Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Dresden Files 13: Ghost Story (Butcher, Jim)

Rating: 5/5
Year: 2011
Genre: Fantasy
Read again? Yes

I haven't eagerly anticipated a new book this way since the early '90s, when Roger Zelazny was writing new "Amber" books. It's been about 15 months since I finished the 12th Dresden book (note: that'd be in May of 2010, then late September 2011 for "Ghost Story"--posting the reviews hasn't been on my radar for a few months, unfortunately).

Harry Dresden is dead.

He was taken out by a sniper at the end of "Changes." How the hell do you follow that?

Dresden finds himself in a ghostly shadow of Chicago. He's escorted to the police station, where the ghost of Karrin Murphy's father outlines a mission: Dresden has to figure out who killed him or three of his closest friends will be next.

At first, he can't use magic or interact with the real world, but he quickly learns that his friends have been busy in the 6 months since his death. Things have worsened in the city: just his presence and the threat he represented to the Bad Guys was enough to keep most of them in check. With the effective destruction of the Red Court vampires at the end of "Changes," other ghosts, goblins, ghouls, and gangs have moved in to take over. The White Council of wizards is swamped, so they can't spare a Warden for Chicago.

Murphy, Butters, Bob the Skull, and other friends of Harry's have strengthened the ParaNet, and that's doing some good.

There's one threat on the streets that has all of Dresden's friends terrified, though. His apprentice went insane when he died. She's gone off on her own to fight evil things alone.

There has to be a point where Dresden meets his friends; they've dealt with his death to varying degrees, but Murphy isn't convinced he's dead. The scene where she's faced with his ghost is powerful.

Harry figures out pretty quickly who the shooter was, but the more important question is why it happened.

Then there's the bigger issue of saving the world from an enemy he's already faced once before.

Very good story; I devoured it. I liked the "It's a Wonderful Life" aspect of it, seeing how the world changed for the worse without Dresden in it. The plot moves nicely, the main characters continue to develop, and now I have to wait several more months for the next book.

Mad Hatter has a different take (might be spoilers). Since I've only read this book once, I've yet to develop as deep a reaction to the story and characters as Hatter got.

No comments: