months after his death, Harry Dresden returns to Chicago to solve his own murder. Can he keep his friends safe in the process? I've got a lot to say about this. I'll cover the good points first. The Good: Having a ghost come back to solve his own murder isn't a new idea but Butcher did a fairly good job with it here. The supporting cast, Molly in particular, developed quite a bit in Harry's absence. The new character of Fitz has potential, as does Mortimer, who I don't particularly remember. T Six months after his death, Harry Dresden returns to Chicago to solve his own murder. Can he keep his friends safe in the process? I've got a lot to say about this. I'll cover the good points first. The Good: Having a ghost come back to solve his own murder isn't a new idea but Butcher did a fairly good job with it here. The supporting cast, Molly in particular, developed quite a bit in Harry's absence. The new character of Fitz has potential, as does Mortimer, who I don't particularly remember. The intrigue with the faerie court is always a plus. The Bad: I just can't stand Harry Dresden any more. He's like that friend you thought was hilarious in the sixth grade but wanted to strangle by the time you got out of high school. He's an unfunny smart ass with a "funny" quip for every situation. Worse yet, 70% of the characters in the series talk just like him. His Star Wars references are really tired and he's had no significant character development since the series began. (view spoiler)[ Another of the things that bothered be, and they are legion, is that Butcher can't seem to commit to anything that might move the series along. Remember that war between the White Council and their unseen enemy? Yeah, whatever happened with that? That subplot hasn't advanced AT ALL in the last two books. Robert Jordan's corpse called. He said you should pick up the pace and start wrapping this shit up while people still care about it. Remember how the entire Red Court was killed in the last book at Chichen Itza? Not 50 pages into this book, there was speculation that not all of them were killed. WTF, Butcher? How about growing a pair and sticking with your guns for once? Here's another thing that bugs me. Harry comes back from the dead at the end. He was already the biggest Gary Stu character around before he came back. Now that death apparently can't stop him, why should I give a shit about him anymore? Did anyone else notice how the women can't seem to get along without Harry Dresden for six months without falling apart but the men do just fine? Just pointing it out. The resolution to Harry's death? Whatever. It was just there for me and seemed a bit illogical considering he had a daughter to look after. I think my issues with the series stem from the fact that while it's an episodic detective series, Butcher's trying to instill it with an epic feel. The problem is that he can tell a detective story or one that advances the overall plot but can't seem to ever do both at the same time. (hide spoiler)] The Ugly: There comes a time in many relationships to call it quits. Harry Dresden, for us, that day is today. There was a time when the release of a new Harry Dresden book excited me like a pedophile at a pre-teen beauty pageant. I'd snap up the newest book and go after it like Amy Winehouse and a vial of crack. But those days are long gone. I've been going through the motions for the last couple of books and it just isn't working for me anymore. I keep hoping things will get better but they don't. The tediousness continues and I'm ready to move on.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

    So. Good.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Regina

    I love Harry. I love Bob. I love Molly. I love the new and improved Butters. I loved seeing Daniel Carpenter. I love this series. It just is such a comfort read for me. I had forgotten how much I love this series until I started to read this book. The mystery and quest were interesting and unlike much urban fantasy, it was unique – nothing I have read before. Maybe a little of Harry Potter, but I am okay with that. One of the things that is so fantastic about this series is that there are conseq I love Harry. I love Bob. I love Molly. I love the new and improved Butters. I loved seeing Daniel Carpenter. I love this series. It just is such a comfort read for me. I had forgotten how much I love this series until I started to read this book. The mystery and quest were interesting and unlike much urban fantasy, it was unique – nothing I have read before. Maybe a little of Harry Potter, but I am okay with that. One of the things that is so fantastic about this series is that there are consequences. Consequences to dying, consequences to losing loved ones, and consequences to killing. Harry is self reflective and looks back on his actions – he considers what he should have done and questions his own actions. He has regret. This is such a rich, beautiful story. Action – of course there is action, but now too much. Some of the Dresden books have too much action in my opinion, but this one has a great balance. Some of the characters reactions to situations frustrated me, but they were reacting in a very human way. I also enjoy how Butcher revisits past baddies. In most books, the baddies die and everything is solved and the heroes move on to their next quest. Not in this world. In this world, it isn’t that the baddies don’t die, but there are reverberations – so that past decisions to take out the bad guys or remove them have caused new problems to arise. Butcher has gotten better at describing Chicago, but I still saw some factual inaccuracies that drive my crazy. For example, when he was examining a priest’s night table he notes that one of the only earthly goods the priest ones is a King James bible, but Catholics don’t read the King James bible and in fact the Catholic bible is slightly different than the protestant bible. Minor, but I am shocked an editor or Butcher didn’t catch this. I just like being immersed in a story but when there is a glaring factual error, it takes me out of the story. However, I loved this story so much I am still giving it 5 stars. ***** More New Updates:!!!! woohooo!!!!!! Our GHOST STORY preview continues with Chapter 3! http://www.jim-butcher.com/books/dres... If you missed last week's post, you can check them out here: http://www.jim-butcher.com/books/dres... http://www.jim-butcher.com/books/dres... We'll be posting 5 chapters in all over the coming weeks, plus video of Jim reading chapters 1-4 at the NYCC Fan Dinner last October! ** With a little over a month remaining until GHOST STORY's release, it's time for some sample chapters! Chapter 1: http://www.jim-butcher.com/books/dres... Chapter 2: http://www.jim-butcher.com/books/dres... In all, we’ll be posting five sample chapters, plus bonus audio of Jim reading the first four chapters at the NY Comic Con Fan Dinner! (NOTE: You should definitely read the text version before listening to Jim read. He was reading from an earlier draft, and some aspects have changed slightly.) They will be posted on the following schedule: June 28th: Chapter 3 July 5th: Chapter 4, plus the audio for 1 and 2. July 12th: Chapter 5, plus the audio for 3 and 4. July 26th: Release day! You can pre-order GHOST STORY from our store or through the Virtual Signing, which now also includes the DFRPG! Our Store: http://www.jim-butcher.com/store The Virtual Signing: http://www.jim-butcher.com/posts/2011... Also, don't forget that the Virtual Signing for Codex Alera map posters ends on June 28th, just over a week away! If you want a map signed by Jim and Priscilla, the artist, get your pre-order in soon. http://priscellie.com/store/ http://us.penguingroup.com/static/pag... You can also download GHOST STORY desktop wallpaper here: http://www.jim-butcher.com/posts/2011... In the month leading up to the July 26th release, we'll have even more GHOST STORY goodies for you, here at Jim-Butcher.com. In all, we'll be posting five sample chapters, plus bonus audio of Jim reading the first four chapters at the NY Comic Con Fan Dinner! It will be posted on the following schedule: June 21: Chapter 2 June 28: Chapter 3 July 5th: Chapter 4, plus the audio for 1 and 2. July 12th: Chapter 5, plus the audio for 3 and 4. July 26th: Release day! *********************New release date -- July 26, 2011 Following an in-interview announcement by Jim at MarsCon over the weekend, we’ve updated the site to reflect the new release date for Ghost Story: July 26, 2011. Said Jim (paraphrased): “It came down to, readers could either get a half-assed story in April, or a full-assed one in July!”

  4. 4 out of 5

    Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

    Freaking bananas amazing. Utterly brilliant, perfectly done, with a flawless audiobook narration, the best I've ever heard from James Marsters. One of the reasons that this book was narrated so flawlessly, I think, is that it was very recently re-done by Marsters after fans revolted when originally another narrator read this story. Marsters brought his A-game, and listening to this book was better than watching any movie. Marsters did an incredible range of voices, read with perfect inflections, Freaking bananas amazing. Utterly brilliant, perfectly done, with a flawless audiobook narration, the best I've ever heard from James Marsters. One of the reasons that this book was narrated so flawlessly, I think, is that it was very recently re-done by Marsters after fans revolted when originally another narrator read this story. Marsters brought his A-game, and listening to this book was better than watching any movie. Marsters did an incredible range of voices, read with perfect inflections, and simply RUINED me for other narrators. It was so good that I listened to almost 18 hours of audiobook in just under 3 days. Picture that, my friends. The story... I have no words. Just flawless, woven brilliantly, and crafted expertly. I bow down to you, oh Jim Butcher, for creating something so magical for me to enjoy.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Luffy

    This was a very uneven book, with lots of filler material. Harry lives to fight again. It's as if he never left. It's as if we're back to square one. Shoot, Jim Butcher has officially exhausted any permutations of wisdom that used to guarantee 5 stars from me. This book... such a bland book with a sugary end tacked on. One piece of advice to demanding readers; you'll enjoy the rest of this series only if you lower your expectations as much as you can.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Heidi The Reader

    Harry Dresden, wizard for hire, is dead. And he still has to save the world by discovering his killer. How is that fair? Maybe I was dead, but I was sure as hell not ready to go. I had to make sure the people who'd helped me take on the Red King were taken care of. pgs 32-33 He quickly discovers that magic and dead people don't mix. Now, instead of taking on god-like enemies with the backing of the Winter Queen, he can't even pass through thresholds without permission. It's frustrating for both Har Harry Dresden, wizard for hire, is dead. And he still has to save the world by discovering his killer. How is that fair? Maybe I was dead, but I was sure as hell not ready to go. I had to make sure the people who'd helped me take on the Red King were taken care of. pgs 32-33 He quickly discovers that magic and dead people don't mix. Now, instead of taking on god-like enemies with the backing of the Winter Queen, he can't even pass through thresholds without permission. It's frustrating for both Harry and the reader. I didn't realize how much I enjoyed reading about Harry blowing stuff up until he couldn't do it anymore. One of the things a lot of people don't understand about magic is that the rules of how it works aren't hard-and-fast; they're fluid, changing with time, with the seasons, with location, and with the intent of a practitioner. pg 179. And if you're alive or dead. We spend a lot of time in Harry's mind and memory in Ghost Story and less time in action. Frankly, it's not as much fun as the other books in the series. "You have entered a new world. Your old life is no more. You cannot be a part of it any longer. The wide universe stretches before you." pg 185 I also didn't realize how much I enjoyed the give-and-take of the characters in this series until the main character couldn't interact with most of them anymore. Ghosts who weren't supermighty manifested all the time. It wasn't a question of raw power, and it never had been — it was a matter of desire. You just had to be crazy enough to make it happen." pg 550 That being said, the ending of this book was strangely satisfying. And I cried at the part with Mouse. Overall, I'm glad I read it, but I'm not of the opinion that it was the best in the series. I would have already started on the next book but there's a wait list for the digital copy. Library user problems, sigh.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mike (the Paladin)

    Okay...so I'm a Dresden junkie. I got the book yesterday and finished it (this time LOL) at 1:30 this morning. The book picks up pretty much as the last book ends and.....****************** NOTE: THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR THE LAST BOOK, CHANGES. I WILL BE ASSUMING THAT IF YOU ARE READING GHOST STORY YOU HAVE READ CHANGES........... Okay, as I was saying, the book picks up pretty much as the last book (Changes) ends, though time doesn't run in death as it does here. Don't ask me, I don't Okay...so I'm a Dresden junkie. I got the book yesterday and finished it (this time LOL) at 1:30 this morning. The book picks up pretty much as the last book ends and.....****************** NOTE: THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR THE LAST BOOK, CHANGES. I WILL BE ASSUMING THAT IF YOU ARE READING GHOST STORY YOU HAVE READ CHANGES........... Okay, as I was saying, the book picks up pretty much as the last book (Changes) ends, though time doesn't run in death as it does here. Don't ask me, I don't know why. Harry having died is probably a little relieved that he might get to lay back and "rest in peace" (though his ultimate after-life disposition does concern him a bit). He's still a little preoccupied about leading everyone who cares/cared about him on what seemed pretty much a suicide mission...oh and murdering his child's mother. But hey everyone has a bad day now and then right? Unfortunately upon arriving at "Between" (that's apparently "between life and death" though Harry never really gets a straight answer to that either.), Harry finds that he's not moving on to anything as simple and restful as hell, no there were..."irregularities" about his death. So what else is new for Harry? Should he (or for that matter we) have been surprised or expected anything else? Anyone who's read many of my posts knows that I am a Jim Butcher fan. And while there could be said to be some "issues" with the books it says something that none of them are "deal-breakers" for me. (For example, don't get your theology from novels...) I have read all these books (and most of the Codex Alera books, a few of those still to go). I snap up the Dresden books as soon as I can, and I recommend them. There will always be a matter of taste with any book or series of books. I enjoy Mr. Butcher's turn of phrase, I enjoy his sense of humor and I enjoy his story telling. This book has all those things and moves our main character into a situation (or set of situations) that is (are) not typical of what we've seen before. What's good and what's not so good here? Well, on the "not so good" side there may be a bit of a feeling that things are moving a bit slowly. By that I don't mean there's a lack of action, anything but. I mean that for those of us who see the Story moving or trying to move forward there may be times that it starts to feel that we're sort of taking a couple of steps back before we move forward. (And I'm not really talking about the flashback sequences there.)Personally I thought Harry himself moved forward a bit slowly here. There were for me a few times I felt a little like I was circling, but be aware, it didn't really gripe me. The story flowed and the gaps were/are getting filled in. There is obviously a saga building. As one character says (I won't say who as that might be spoilerish) "it's one of those "it's about the journey not the destination" things". You are going to find out a bit more about Harry's background here, get a look at a couple of things we've only seen mentioned in passing before and also begin considering things from a totally different perspective. So...good book. Highly recommended, as a matter of fact, my highest "brain candy" recommendation.I'll list it among my favorites along with the rest of the series. I'm now awaiting the announcement of the release date for Cold Days. Pathetic huh? LOL (view spoiler)[I had "indulged" in much discussion as to who was behind Harry's murder. A friend here on Goodreads had suggested that Harry himself might have been behind it. I had dismissed this because Harry had given the "big promise" to Mab that he wouldn't suicide. The idea that he would ask Molly to "mess in his head" thus breaking the laws of magic (and worse asking Molly to break the laws of magic) also further damaging Molly was something I didn't think Harry would do... I was of course, wrong. I assume this is/was all part of the Harry has gone too far; Harry has crossed a line point. Uriel opens a lot up for Harry when he lets Harry look at what he (Harry)said and did. When Harry said he'd let the world burn to save Maggie he was (in effect) saying he'd let Molly burn (and of course by extension Thomas, Butters, Mouse and Mister...and Murphy burn). Not to mention he had to realize that he was saying to save his daughter he would kill or allow to die a lot of other father's daughters. A lot still coming...how will he interact with Mab, what happened with Bob... Who or what is the parasite... who whispered in his ear... ? Hope I live to see the series complete. Come on Jim, I'm closing on 60. LOL (hide spoiler)]

  8. 4 out of 5

    Faith Hunter

    If I wasn't married, I'd take this character home to meet mama and her sister. Course, they might scare him off...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. First read: 26-30 July, 2011. Re-read: November, 2012 Obviously, someone who's read this far in the series is a fan. For anyone unfamiliar with Dresden, this is not the book to start with. There are lots of fascinating, cool, poignant, and funny things about this book I could go on and on about, but if you've read the book, you already know about them. I've put a spoiler-cloak on this because of the one major plot point I am going to mention, just in case someone who isn't up to speed yet is surfi First read: 26-30 July, 2011. Re-read: November, 2012 Obviously, someone who's read this far in the series is a fan. For anyone unfamiliar with Dresden, this is not the book to start with. There are lots of fascinating, cool, poignant, and funny things about this book I could go on and on about, but if you've read the book, you already know about them. I've put a spoiler-cloak on this because of the one major plot point I am going to mention, just in case someone who isn't up to speed yet is surfing reviews. Butcher didn't disappoint me. While the "mostly dead" plot can drive me crazy at times, it's crafted well here. I kept turning the pages, eager to see how it would all turn out and sometimes wondering if Butcher really was going to sucker punch us, after all. As I (and, no doubt, tons of other fans) always suspected, Butcher could not let the plotline of Harry becoming Winter Knight go to waste. I figured either Lea or Mab would save Harry, and it turned out to be Mab. The why of Harry's shooting, however, turned out to be much more amazing than the who or the how. It was great to see so many recurring characters again, interacting in new ways. In particular, Molly, Murphy, and Butters had me both impressed and worried. Butcher has such a way with the narrative voice. After 13 novels, 1 book of short stories, and a graphic novel, it's almost as if Harry is someone I know, talking to me. He is one of my all-time favourite fictional characters now--flawed, noble, sweet, goofy, damaged, angry, funny, clever, complex. I really enjoyed the backstory in this one, about Harry's childhood and teenage years. All the humour and pop culture references are so much fun for us SFF geeks, too, on top of Butcher's clever use of various aspects of legend and myth. The Dresdenverse has become a much different place since the events of Changes, and there is a lot of potential for fascinating new plots. I look forward to continuing the journey. I'm also going to re-read Changes and Ghost Story back-to-back to look closely at how they fit together before the release of the next book. On the second reading (6-21 November, 2012), I do think Changes and Ghost Story flow together well.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Evgeny

    I can only give 2.5 stars plus 0.5 out of my respect for the series. Harry was sent back to the world of mortals as a ghost to investigate his own murder. When he came back, Chicago changed a lot - and not for the good. Yet another new enemies appeared, worse than the old ones - as usual. Oh yeah, we never actually see them. Harry's friends changed, too. There are several problems with the book. Harry is first and foremost an action hero constantly on his guilt trip, but when this trip happens to I can only give 2.5 stars plus 0.5 out of my respect for the series. Harry was sent back to the world of mortals as a ghost to investigate his own murder. When he came back, Chicago changed a lot - and not for the good. Yet another new enemies appeared, worse than the old ones - as usual. Oh yeah, we never actually see them. Harry's friends changed, too. There are several problems with the book. Harry is first and foremost an action hero constantly on his guilt trip, but when this trip happens to be between the action bits, it is not too bad. This time he cannot do anything to material things, so what he does the whole book is talking a lot and feeling guilty for anything and everything (I was seriously expecting him to find a way to blame himself for Crucifixion of Jesus; I kid you not, I would not be surprise if he did). The repeating parts of the series finally beginning to get old for me. After reading description of Soulgaze for thirteenth time I can repeat it in my sleep. I am ashamed to say, I was glad Harry's apartment was destroyed in the previous book as I hoped I will not have to read its description yet again. Boy was I wrong! Luckily where was nothing about his car in this book, which is a blessing, I guess. I really did not like the way the characters of Butters and Murphy is developing. Butters was great because he was never an action hero, just a guy with (barely) enough courage to do the right thing. In this book, he is doing an action hero thing. Murphy does not want to look into Harry's murder because she is afraid that she would find a proof of guilt of her boyfriend (?). Is this the way a really strong woman should behave? Is it too much to ask that villains killed by Dresden stay dead? For now only good guys stay dead, almost every bad person/entity comes back one way or the other. I might have read too many books of Agatha Christie, but I figured Harry's murder sometime in the first half of the book, so no big surprises in this case. All in all, I consider this to be just a filling material and hope the next book is better.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tammie

    ***Please note that this review will contain spoilers from the last book in the series.*** To save his friends—and his own soul—Harry will have to pull off the ultimate trick without any magic... This one was so good! Ghost Story starts right where Changes left off with Harry roaming around in a place that is between life and death, where he observes his friends and promptly becomes worried for them. The main thing I wanted from this book was to find out who shot Harry in the last one, and of ***Please note that this review will contain spoilers from the last book in the series.*** To save his friends—and his own soul—Harry will have to pull off the ultimate trick without any magic... This one was so good! Ghost Story starts right where Changes left off with Harry roaming around in a place that is between life and death, where he observes his friends and promptly becomes worried for them. The main thing I wanted from this book was to find out who shot Harry in the last one, and of course I also wanted to find out how he was going to be brought back to life, because we all know this isn't the last book in the series, and we can't have The Dresden Files series without Harry. Let's just say I didn't see that explanation coming. In the last book Harry did a few things that surprised me all on behalf of his daughter and he continued to surprise me in this book as well. Ghost Story in general was a little different from the rest of the series, but I liked it, it really moved me. As always I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. Review also posted at Writings of a Reader

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

    Well, bless Audible's little heart. One spring morning I received this email: "Dear Listener, Here at Audible, we truly understand the power great performances bring to your favorite stories. And for long-running series, no matter how good a new voice may be, it can be hard to hear someone else bring beloved characters to life. So when Ghost Story: A Novel of the Dresden Files, Book 13, was narrated by someone other than series regular James Marsters, some listeners were disappointed. We're happy Well, bless Audible's little heart. One spring morning I received this email: "Dear Listener, Here at Audible, we truly understand the power great performances bring to your favorite stories. And for long-running series, no matter how good a new voice may be, it can be hard to hear someone else bring beloved characters to life. So when Ghost Story: A Novel of the Dresden Files, Book 13, was narrated by someone other than series regular James Marsters, some listeners were disappointed. We're happy to report that Ghost Story has since been re-recorded with the inimitable Marsters at the helm - and, since you're a fan of this series, we want you to have it free." "Disappointed" didn't quite cover it. I want to create a movie–style poster for this book, with a one–word tagline: "BOO". Ghost Story is one of those books whose end – even if you kind of pretty much know it's coming – was still enough to rock me back on my heels. And to make me want to go back and listen to the book again, to pay attention to all those things that didn't seem to need so much attention the first time around. This interlude teaches Harry some valuable lessons – unable to act, he learns to consider more than he's ever had the chance to do before. A valuable trait, considering what is to come. See, this is why I tend not to write reviews of these series that I love so much. For one thing, I started reading Dresden back in the Cretaceous not too long after it was published, before I was really in the habit of writing reviews at all. Fast forward fifteen years (!), and I've read the first books a few times each, and Harry's in my bloodstream. Harry and Molly and Mouse and Mister and old Uncle Tom Cobley and all are part of my life. While the books are (or at least can be) very different from each other, it's hard to keep all my reviews from coming out very much the same: "I love Harry Dresden, I adore James Marsters, I am in love with James Marsters reading Harry Dresden, these books are great", etc. I should look on it as an exercise in writing: how to write the same love song over and over, some fifteen times by now, and make it readable… but I don't. Ghost Story, of course, is not your usual Harry Dresden insofar as there is a usual Harry Dresden, and so … One review I saw mentions that the reviewer is tired of Harry Dresden, doesn't find him funny anymore. I do. I'm not. Maybe it's partly James Marsters reading it; maybe it's not. I don't know. I don't care. I'm still having a great time after fifteen books (and this, #13, twice in seven months), and I would be very happy indeed to know that Harry and Jim Butcher and I will all get very very old together. And then there was the famous flying broomstick incident of Wacker Drive… Surprisingly, I think I laughed more listening to this audiobook than the others in the series. If there was any doubt that Harry Dresden and Jim Butcher are big ol' geek–nerds, this puts paid to that idea. Harry's new "superpowers" ("BAMF!" made me so very happy), and the quote he uses to prove he is himself, and the Gandalf internal monologue, and so on – so wonderful. And: I mean, go figure. You prepare your home for an assault and you don't take zombies into consideration. I'd fallen victim to one of the other classic blunders, along with not getting involved in a land war in Asia and never going in against a Sicilian when death was on the line. AND a Pink Floyd reference: "How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?" Well done, sir. "There are two kinds of people in the world, Molly: Star Wars fans, and Star Trek fans. This is shocking." Look, Mister Wizard, you can identify who's what on the Old Trek bridge, so just you shush. (I still wonder why Harry never saw Firefly, though. Maybe because it didn't last long enough on tv and his VCR/DVD player tends to malfunction – ?) But there was also, kind of obviously, a lot of heart–string–yanking (nothing so gentle as tugging here). There is a really lovely story about that time Justin DuMorne gave Harry a baseball glove … and then a few minutes later he relates the fact that Justin trained him how to shield himself by throwing fastballs at him. Damn. As if I needed another reason for my heart to bleed for the very young Harry. I should, I suppose, take a step back and acknowledge that, much as I do love Marsters, these aren't perfect narrations. Take, for example, the phrase "sleeping quarters"; emphasis on the wrong word changes the meaning rather a bit. That sort of thing happens now and then, as with most narrators. But then I need to take that step forward again and reiterate that I really don't care. It's not perfect; it is more enjoyable than I would ever dare to expect. Harry says, Girls don't flock to the guy who drives the old car, reads a lot of books, and kicks down the doors of living nightmares. Harry, you've been hanging out with the wrong women.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jilly

    I do love Harry Dresden, don't get me wrong, but he's a ghost solving his own murder in this book? Seriously? I'm supposed to take this seriously? this guy is more believable... I mean, I get that this book and world is fantasy, but.... It's not just that, it's also just really really lame. Like, been done - too many times - and not well - lame. And, that's not the only problem I had with this particular book in the series. It was also incredibly boring. Harry was introspective. Introspective!!! I do love Harry Dresden, don't get me wrong, but he's a ghost solving his own murder in this book? Seriously? I'm supposed to take this seriously? this guy is more believable... I mean, I get that this book and world is fantasy, but.... It's not just that, it's also just really really lame. Like, been done - too many times - and not well - lame. And, that's not the only problem I had with this particular book in the series. It was also incredibly boring. Harry was introspective. Introspective!!! That's just not Harry. He's a goofball. A wise-cracking, act-first think-later kind of guy. That's his charm. I mean, I get why. He had to see the fall-out from his decisions of the last book, but it was boring to read. Plus, it didn't actually change anything. He ended up where he started. Plus, after all of that introspection, he never actually truly understood why what he did to Molly was so very wrong. He still didn't quite get it. The only two bright spots while trudging through this book were Bob & Butter's relationship - which was awesome and fun, and Molly's transformation - which was scary. I can't wait to get to the next book where Harry is back to himself again. I will think of this one as a bump in the road.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Fonzie

    Wow. After the 4 plus months Butcher needed to write this I expected something epic. So I was a little fearful of finally reading the book - I mean I usually read them in one night and then have to wait a whole year for the next one. Not this one, though. This book is a huge disappointment. I have been trying to read it for 3 days now, and couldn't get further than half of it. I keep drifting off to wash the dishes, collect laundry, read a better book even. Gone is the wit, the sarcasm, the spark, Wow. After the 4 plus months Butcher needed to write this I expected something epic. So I was a little fearful of finally reading the book - I mean I usually read them in one night and then have to wait a whole year for the next one. Not this one, though. This book is a huge disappointment. I have been trying to read it for 3 days now, and couldn't get further than half of it. I keep drifting off to wash the dishes, collect laundry, read a better book even. Gone is the wit, the sarcasm, the spark, everything I loved in the previous books. This one is gritty and boring and moves at a snail's pace. It feels like Butcher had to fill more pages so he wrote fillers. Fluff. Oh and Sir Whatshisname is the most boring character in the series. This is not the real stuff. After 12 books of the Dresden files I stand bewildered, not sure if Butcher lost his touch or simply doesn't care. Maybe he expects us, that after 12 great books, we will lap it up no matter how bad it is? After pushing the release date back 4 months?! (Come to think of it, it should have been my first clue.) I'm disappointed. I can't stress how much. This book isn't worth it. And definitely wasn't worth the wait. *update* I finally finished it a few days ago. The last third of the book did shed some light on what happened, why it happened. For me it wasn't much of a surprise to learn who killed Harry - or why. Sure, the "how" of it did interest me, and it was written nicely, but it still didn't make up for the utter boredom of the first half of the book. And even if the ending isn't as big of a cliffhanger as the last one, it still is one. I would be really annoyed if I liked the book and wanted more.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    Harry Dresden for President! (This week anyway!) I really enjoyed this story. It was pretty interesting watching Harry in ghost form trying to save his friends without a body! I love Dresden's character. He is prepared to throw down against an angel when he thought she was going to take one of his friends, he defends the weak and powerless, and will do anything for those he loves and for the majority of the time it is this character trait that gets him into so much trouble. He has always been a s Harry Dresden for President! (This week anyway!) I really enjoyed this story. It was pretty interesting watching Harry in ghost form trying to save his friends without a body! I love Dresden's character. He is prepared to throw down against an angel when he thought she was going to take one of his friends, he defends the weak and powerless, and will do anything for those he loves and for the majority of the time it is this character trait that gets him into so much trouble. He has always been a strong believer in doing the right thing and managed to avoid crossing the moral line until the previous book. The pay off comes in these books now as we have a long history of getting to know Dresden's friends, who are as quirky and diverse as Dresden himself. The highlight of this book for me was looking into the inside of Bob's skull- home! Recommended for all Dresden fans. Read the previous twelve first though!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ranting Dragon

    http://www.rantingdragon.com/ghost-st... Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard, has been a lot of things in his life: friend, enemy, apprentice, teacher, guardian, avenger, victim, and lover; not to mention shot, stabbed, bruised, and beaten. But dead? That’s a new one in his book. When an unknown killer puts a bullet through Harry’s chest and leaves him to die in the cold waters of Lake Michigan, Harry thinks it’s all over. But even dead, he can’t seem to catch http://www.rantingdragon.com/ghost-st... Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard, has been a lot of things in his life: friend, enemy, apprentice, teacher, guardian, avenger, victim, and lover; not to mention shot, stabbed, bruised, and beaten. But dead? That’s a new one in his book. When an unknown killer puts a bullet through Harry’s chest and leaves him to die in the cold waters of Lake Michigan, Harry thinks it’s all over. But even dead, he can’t seem to catch a break. Without a body, his powers, or any way to interact with anyone, Harry is sent back to the mortal world to solve his own murder. And if he fails, three of his friends will experience unbelievable agony and torment. It’s a literal race of life and death, and Harry’s not the only specter in Chicago. There are those who remember his habit for knocking off the bad guys and who are itching for some payback. It’s a game for keeps, and Harry has to pull off the ultimate trick—without magic. If he can’t… he will face eternity as just another lost soul. Pushes the limits of Harry’s worlds Ghost Story pushes and expands the boundaries of The Dresden Files, especially in the worldbuilding. The novel takes Harry to a new place—a place where he cannot use magic to simply smash or burn his way through his problems. While not technically a new physical location, the metaphysical and magical rules have changed—for the rules of being a ghost are largely dependent upon the ghost itself. Where before the reader saw what happens to spiritual constructs when they go up against the mortal world from the mortal side of things, now they get to see the flip side: what happens when you cannot physically interact with the world without running the risk of oblivion. It’s a definite shift in the setting of the series—and it only gets more twisty and mind-blowing from there. Plot games A longtime reader of Butcher’s, I have come to expect the labyrinth of plot twists which he throws into his books. However, even though I was expecting the idea of plot twists, the specifics of most of them proceeded to blow my mind. Butcher is one of those authors who will plant a small but crucial detail in the second book of a series, but said detail won’t become relevant until book eleven. The twists in Ghost Story definitely reflect this mindset, and even though the story is ultimately about Harry’s experiences, the overall plot of the series gets thrown for some loops, too. Secondary characters with primary problems Due largely in part to the protagonist’s inability to affect most of the world, much of the novel revolves around the secondary characters. While the previous novel (Changes) was, in Butcher’s words, “building up the model city of Tokyo and then finally [getting] to strap on the Godzilla suit and knock it all down,”[Source] Ghost Story is the true game changer of the series. In the time between Changes and Ghost Story, secondary characters had to step up to the plate, and in Ghost Story, many of the true changes in character are revealed. Some characters have taken turns into despair while others have found their element and come into their own. Yet others have lost themselves, making deals and doing deeds they never would have contemplated before. All of these come together in the novel, with some truly awe-inspiring character development. A gorgeously flawed protagonist Harry Dresden, until recently, has been seen as somewhat of a proverbial white knight. Sure, he has his taints of darkness, but they pale in comparison to his more idealistic traits. In Ghost Story, however, Harry has the time to spend on reflection and realizes that he may have become what he had always fought against. And yet, if given the chance to go back and redo his choices, Harry realizes that he would make the exact same decisions—and to hell with the consequences. (Incidentally, that’s sort of what happened because of his choices, but that’s neither here nor there.) This mule-headed stubbornness to stick by his own decisions—even when he knows that they were morally wrong and largely unjustifiable—makes for a beautifully flawed protagonist, something I love to see in any book. Heart-wrenching and tear-jerking While reviews are personal reactions by their very nature, they are often more detached and objective in delivery—at least, that’s what I attempt to do in my reviews. But I wouldn’t be doing this novel justice if I didn’t throw in my personal reactions. At any rate, Ghost Story is the most emotionally wrenching novel I have read to date. The cliffhanger at the end of Changes left me a gibbering idiot for hours after I finished it, but the sheer emotional weight of Ghost Story makes Changes pale in comparison. Butcher’s writing truly made me feel for the characters, for what they were going through, and, in total, I spent probably about a third of the book in tears. Some of the twists left me gaping at the pages in stunned horror, but always turning the page to find out what happened next. The climactic sequence at the end of the novel had me crying, sitting in stunned silence, and ready to throw the book at the wall in anger, all in equal measures. The plights of the characters, these characters who I’ve grown up with since I was thirteen, truly grabbed at my heartstrings, and yanked on them a number of times. Some novels have been able to leave me staring at the page, but none of them have ever pulled so much of an emotional reaction from me. And that ability to draw such reactions from a reader is, in my opinion, the definition of truly great writing. So, why should you read this book? For newcomers to the series: you can read this book… But, you won’t understand a lot of it. Even with the previous novel, a newcomer to the series could read it and not be totally lost. But there has been so much backstory and worldbuilding over the first twelve books in the series which comes into play in Ghost Story that a new reader would probably be overwhelmed. Butcher himself said that Ghost Story is “the LEAST stand-aloney book of the series” and that “skipping ahead to it will get [a new reader] a lot of stuff that is inexplicable.”[Source] So, as with any series, I recommend you begin with book one. In this case, Storm Front. This series has been in the works for over ten years, and Butcher’s writing style has greatly improved since he began. While there isn’t a review for Storm Front on The Ranting Dragon, I urge readers to make it to book four (Summer Knight) before deciding to continue with the series or to drop it, as things really begin to pick up speed there. Now, for those who have read along since the beginning and made it through to the end of Changes? I’m probably preaching to the choir. Because in my mind, how can you not read Ghost Story after that cliffhanger? That being said, if you have stuck with the series but haven’t yet picked up Ghost Story, I strongly urge you to do so. The tone and setting are completely different from the rest of the series, and the worldbuilding and character developments are simply breathtaking. Harry’s world is put through its paces, and I personally cannot wait to see where book fourteen, Cold Days, leads us.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Juli

    Ghost Story is the 13th book in the Dresden Files series. After being murdered by an unknown assailant, Dresden finds himself back on earth searching for his killer. He wants to fulfill his mission and help his friends, but it's difficult to get things done as a spirit. Dresden will have to learn how to function as a ghost, while still getting to the bottom of the evil plaguing Chicago. Can Harry Dresden manage it without a body...or magic? This is probably my favorite book in the series so far. Ghost Story is the 13th book in the Dresden Files series. After being murdered by an unknown assailant, Dresden finds himself back on earth searching for his killer. He wants to fulfill his mission and help his friends, but it's difficult to get things done as a spirit. Dresden will have to learn how to function as a ghost, while still getting to the bottom of the evil plaguing Chicago. Can Harry Dresden manage it without a body...or magic? This is probably my favorite book in the series so far. Dresden has to get creative in order to interact with his friends and investigate his murder. Lots of twisty, interesting action in this book. This series just keeps getting more and more interesting. I'm very glad I'm a bit behind because I'm an impatient reader. If I had been forced to wait for a new book after finishing the cliffhanger ending of Changes (book #12), I would have had a rough time! As it is, I'm biding my time in finishing up this series because book #16, Peace Talks, still doesn't have a firm publication date. It's been years. Hopefully this is not a case of what I call George R.R. Martin Syndrome where new books are years and years and years late...while the author writes comics, books in other series and works on television scripts.... Sigh. I think I will stop reading this series and take a break until Peace Talks has a release date. Then I can time my reading so I don't get stuck waiting months for resolution. Love this series! It's my favorite urban fantasy series since Simon Green's Nightside series ended. I listened to the audio version of this book. In fact, I had to change audiobooks in the middle. Half of what I listened to was narrated by John Glover....and half by James Marsters. I really prefer James Marsters narration. He gets the humor and tone of the characters right and always does a masterful job of acting. Not that John Glover was bad.....his reading was excellent. Marsters is just better, IMHO. I'm not really ragging on Jim Butcher either. I realize he had a bit of upheaval in his personal life...got divorced, built a house, remarried, etc. I get it. Authors have lives and important business has to be settled so writing can be a focus again. Understandable. But.....it's been years.....time to give us readers a date and get it done. I will patiently (or just a bit grumpily) wait awhile longer, but I'm giving Dresden a break until I know the new book is coming. Not dealing with any cliffhangers until I have Book 16 in my hands. :)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    It looks like I was wrong to give this series another chance. I used to love Harry Dresden but somewhere around #11 the quality really plummeted. Dresden is pretty much so powerful now that he doesn't have to worry about much. Worse, the gamer jokes just don't hold up that well compared to a few novels back and it seems like the body language gestures and dialogue are too similar between all of the characters. So Harry dies and becomes a ghost and he has to save his friends but is limited aaaannn It looks like I was wrong to give this series another chance. I used to love Harry Dresden but somewhere around #11 the quality really plummeted. Dresden is pretty much so powerful now that he doesn't have to worry about much. Worse, the gamer jokes just don't hold up that well compared to a few novels back and it seems like the body language gestures and dialogue are too similar between all of the characters. So Harry dies and becomes a ghost and he has to save his friends but is limited aaaannnndddd you get the idea. I'm sure he'll come back. No surprises there. OVERALL GRADE: C

  19. 4 out of 5

    Audrey

    This is the first Dresden book not narrated by James Marsters. I don’t mind the new guy (I think he even went out of his way to match Marsters’s character voices), but by this point James Marsters IS Harry Dresden. Farewell, dear performer. For much of this book, it felt like it would be the last Dresden book. But now I see there are at least two more. So the last book ended with Harry in quite a pickle. Despite his “condition,” he’s given a quest. (view spoiler)[ As a ghost, he must discover his This is the first Dresden book not narrated by James Marsters. I don’t mind the new guy (I think he even went out of his way to match Marsters’s character voices), but by this point James Marsters IS Harry Dresden. Farewell, dear performer. For much of this book, it felt like it would be the last Dresden book. But now I see there are at least two more. So the last book ended with Harry in quite a pickle. Despite his “condition,” he’s given a quest. (view spoiler)[ As a ghost, he must discover his killer. (hide spoiler)] Harry neglects the quest for most of the book, focusing more on a grand search-and-rescue mission. There are also a lot of flashback memories for Harry, and so a lot of the book felt slow to me. But it’s a must-read in the Dresden Files and sheds more light on the events of the previous book. Despite the book’s overall somber tone, I got some nerdy chuckles out of it: “There are two kinds of people in the universe, Molly,” I said. “Star Trek fans and Star Wars fans. This is shocking.” She sniffed. “This is the post-nerd-closet world, Harry. It’s okay to like both.” “Blasphemy and lies,” I said. I guessed the Corpsetaker had never read Tolkien. Tasteless bitch. “What kind of idiot are you?” Butters replied. “I might as well put on a red shirt and volunteer for the away team.” It would require a singularly stupid man to go hang around in narrow tunnels and cramped spaces alongside a threat like that. “And I, Harry Dresden, am that man,” I stated. I mean, go figure. You prepare your home for an assault and you don’t take zombies into consideration. I’d fallen victim to one of the other classic blunders, along with not getting involved in a land war in Asia and never going in against a Sicilian when death was on the line. What the hell kind of Hell was this supposed to be? Thank you, Jim Butcher, for this one: The screen came up to light again, showing a devastated section of the city grid. No, not decimated. Had that part of the city been decimated, one out of every ten buildings would be destroyed. That’s what decimated means. Personally, I think some early-years, respected television personality got decimated and devastated confused at some point, and no one wanted to point it out to him, so everyone started using them interchangeably. But dammit, words mean what they mean, even if everyone thinks they ought to mean something else.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rob

    Executive Summary: After Changes this book almost had to be a let down. It's still enjoyable but not nearly as much. It does offer you some insights into the supporting cast that we haven't had until this point however. James Marsters Audio book: All is now right with the world. Or at least the Dresdenverse. They are "retiring" the John Glover version and releasing a new version read by James Marsters. I was lucky to get an early review copy. As expected it was waaay better. Anyone who was upset a Executive Summary: After Changes this book almost had to be a let down. It's still enjoyable but not nearly as much. It does offer you some insights into the supporting cast that we haven't had until this point however. James Marsters Audio book: All is now right with the world. Or at least the Dresdenverse. They are "retiring" the John Glover version and releasing a new version read by James Marsters. I was lucky to get an early review copy. As expected it was waaay better. Anyone who was upset at the change can now get this new version and be content. This 3rd reread of the book was easily my favorite, and I'm sure that's largely thanks to James Marsters. John Glover Audio book: I sort of feel bad. John Glover seems like he could be a decent Narrator. He does a few voices. He's got a reasonable voice for Harry. But he's just not James Marsters. He doesn't put in the same passion. He doesn't yell out when Harry's casting magic. His voices all sound wrong. I wouldn't mind listening to him read another series, but not this one. Full Review This book is pretty much impossible to review without major spoilers from Changes, so if you're not up to this point of the series my review may not make a whole lot of sense. :) NOTE: All spoilers are for previous books in the series, not THIS one. I hate reviews that spoil the book and normally avoid spoilers of any kind in all of my reviews. So at the end of Changes (view spoiler)[Harry is dead. Or is he? (hide spoiler)] I spent an agonizing year wondering just what the hell was going to happen next in the series. The result was a book that could be both frustrating and fun. I liked to see what everyone does with (view spoiler)[Harry out of the picture. (hide spoiler)] . It's also frustrating because Harry's been accumulating power as the series goes on but (view spoiler)[with him being dead, all of his powers are gone and we have to sit by with him and watch things go to hell without him being able to do anything. (hide spoiler)] This does offer a chance for everyone to step up their games, and we learn a lot more about Mort whose only been a very minor and rarely used character to this point. The pace of the plot is still pretty fast, and the second half of the book is really good, but I found the first half to be be a bit slow/frustrating. Overall I think this is one of the weakest of the later book, but still much better than a few of the early ones. The main problem is, it really feels more like a transitional book after all the changes of well, Changes. It's 3.5 for me, rounded up because I love this series.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    6.5/10 After the cliffhanger of the last story I was interested to see how things would progress in this story. I enjoyed the start and the whole angle of (view spoiler)[Dresden coming back to look for his murderer as a ghostly entity (hide spoiler)] . But then somewhere along the way when I blinked and missed it we’d returned into the usual affair where Dresden has to save everyone and the usual grand scope comes into play with internal monologues of how hard it is to be him. What felt like a fre 6.5/10 After the cliffhanger of the last story I was interested to see how things would progress in this story. I enjoyed the start and the whole angle of (view spoiler)[Dresden coming back to look for his murderer as a ghostly entity (hide spoiler)] . But then somewhere along the way when I blinked and missed it we’d returned into the usual affair where Dresden has to save everyone and the usual grand scope comes into play with internal monologues of how hard it is to be him. What felt like a fresh take on the series turned into the norm. The first third of the book was a fresh take on the previous novels involving different people and adding a layer of difficulty for Dresden that reminded me slightly of Patrick Swayze. I enjoyed this; it was fresh, it used new characters and characters less trodden along this path. Things were unexpected and I was curious to see where things would go and what would happen. Then…… Yeah, about a third into this things seemed to revert to type. Harry was still in his predicament but had gotten around that and was communicating willy nilly with folk. Magic was back in his locker and all bad guys beware. No harm can come to him. Ever. Along with that the flow seemed to slow down too as the excitement of the new halted to make it a tale similar to the others. It’s not a bad book, it’s just nothing we’ve not seen before either. Maybe coming at this with a year or two break since reading the last one rather than a couple of months would have been better, made it feel more like coming back to old friends. But the series seems to be stagnating over the last few novels, which is bizarre to say with how much happened in the grand scheme of things in the last book. I had been warned about this book as a bit of a series low by a couple of people so I’m keeping the faith and I’ll read the next few entries to get up to speed and then make a judgement call from there.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tania

    I enjoyed this audio - as always James Marsters did an amazing job with the narration, and I liked that Dresden had to figure out how to deal with live as a ghost. I just wish the fighting scenes weren't so very long.

  23. 5 out of 5

    ☕️Kimberly

    Several months have passed since Harry’s “death” although his body has never been recovered. In the meantime, Chicago has gone to shit. Harry awakens to find he is somewhere in between the living and the dead. Carmichael, Murphy’s old partner pulls him in to meet the Captain. They task him with finding his killer and restoring balance. I really wondered where Butcher would take things. Harry’s death has messed Molly up and I found myself worried about her. Murphy, Butters and the werewolves have Several months have passed since Harry’s “death” although his body has never been recovered. In the meantime, Chicago has gone to shit. Harry awakens to find he is somewhere in between the living and the dead. Carmichael, Murphy’s old partner pulls him in to meet the Captain. They task him with finding his killer and restoring balance. I really wondered where Butcher would take things. Harry’s death has messed Molly up and I found myself worried about her. Murphy, Butters and the werewolves have joined forces to protect Chicago along with others. The events in Changes have has far-reaching effects beyond what Harry imagined. The bits with Butters and the geeky stuff…hilarious! I freaking love his new roommate. I can say no more. Spoilers, darling. Fighting specters, opened gates, and battles await you. but first we need Mortimer and Sir Stuart (whom I loved). Harry finds himself powerless and a complete noob to the rules of the dead. This provided some humor, but also created obstacles. As usual Harry risks afterlife and bends the rules. This story read much like an ending to the series. Harry comes to terms with things and the whodunit…wowsers! Had I not known there are more stories I would have wept like a baby. Butcher weaved danger, twists and humorous moments as I held my breath wondering how he would make things right. Speeches, nods to fandoms, and a killer ending left me reaching for Cold Days. James Marsters narrates, but I saw that he was not the first. I am glad I came to this series late and got to experience Marsters as the narrator. He has become the voice of Harry and these characters. Why mess with perfection? This review was originally posted at Caffeinated Reviewer

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mr. Matt

    I struggled to rate this book, finally deciding on 3 out of 5 stars. I gave it three stars mainly because Ghost Story does what the other books do well. I like reading about Harry's world and the characters in it. Jim Butcher has really brought them to life in a plausible, believable world. Moreover, the action is good, and there is always a unique twist. I also liked the way Mort's character developed into a really sympathetic good guy. I also liked Molly's changes. Unfortunately, I think my en I struggled to rate this book, finally deciding on 3 out of 5 stars. I gave it three stars mainly because Ghost Story does what the other books do well. I like reading about Harry's world and the characters in it. Jim Butcher has really brought them to life in a plausible, believable world. Moreover, the action is good, and there is always a unique twist. I also liked the way Mort's character developed into a really sympathetic good guy. I also liked Molly's changes. Unfortunately, I think my enchantment with Harry Dresden may be coming to a close. This book seemed to manifest almost everything that I've really started to dislike about the series. The author seems determined to make Harry "The One" and in this book, wow. Harry dies, fights the bad guys as a ghost, and ends up returning to life. Jeez! (Pun intended). Divine intervention by one of the main archangels is required to move the story. I was struggling to buy the line the author was selling. Outside of that, what ever happened to the Fommor? Maybe I missed it, but wasn't there a group of modified humans led by a mysterious supernatural community that was moving in on the Red Court's former territory? The Corpsetaker was allied with them. Harry & company dealt with the Corpsetaker (thanks to Mort and Molly!) but whatever happened to the Fommor? (To be fair, I may have missed it as I struggled at points in the book). Long story short, if you like Harry, you'll probably be okay with the book. If not, it might be too much. Just my two cents.

  25. 4 out of 5

    David Monroe

    Disappointing! This was a waste of time and a manipulative mind-jerk. This entire book except for the final chapter should have been a short story or just the opening chapter of this book. Yes, we did learn some of Harry's back-story. But you know what? This Harry, I didn't really care about. OK, maybe it was because he was a shade and it "wasn't really Harry" or maybe it was just lazy writing and a lack of respect for one's audience? The main thing I came away with from this book is that if But Disappointing! This was a waste of time and a manipulative mind-jerk. This entire book except for the final chapter should have been a short story or just the opening chapter of this book. Yes, we did learn some of Harry's back-story. But you know what? This Harry, I didn't really care about. OK, maybe it was because he was a shade and it "wasn't really Harry" or maybe it was just lazy writing and a lack of respect for one's audience? The main thing I came away with from this book is that if Butcher continues like this -- it's time to take a break from Harry and focus on his friends/family/allies. They were much more interesting.

  26. 4 out of 5

    David Sarkies

    Dresden's Now a Spook 17 May 2016 Well, I've just finished another of the Dresden Files, and I have two more to go before I hit the end of the ones that he has already written (and it seems that the next book after Skin Game hasn't hit the shelves yet – I wonder if he is now going to do a George RR Martin and continue to delay the release of this book because, well, he's basically either run out of ideas or become bored with the concept and moved onto something different). Before I continue I fe Dresden's Now a Spook 17 May 2016 Well, I've just finished another of the Dresden Files, and I have two more to go before I hit the end of the ones that he has already written (and it seems that the next book after Skin Game hasn't hit the shelves yet – I wonder if he is now going to do a George RR Martin and continue to delay the release of this book because, well, he's basically either run out of ideas or become bored with the concept and moved onto something different). Before I continue I feel that I probably should say something: Anyway, at the end of the last book Harry died but it seems that death isn't actually the final chapter in his story because he is suddenly yanked back into the real world (or should I say the shadowy realm between reality and what lies beyond death) and told to go and look for his murderer. Well, this is going to be interesting – a ghost hunting their murderer – but then again this concept isn't something all that new since I understand that that is what revenants are supposed to do (though I'm not sure if they are actually ghosts). So, Butcher has now taken us into a new part of his universe – the shadowy world between life and death, where those who haven't gone to either eternal damnation, or eternal rest, are left to drift about for whatever reason it is that they are here drifting about. We are also introduced to a variety of ghosts, from the poltergeists, which are ghosts that have become insane and can now physically manisfest in the real world (though he doesn't actually mention them by name), to the lemurs and wraiths which are, well, I'm not actually sure what they are, they just are other types of ghosts and aren't very friendly ones at that. As for the book: parts of it I liked, and there are some really interesting twists in it, similar to the ones that appeared in his early books (though I had a pretty good idea who the murderer was going to be, though the actual protagonist turned out to be a surprise – one of Harry's Nemeses comes back to, well, haunt him in the afterlife, and as for the reason for the murder, well, that was also a bit of a twist), and it did lead to a somewhat exciting ending. Though I do have to say that by the time I got there the book was starting to get a little dry, and when everything had been said and done the book continued to drag on for a bit. I guess it had a lot to do with Harry realising there was still unfinished business and the fast train to the fiery furnace wasn't going to be stopping for him at this time. Mind you, it isn't a book that I would recommend starting on, and it certainly isn't one of his best, but it was entertaining nonetheless. Oh, and since we are on the subject of ghosts, an interesting piece on the origin of the word 'boo':

  27. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    This is the most difficult review I've had to write in a long time, because I love the Dresden Files, and have been consistently rating them 5 enthusiastic stars for a long time now. I am totally a fan of Jim Butcher and will continue to look forward to the next book in the series, BUT... I have to be honest. I didn't like this one. Harry comes back as a ghost to solve his own murder. Apparently, there was an irregularity with his death. Someone took him out of the game unfairly. So Ghost Harry g This is the most difficult review I've had to write in a long time, because I love the Dresden Files, and have been consistently rating them 5 enthusiastic stars for a long time now. I am totally a fan of Jim Butcher and will continue to look forward to the next book in the series, BUT... I have to be honest. I didn't like this one. Harry comes back as a ghost to solve his own murder. Apparently, there was an irregularity with his death. Someone took him out of the game unfairly. So Ghost Harry goes back to Chicago six months later, finds the local necromancer (Morty) to help him out, and catches up with all his friends. After that, Harry starts running around after everyone and everything except his own killer. He finds hostile ghosts attacking Morty. A gang of young criminals attacking Murphy and company. The corpse taker is back again, because, you know, it wasn't enough for him to kill her once. (I am rarely a fan of villainous repeat performances.) But the thing that really got me was the sheer amount of time Harry spent stewing inside his own mind, remembering things, berating himself for everything bad that has ever happened in the world, etc. I did get that a ghost is made up entirely of memories, and so I understood what he was trying to do by having us walk through so many of his, but I still found it tedious to read. I was particularly thrown off by the long recounting of his first fight with He Who Walks Behind, about halfway through. It felt like an intermission. There was all this thread I have to call moralizing going on throughout. Where he sits there and puts judgment values on everything he's done, especially everything he did in the last book. This book didn't make me laugh the way many of the others do. I'm not sure why. Dresden continued cracking jokes, but they just weren't funny. The ending didn't work for me at all. I won't do spoilers, but I will say it fell flat, and seemed to undermine the need for the entire journey leading up to it. So, to sum up: A tedious read lacking the flair and humor of its predecessors. If you're a Dresden fan, you pretty much have to read it anyway, but there's my take on it. I still maintain my optimism that the next book will be good. This isn't a case of a flagging series, IMO, just a single volume that didn't quite live up.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dana

    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Some things, my friends, are worth the wait. Ghost Story is a prime example of why I love Jim Butcher's books. They are good books. They are great books. They rock like an 80's 'big-hair' band. They are the books that everyone wishes their book could be. They are the Six Million Dollar Man of books. They are the MacGyver of books that can build a repelling harness out of a hair scrunchie, 3 earrings, and the elastic from a pair of boxer briefs. God is jealous that he forgot to create th ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Some things, my friends, are worth the wait. Ghost Story is a prime example of why I love Jim Butcher's books. They are good books. They are great books. They rock like an 80's 'big-hair' band. They are the books that everyone wishes their book could be. They are the Six Million Dollar Man of books. They are the MacGyver of books that can build a repelling harness out of a hair scrunchie, 3 earrings, and the elastic from a pair of boxer briefs. God is jealous that he forgot to create these books. You see where I am going with this I'm sure. They are worth a minute or two of your time. Ghost Story was amazing and I am in a daze currently. A wonderful, floating, dreamlike, haze of satiety fed by the fantastic power of The Word of Butcher.

  29. 5 out of 5

    carol.

    I enjoyed Ghost Story and found it to be a decent progression in the series. Butcher continues to improve and Dresden continues to evolve. The idea of being a ghost was genius; it's interesting to see Dresden powerless, and forced to use other skills. It switches up the dynamic of the normal conflict in the series. I especially appreciated Harry taking responsibility for his decisions to involve Molly in his fanatical fight against the Red Court. Still too many red herrings, but it's a relief to I enjoyed Ghost Story and found it to be a decent progression in the series. Butcher continues to improve and Dresden continues to evolve. The idea of being a ghost was genius; it's interesting to see Dresden powerless, and forced to use other skills. It switches up the dynamic of the normal conflict in the series. I especially appreciated Harry taking responsibility for his decisions to involve Molly in his fanatical fight against the Red Court. Still too many red herrings, but it's a relief to have a few major points resolved. I'm sure I have more for a review, but just don't feel I can give it justice at the moment. Quite honestly, Butcher and his alter-ego Dresden irritate me part of the time and I can't put my finger on why.

  30. 4 out of 5

    seak

    As usual, these later installments are really great, up the ante, and clearly show some great plotting/writing/everything you want to see in a wizard PI urban fantasy. The only exception this time is that it didn't have everything I wanted to see. I've never been a huge fan of the trope where the protagonist loses all his powers and this was one of those. While I acknowledge Spiderman 2 was the best of the original trilogy, it still frustrated me that SM didn't have his powers most of the movie. As usual, these later installments are really great, up the ante, and clearly show some great plotting/writing/everything you want to see in a wizard PI urban fantasy. The only exception this time is that it didn't have everything I wanted to see. I've never been a huge fan of the trope where the protagonist loses all his powers and this was one of those. While I acknowledge Spiderman 2 was the best of the original trilogy, it still frustrated me that SM didn't have his powers most of the movie. That's what I come for! I guess at book 13 plus novellas and short stories will make you turn to this eventually, but I still prefer my wizards to have their powers dangit! As with SM 2, I acknowledge this was still a great installment with a pretty dang good twist at the end. It loses a little star-wise with the lack of wizard powers because that's why I keep coming back, but I also have to admit it made for a surprising ending to Changes, book 12. It's always great to come back to Harry, I'm getting a little sad now that I'm so close to catching up with the author. It's been nice knowing I have this well of great books to turn to whenever I need a sold trustworthy standby. 4 out of 5 stars (highly recommended)

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