Jo's Reviews > Ghost Story

Ghost Story by Jim Butcher
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Apr 08, 12

bookshelves: fantasy-and-science-fiction
Read in April, 2012

"Ghost Story" is the 13th novel of the Dresden Files. The book starts off where book twelve, Changes, ended. If you have not read any of the Dresden Files books DO NOT START HERE.

I’m trying to figure out what to say without giving many spoilers (I don’t like to give spoilers in my reviews but in this one I’m going to have to give at least one, but so has everyone else so I’m guessing you already know it).

I’ve read all of the other books in the series. This one I listened to as an audio book. I think I would’ve been better off reading it. It is radical departure from the formula of most, well all, of the Dresden books. It gives whole new perspective to Harry's character. In GHOST STORY, Harry is forced into a passive role (definitely an adjustment for him). He's a ghost. He can't do much of anything that affects the living, mortal world. He has to stand by and let other people act, or, if he's lucky, persuade them to act according to his instructions. There’s some good deep characterization for the supporting characters – better than several of the more recent installments (I really like the new, improved Butters, btw! And Morty sure has hidden depths. I love Molly ...Okay, almost all of the people you love from the series are in this installment.)

For once, Harry has to think, long and hard, before he acts. He is forced to look at how his decisions have affected those close to him; this results in passages of deep introspection. He has to deal with his emotions and learns a lot about himself. Harry matures a lot in this book, which is quite interesting and long overdue, really. But, it’s also rather wordy, and that’s what I think would have played better reading it than listening to it. The first portion is rather slow, but by the last third I could no longer wait for my commute to continue in the next business week, and brought it in to listen to while I cleaned and for the rest of the day!

I foresaw part of the end but not all of it. There was an interesting twist that still kind of left things open for another book. But I don’t think those next stories will ever be like the ones I fell in love with. I’ll read the next book. Butcher is a great writer and I’d read whatever he wrote next (-- have you read his Codex Alera series? Utterly different than Dresden and really good), but I hope I don’t miss “the way things were” too much.
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