Saturday, May 15, 2010

Dresden Files 03: Grave Peril (Butcher, Jim)

Rating: 5
Year: 2001
Genre: Fantasy
Read again? Yes

The ghosts of Chicago are freaking out! A demon is after Harry, looking for revenge!

And then there's a "must-attend" costume ball hosted by a vampire.

Harry teams up with Michael, a Knight of the Cross who always seems to show up where he's needed, as if guided by a holy power.

The pace is tight and solid right from the start. Dresden and Michael face a ghost in the maternity ward of a hospital, only to discover a torture spell woven into the ghost's "flesh." The same spell shows up a few more times: ghosts being tortured. But why?

Harry soon finds himself in over his head, trying to protect himself and his friends from a demon that can invade their minds. Who the hell has time for a costume party?

It's good to read a series where the characters grow as the story moves along, and where things don't simply go as expected. There are plenty of bendy spots, HOLY CRAP!! moments, and (as always) a wicked pop-cultural reference right when it's needed.

"Peril" introduces a minor annoyance that becomes a recurring one in later books: Dresden's battered Volkswagen Bug must be at least part TARDIS; it's got quite a bit of interior space. As Dresden and Michael are suiting up for their attack on the hospital ghost, they pull a long-ass (5-foot-long) sword and Dresden's wizard staff out of the back seat. By "Dead Beat," the car's carrying Dresden, a vampire, a coroner, a dog the size of a mastiff, Dresden's wizard staff, and a polka suit.

Polka suit, yes. Read the book!

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