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Ghost Story

(The Dresden Files #13)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  85,859 ratings  ·  4,443 reviews
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
Hardcover, 481 pages
Published July 26th 2011 by Roc Hardcover (first published January 1st 2011)
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Janet Ridge Oddly enough, I began the series with this very book (found in isolation on a library shelf), then looped back to fill in the background of Harry Dres…moreOddly enough, I began the series with this very book (found in isolation on a library shelf), then looped back to fill in the background of Harry Dresden's life. I can assure you that it's perfectly easy to follow along, and all the important connections are explained thoroughly without any boring expository drag. Here's the advantage to coming at the series this way: Butcher's writing gets MUCH better as it goes along, and the stories get more exciting as Dresden builds up power and allies. I am a huge fan, but I can still barely choke down Fool Moon. (less)
Tserp910 First of all, the Dresden books are meant to be stand alone, with an over arching story. In my opinion you lose enjoyment if you skip books and I woul…moreFirst of all, the Dresden books are meant to be stand alone, with an over arching story. In my opinion you lose enjoyment if you skip books and I wouldn't recommend picking up some of the later books without reading most (if not all) of the early ones, but Jim Butcher want everyone to be able to pick up any book and understand the story perfectly.

Other than that, remember that those books are published 1 year apart (with the exception of Peace Talks that took 5 years). If you read them as they are published and not binge read them, reminding the reader about the essentials of the magic system and the characters briefly is not a bad thing. Some people forget things easily.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.25  · 
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Sep 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a Booktube channel now! Subscribe here:

Ghost Story feels like a volume to reboot the series before it enter a new story arc, or the next season, in the life of Harry Dresden.

“It was never too late to learn something. The past is unalterable in any event. The future is the only thing we can change. Learning the lessons of the past is the only way to shape the present and the future.”

It is not an easy task to write a follow-up to Chang
Dan Schwent
Jun 19, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011
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
Jul 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
So. Good.
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 ...more
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,
Nov 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: dresden
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. ...more
Feb 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Even though writing is a singular task, with an author slaving away (bleeding if we listen to Hemingway) in front of a keyboard, it is also very much a collaboration – besides assistants, the writer may likely gain insight and critical input from editors, publishers, agents, fans, friends, and family. Besides his or her own personal muse there is also the influence of peers, critics and the audience. There is also the nebulous and sundry inspirations from literature, art and pop culture.

Mike (the Paladin) 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
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
Faith Hunter
Apr 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
If I wasn't married, I'd take this character home to meet mama and her sister.
Course, they might scare him off...
Holey Moley! At the end of Changes when wizard Harry Dresden is shot, I thought No, Harry can't be dead - surely Jim Butcher will find some clever way to bring him back to life. But I was very wrong, Harry is dead and in this book his ghost is sent back to Chicago to prevent the death of three of his closest friends and to find out who killed him.

The Chicago Harry is sent back to is a very different one to the one he left six months before. The vacuum he created by destroying the Red Court of va
Nov 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
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
Jul 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
When I read this the first time in 2014, it was one of my least favorite of the series.
When I read this the second time in 2020, my opinion didn't change... still not one of my favorites.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
***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
Jun 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
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)
Mr. Matt
Jun 05, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013, fantasy-urban
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
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
Jul 31, 2011 rated it it was ok

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,
Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
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
Ranting Dragon
Aug 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, garrett

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
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tbr-owned
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.
Sep 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy

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). 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
Jul 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
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?

really photo: tumblr_lhi9pkfb511qcfba3o1_500.gif
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!!
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
Angela (Angel's Guilty Pleasures)
Ghost Story is book Thirteen in The Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher and narrated by James Marsters.

Well the surprises keep coming. Several months have passed since Harry’s death tho his body has yet to be recovered. In the meantime, the world has changed and Chicago has gone to shit.

Harry has awakened to find himself somewhere in the in-between. As he goes on this journey in-between life and death lots is revealed to Harry and the reader. As he journeys to find his killer we see how his de
Nov 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, audio, bookclub
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. ...more
Em Lost In Books
Jun 16, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2015, 2010-19, 1-star
No matter how much I love Harry Dresden but a bad book is a bad book.
Mike's Book Reviews
Full Video Review Here:

I was a bit apprehensive to start this one so soon after Changes because 1) I still needed time to decompress from the craziness of that book and 2) Ghost Story seems to be the most divisive book in the entire series. Seems like fans either love it or hate it. Me? I fell on the side that loved it.

I can see how if you were someone who waited a year and a half after Changes and this is what you got, you may have felt a little let down. But as a b
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Jim Butcher is the author of the Dresden Files, the Codex Alera, and a new steampunk series, the Cinder Spires. His resume includes a laundry list of skills which were useful a couple of centuries ago, and he plays guitar quite badly. An avid gamer, he plays tabletop games in varying systems, a variety of video games on PC and console, and LARPs whenever he can make time for it. Jim currently resi ...more

Other books in the series

The Dresden Files (1 - 10 of 18 books)
  • Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1)
  • Fool Moon (The Dresden Files, #2)
  • Grave Peril (The Dresden Files, #3)
  • Summer Knight (The Dresden Files, #4)
  • Death Masks (The Dresden Files, #5)
  • Blood Rites (The Dresden Files, #6)
  • Dead Beat (The Dresden Files, #7)
  • Proven Guilty (The Dresden Files, #8)
  • White Night (The Dresden Files, #9)
  • Small Favor (The Dresden Files, #10)

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