Bastard's Reviews > Ghost Story

Ghost Story by Jim Butcher
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's review
Aug 04, 2010

really liked it

Ghost Story has to be this year's most anticipated Urban Fantasy novel, particularly after the excellent Changes and the cliffhanger ending it had. The bar had been set quite high and it seems like the consensus is that Ghost Story fell short. How short is where most disagree on.

Ghost Story is the thirteenth installment in The Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher, featuring one of the most awesome characters out there, Harry Dresden. Harry is my Jack Bauer of fiction literature; and we know Jack Bauer is god. After some concerns of whether Borders was going to ship me my pre-ordered book, it finally arrived late last week and spent two nights finishing it up. Regardless of your opinion on the book, it's apparent that it's still quite a page turner.

But once one finishes up reading Ghost Story, it's evident that the book was sub-par in The Dresden Files sequence. Part of the problem is that Butcher looked like he was very conscious of new readers and he was on recap mode on steroids throughout the whole novel, which surely drove fans of the series nuts. In a similar nature, the pacing was out of whack throughout the book due to too many back story scenes and the already mentioned recaps. While that was problematic, the book specific plot was not that engaging or interesting, so it created a perfect negative storm.

Those issues aside, I really enjoyed the book. The worst Dresden book to me is still much better than most Urban Fantasy novels I read, so while disappointed by the book not reaching the standards I come to expect of a Dresden novel, it's was still a very good read for me, and it's still one of my favorite Urban Fantasy reads this year.

Ghost Story was by and large a very introspective book as such, the wide awesome cast of characters of this universe get the short end of the stick in scene appearances, which will add to the disappointment to many. Still some minor characters stepped up to the stage and will surely become favorites to some. It balances out. Ghost Story is also clearly a new stage setter, a bridge novel, to what one can consider the second act of the series. As such, it felt like the second book of a trilogy, and those always seem to be the toughest to write and are often the weakest of the books.

The Dresden Files as always been to me about having Harry Dresden as a narrator and it was still an enjoyable read, though expect many mixed reactions to the book. Even so, the stage has be set and now I'm very much looking forward to what comes next, Harry is back and it'll be interesting to see how his recent experiences are going to shape his behavior going forward. New allies and enemies have been made, questions of trust are about, lots of mysteries still left undiscovered to us the readers, and Harry is here to kick some ass.
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Clouds Very solid review - I think I agree with pretty much everything you've said here :-)

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