15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Expected and Unexpected,
This review is from: Ghost Story (Dresden Files, No. 13) (Hardcover)
First off I must say that the previous book in the series Changes, was probably my favorite to date. This book is still a wonderful one, but don't read it expecting another Changes. For one thing so many things were fundamentally turned on their head throughout the course of Changes that much of Ghost Story is spend dealing with all the fallout. And it is some impressive and far-reaching fallout. One of the many talents which Jim Butcher has as an author is his ability to create world changing events while at the same time focusing on the personal and the individual.
Ghost Story is of course predominantly about Harry and his life-after-death experience but in many ways it deals with how his actions have set the world on end. There is snow three feet deep in May, South and Central America are in turmoil and even the United States is feeling the effects of supernatural predators as their confidence grows. In spite of this, this is primarily a book about the characters that we have come to know and love. We the readers along with Harry, learn the sometimes devastating consequences of well-intended actions and that we can't control the pain we cause others. One of my favorite parts in the book comes near the end when something Harry had said in Changes comes backs to haunt him. It doesn't necessarily change who he is but it does change his comprehension of who he is.
One of the most impressive areas of this series has been its progression. The Dresden Files has so far seen Harry Progress from a barely competent wise-cracking private investigator who happens to know a couple of spells, into a spell wielding arcane force-to-be-reckoned-with. And his growth is not limited to his magical abilities either. Having just finished the book, I am inclined to think that Ghost Story is mostly about emotions and growth. There are numerous deeply poignant parts of the book which made me seriously consider the feeling of loss that occurs because of someone's death. The reactions from each character as they converse with Harry's ghost were both unexpected and yet perfectly in character. There were some things that I anticipated about Ghost Story for example the reintroduction of Mort but there was even more that I didn't see coming. Jim Butcher has created an awe inspiring juggling act with this series and he lets us know that he has not forgotten them even if he does little to extend them in this book.
As has been mentioned by others this is not a great book to start the series from. There is no way it will have the same impact on someone who is meeting the characters for the first time, not to mention that it will be somewhat confusing. But for those of us who have read all the way through, the only grievance that we will have is that it comes to an end. I have had to wait a year and a half for this book and while I am not disappointed I am almost apoplectic at the thought of having to wait that long for the next one for the next one.