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Ghost Story

(The Dresden Files #13)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  75,404 ratings  ·  3,943 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 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…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)

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4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  75,404 ratings  ·  3,943 reviews

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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
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.
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,
Heidi The Hippie 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
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
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...
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
***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
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!!! T
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,
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
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
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
Ranting Dragon
Aug 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: garrett, favorites

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
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)
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
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
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.
Mr. Matt
Jun 05, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-urban, 2013
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
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 ...more
David Sarkies
May 10, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
Aug 12, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
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
“You’re dead, son,” Jack said. “Cheer is contraindicated.”

Mr. Butcher, you are a manipulative man. Your writing made me cry, unnecessarily I might add, over a fictional character that I will never meet. And I think you took a lesson from the old TV show Dallas on how to kill a character without really committing yourself to what seems like the logical outcome.

In some ways, this also reminded me of the movie It’s a Wonderful Life in that Harry Dresden gets to find out how many people he mattered
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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
Initial thoughts (see below for review): Well, I can't say that was my favorite in the series, not by a long shot. But I am happy I got sucked in as we got closer to the end. And I'm happy it didn't end the way I thought it would. Review to come.


Actual rating: I'm going with a solid three stars. No story spoilers. does one go about reviewing this book without spoiling those that haven't caught up to it?! You know, I'm so happy I don't read the blurbs for these books before I sta
Em Lost In Books
Jun 16, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2015, 1-star, 2010-19
No matter how much I love Harry Dresden but a bad book is a bad book.
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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 19 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)
“Star Trek?” I asked her. “Really?”
“What?” she demanded, bending unnaturally black eyebrows together.
“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.”
“Oh," the girl said, shaking her head. "Don't be so simple. People adore monsters. They fill their songs and stories with them. They define themselves in relation to them. You know what a monster is, young shade? Power. Power and choice. Monsters make choices. Monsters shape the world. Monsters force us to become stronger, smarter, better. They sift the weak from the strong and provide a forge for the steeling of souls. Even as we curse monsters, we admire them. Seek to become them, in some ways." Her eyes became distant. "There are far, far worse things to be than a monster.” 182 likes
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