Top critical review
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Story OK, Quality Control Naff
on December 12, 2012
The story of this installment of the Dresden Files saga began to feel more than usually contrived by the time I got to the end, with the justifications for stuff getting less believable and a move right out of the 1940s Saturday Morning Serials to introduce a cheesy reveal if not on the last page, certainly late enough in the story to make me gnash my teeth. I won't spoil, but you'll hate it when you see it.
That said, I ended up reading the damned thing until one in the morning TWO nights in a row on work days. Conflicted? Me? Maybe you won't hate the cheesy reveal after all.
I know I'm maybe being a tad harsh here, but compared to some of the earlier books in the series this one had large chunks that had a "phoned in" feel, especially the seemingly endless recapitulations of mental debates that Harry keeps having about the *same* issues that read as though they are there simply to inflate the word count. I found that eventually these became distractions from the story. I'd say the point was to emphasize that Harry's Ghost cannot learn, but that is not the case (though earlier tracts on ghosts from this saga suggested that very thing).
I dropped a star because the story simply didn't hang together as well as others in the series in my opinion (though it may not be the worst offender in that) and I have to think that when reviewing these books they should stand against each other as marks of excellence.
I knocked off another star because an Amazon review is NOT just an attempt at a critical review, but also a review of the physical build of whatever it is, and two pages of mine fell out because they hadn't been bound into the spine in the first place!
The story is worth reading (after all, if you've gotten this far you want to know what's going to happen to the protagonist after the cliffhanger in the previous volume). It should go without saying that this isn't the place to start your acquaintance with Harry Dresden. Though some of the earlier novels are OK on-ramps to the Weird Chicago Thruway, Ghost Story is a terrible place to attempt to merge in my opinion.
This book makes me wonder how much more life there is in the Dresden Saga. It gave me the same impression of weariness with the subject that watching "Let It Be" does. The skill and the talent are still there, but the desire to make them work in this arena is flagging, or so it seems to this reader.
All my impressions and opinion of course.
Your mileage may vary, especially if you travel through the Nevernever.