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Reviews of books in a series, with a focus on urban fantasy.
Other genres include mystery, paranormal romance, and crime thrillers.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ghost Story (Dresden Files, No. 13) by Jim Butcher


I had a few ideas of where Jim Butcher was going to go with things in Ghost Story, and one of them was spot on. But I had no idea how he was going to get there.And getting there is quite a ride.

The Dresden Files series has become not just a story of the grey areas between good and evil, but a thesis on choices and free will and consequences - both intended and unintended.

I'm not sure I can say a whole lot more than that without giving spoilers. And this is a book that you really should walk into blind.

Here is the blurb:
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 nobody, 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...

As for the writing elements:
  • The plots (plural) are genius.
  • Pacing is mostly okay, a few slow places, a few wordy bits. Nothing major.
  • Prose and dialog were fine (minus the wordy bits, but really, that was only a few pages).
  • Character development is... Wow. We've watched Harry Dresden grow and learn, but that process is exponentially sped up in Ghost Story.
  • World-building continues to be ten levels beyond fabulous.

Jim Butcher took a series that had started to be same-old-thing to a new level with Changes, and he upped the game once again with Ghost Story. I am eagerly looking forward to book 14.

  • Book Rating: Ghost Story: 10 of 10
  • Series Rating: 9 of 10

1 Storm Front (2000)
2 Fool Moon (2001)
3 Grave Peril (2001)
4 Summer Knight (2002)
5 Death Masks (2003)
6 Blood Rites (2004)
7 Dead Beat (2005)
8 Proven Guilty (2006)
9 White Night (2007)
10 Small Favor (April 2008)
11 Turn Coat (April 2009)
12 Changes (April 2010)
13. Ghost Story (July 2011)


  1. I love this entire series, thanks for the review.

  2. I gotta agree, this is some of his best work. I got to the big reveal, when Harry discovers who killed him, and I said, "Holy frijoles!" Blew me away. This was, indeed, a great character development novel all the way around, and many of his supporting cast got great face-time, too.