I've been anxiously awaiting the email from Priscilla that told me this was available for pre-order. With Avengers coming in Septemer and this in November, I don't need a Christmas present this year! Plus, UNDER MY HAT: TALES OF THE CAULDRON, an anthology with the third installment of his Bigfoot/Dresden story will be available soon too.
I'm curious to see if this book will actually bring him back into the fold of his Chicago family (yes, yes, yes, we love the epic multi-book plotline with all its intrigue and excitement, but what about his /relationships/!?). Or will this book be another transitional type plot in fairie that closes with a relationship cliffhanger. Perhaps with Harry walking through the doors of his castle of a home, propping his feet up, and announcing in a Samwise Gamgee manner to a room full of boggle eyed friends and family: "Well, I'm back."
Or will we be left twisting gleefully in the wind as he fulfills his outsider/Outsider quest/s for the next few books before finally reconnecting in any way to Chicago proper?
Kristen, I've not yet gone out in search of any of the anthologies to read the Bigfoot story. To me it just seemed silly. Are they any good at all? Given that I'm having to purchase an anthology with stories by other writers I'm not that much interested in reading, could you recommend the book on the basis of Jim's story alone?
@Mia&Jerry: I know you weren't asking me, but I'm with you in that I don't like spending money unnecessarily. If it were me, I'd take a lunch break to my local Barnes and Noble or other book store and just sit and read the one story. Butcher has already released his past anthology published stories as a single collection into his book Side Stories. He said he'll do another Side Stories once he's written enough further short stories to do so. I'm personally waiting for the Bigfoot story to be re released in that format.
Jim has said on multiple occasions that there were at least 3 short stories that had already been written that he couldn't put in Side Jobs due to contractual reasons, which he was unhappy about, and intends to fix by putting out a 2nd collection of DF short stories named something like "More Jobs" which will round up those 3 and any additionals he writes in the mean time (the bigfoot trillogy, I think he wrote something from Molly's perspective this year too but I'm not sure.)
After that he hopes not to write any more short works because he says that the amount of work he has to put into them compared to the amount of material generated is disproportionate to a novel.
Thank Uriel, Mab, Demonreach, and (perhaps) the shadow of a certain Fallen Angel! I have been suffering SEVERE Dresden withdrawal symptoms for over a year. (A few short stories, excellent as they were, only provided temporary relief).
Now, with Dexter Season 6 available on DVD, Cold Days on the way, The Hobbit (Part One) due in December, and Downton Abbey Season 3 next January, I can almost be human again! (For awhile, at least. Next February the pain starts all over again.)
Anybody read his other fantasy series? Boring. Harry Dresden, wizard detective, was a great idea and very well written until Ghost Story. The blending of noir and fantasy up to that point was unique. This movement away from that depresses me. I hope I am wrong.
I haven't read his Codex Alera series, so I can't comment, but I completely disagree about Ghost Story.
That book may not have been "action packed" the way Changes was, but then neither are most of the other books in the series. Changes, after all, is meant to be a major turning point, and it almost stands alone in that respect. (So far, it's the only book in the series with a one word title; a word it surely lives up to.)
So, after the rollicking roller coaster ride of Changes it was fitting to have a "quieter" (relatively speaking) book follow. Not that there weren't plenty of fight scenes. But the real excitement was emotional, psychological, and spiritual. Clearly the real purpose for "sending Harry back" (aside from the obvious ones) was to give him an opportunity at spiritual and personal growth. As a "ghost" Harry couldn't act in the same direct manner he was used to. Several times in the book he notes this difference himself. Thus, among other things, Harry learned a new way of handling problems, one that didn't involve "going in guns blazing".
Why? Remember what Father Forthill and Michael both said in Proven Guilty: much of what's going on is to prepare Harry for a greater battle. Consider some facts. We know he's already one of the strongest wizards on the planet, strong enough to make the White Council afraid of him (perhaps now lessened to "concerned about him"). We know that his birth gives him power over Outsiders, something no other wizard has. He had (and may have again) access to Hellfire, and has access to Soulfire. Furthermore, there's his connection with Demonreach (and the source of its ley line). Add to that he now has the mantle and power of the Winter Knight and Harry is clearly one of the most powerful beings in the supernatural realm. (Remember too, Lea declared him mightier and more dangerous than the Hellhound!) Given all that, doesn't it make sense that Uriel would take the time to "educate" Harry, to provide him with protection against the obvious corruptions such power can create, as well as "schooling" him in a better way to use such power? That's what Ghost Story was all about (I think), and it was fascinating.
15 bucks for Kindle Edition? Didn't we win a lawsuit against publishers colluding to keep e-book prices at an artificially high level?
I mean ebook for the same cost as hardcover? That's dumb, and I'm not going to buy this book digitally for the same price as print. I'll just wait for my local library to grab it and check it out as a digital copy from there.
Holy sweet baby Jesus, Etaoin Shrdlu! Reading your post makes me want to re-read the series. You clearly remember much more of it than I do.
For those waiting for a [second] anthology of short stories, I'm with you. Buying an anthology for just one author's short story is silly. However, Under My Hat got decent reviews by Jim Butcher fans who hold similar stances, so I do own that one. (Besides, being a fan of both Jim Butcher and Neil Gaiman, I decided the cost was worth it - pre-ordered and never cancelled despite hesitations while other anthologies were pre-ordered in a moment of weakness and subsequently cancelled.)
:) I did try to adopt "stars and stones" for a while (I'm weird), but it doesn't roll off my tongue the same way. For some reason, my brain has decided that "sweet baby Jesus" is my version of Charlie Brown's "good grief." I actually have zero clue where I picked it up, especially considering I'm not even Christian.
I've only managed to introduced a few people to Dresden and only one person has become a big fan. I'm a huge fan of that noir-ish feel that Dresden channels and am always enthusiastic to talk about it. It's actually why I buy books I love - on the one hand, having a copy on my shelf makes me feel all warm and fuzzy for no reason, but on the other hand, I get to loan it out when I talk about how great the book is. (Incidentally, I once introduced a gentleman to the Dresden books while I was in an airport bookstore looking for something to read. He recommended Iron Druid to me, which I've yet read but am quite excited to start. Strangers [in book stores] are awesome.)
Per the short story book, I only got it because of Neil Gaiman and Jim Butcher, both are authors whose writings I tend to buy in physical versions so buying the anthology made sense. I'm actually not much of a short story person, so taking the trouble of going to the library isn't my style. (Much as I loved the library when I was little, so much of my reading is done at night now and done so sporadically that the physical library doesn't work into my life as much now, though I do keep an active account to do the ebooks thing.)
About libraries: I'm almost the exact opposite. As a young child I loved going to the Bookmobile (that's where I discovered C.S. Lewis, and the "Freddy the Pig" series). But as a teenager I became "too cool" to use the library. Now, in my "second childhood" I've rediscovered the library, not only for books but also DVD's, and its on-line services as well.
However, like you I get my own copies of books I love, and the Dresden Files is (are?) on that list!
Great review Etaoin! You are spot on (I think). I loved the story even more than the previous novels as this is the novel where his growth as person who does start to realize the consequences of his actions becomes very evident. It also becomes evident that he is destined for for more than we have seen to date.
I agree somewhat with this post, but I think Ghost Story was also about a subject he touched on in his short story "The Warrior," about the Law of Unintended Consequences. Now that Harry was "gone," but able to come back and see how everyone was doing he was able to see the result of his living his life the way he had, and the unintended consequences on people like Molly.
Which reminds me, I really want to find out what is going on with her in this book after the dramatic change she underwent and her guilt from Ghost Story.
I agree that was a very important part of the story. (I especially liked Molly's line about Harry never noticing the shadow he cast.)
But, let me also suggest (if I haven't already) that Uriel's decision to send Harry back six months later was also intended to give the "scooby gang" (Murphy, Butters, the Alphas, Father Forthill, etc.) a chance to "flex their muscles" and show/learn what they could do without Harry. (As well as ultimately show Harry the same thing.)
In a way it was like the lesson Lea teaches to both Harry and Molly: what they can do apart, but also how they need each other.
As for Molly, I completely agree. And I hope the Wardens will get off her back, except for Carlos perhaps. (Heh, heh.)
I also hope that we'll see more of Agent Tilly, Vince Graver, and I even wouldn't mind Evelyn Derek returning (Harry could always use a good lawyer).
Most of all I want to know the answers to a world full of questions (not all at once, of course). Among them (in no particular order):
What the "bleep" happened at Arctis Tor (in Proven Guilty that is).
Whatever became of the "mysteriously disappeared" videotape of the loop-garou?
Who fixed "Little Chicago"?
Did Kumari survive?
And, did anyone (officially or unofficially) "notice" the Red Court's invasion of FBI headquarters. I mean, that one's a little hard to rationalize away, or sweep under the rug.