From Publishers Weekly
Wizard Harry Dresden stars in the third installment of the Dresden Files (following Fool Moon), a haunting, fantastical novel that begins almost as innocently as those of another famous literary wizard named Harry. In the opening scene, Dresden and his knight friend, Michael, battle the ghost of a woman who is terrorizing a local hospital's maternity ward. From there, the novel quickly evolves into an unorthodox tale spiced with sexual innuendo and subtle humor (Dresden carries his ghost-hunting gear in an old Scooby-Doo lunch box). Due to the weakened barrier between the spirit world which Butcher refers to as "the nevernever" and the actual world, obsessive and violent ghosts are on the loose in modern-day Chicago, and they seem to be targeting Dresden and Michael. Horny vampires and possessive demons join the mix as Dresden journeys into the spirit world to hunt down the villains who are terrorizing him and his friends. Butcher narrates Dresden's story in the first person, which limits the amount of detail he can inject into the lives of his secondary characters. Despite this narrow point of view, Butcher successfully lends human dimensions to vampires and spirits through his vivid descriptions and colloquial dialogue. (Sept.)Forecast: A vivid cover showing glowing barbed wire wrapped around a pair of cemetery gates is misleading as is a cover quote appealing to fans of Laurell K. Hamilton and Tanya Huff but it will catch the browser's eye. This over-the-top tale is more likely to entertain young adult readers than fans of the aforementioned authors.
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Called to Cook County hospital to deal with an enraged ghost, Harry Dresden, Chicago's resident wizard, is puzzled and disturbed not by the ghost's wrath but by the fact that someone had cast a torture spell on it, goading it into action. Harry's disturbance increases when he discovers that the same spell has been cast on one of his friends. Harry begins to realize that he and his friends may be targets of a vengeful spirit, and as he desperately tries to discover which of his many enemies has it in for him, his friends are attacked one by one. The spirit, whom Harry refers to as the Nightmare, continues to torment Harry's friends until he manages to cast a spell preventing it from harming anyone else until it kills him, which leads to a showdown that Harry might not survive. Harry is a likable protagonist with more than his share of troubles, and Grave Peril
will keep readers turning the pages to find out how he overcomes them. Kristine HuntleyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved