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Grave Peril (The Dresden Files, Book 3) Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 2001

4.4 out of 5 stars 613 customer reviews
Book 3 of 15 in the Dresden Files Series

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Editorial Reviews

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.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

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 Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Series: Dresden Files (Book 3)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 378 pages
  • Publisher: ROC; Reprint edition (September 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451458443
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451458445
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (613 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,843 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is my first review on Amazon, so that should say something about how much I really loved this book and this series. This is the series that I think "Anita Blake" started out to be. The universe (present day Chicago wherein magic and the supernatural are there if one knows where to look) is deftly and wittily drawn. The protagonist, Harry Dresden, professional wizard, is smartly wise-cracking without (quite) becoming annoying. He's engagingly flawed and fallible, and if I have one gripe with his adventures, it is that in every book he seems to get SO beaten up so often that his endurance begins to strain credibility (and patience: "What? On Death's Door again?"), even for a wizard.
Mr. Butcher peppers his books with engaging and believable allies and adversaries -- multi-layered, varied and believable, both as foils for Dresden and as characters in their own right."Grave Peril" is no exception in the strength of the secondary characters. Michael, the True Knight, was just a marvelous ally, part straight man, part Tower of Strength.
This third book in the series pushes a little farther on the sex and violence front. If "Storm Front" was PG or PG-13, "Grave Peril" is definately 'R'. However, Mr. Butcher has yet to go over the top; his descriptions are done with finesse, innuendo where appropriate, and evocative language that is never crass.
I do recommend this series: part Film Noir Private Eye, part Vampire Hunter (though much more 'Angel' than 'Buffy', right down to the flowing black coat), with maybe a little sword and sorcerer thrown in the mix. Lots of mystery and plenty of action, likable characters and a nicely textured urban fantasy world. "Grave Peril" is grittier than the first book, but evocative and with a sense of real peril and emotional jeapordy for the protagonist and his allies. A wonderful read.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Grave Peril is a funny, witty, rip-roaring, seat-of-your-pants, stay-up-and-read-it-in-one-night kind of book. Once again, Wizard Harry Dresden is up to his elbows in trouble, this time he's assisted by the ever stalwart and faithful co-hort, Michael -- a Knight of the Cross. The streets of Chicago have become a battle ground for terrozing ghosts and other otherworldly problems. All in all, a fine read, lots of fun. Grave Peril flows easily like an excellent mystery novel, keeping you on the edge of your seat, wondering what is going to happen next. It's filled with wit and sarcasm from Harry's point of view. 5 stars. This is a must read.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
It should come as no surprise to the followers of Harry Dresden, freelance wizard and general dogooder, that Harry starts out the third volume of this series in every bit as much trouble as he ended the last. After all, Harry's natural state is jumping out of frying pans and into fires. Except when he is looking for another frying pan to fall out of. This time the book opens with Harry and a new friend, Michael (a Knight of the Sword and even a bigger dogooder than Harry) racing to stop Agatha the ghost, who has a bit too much affection for infants. Without fail, Harry fumbles the attack and Michael and he must pursue Agatha into the Nevernever. In the process of putting Agatha away Harry has a run in with his dysfunctional fairy godmother and barely manages to escape with all his body parts.
Michael and Harry have been chasing down disgruntled ghosts for weeks now, and finally Harry has come to believe that this isn't just a series of coincidences. Instead, someone is deliberately stirring the ectoplasm with evil intentions. But Harry barely has time to discover this when he is visited by two vampires, who go out of their way to irritate him while delivering a formal invitation to the elevation of Bianca St. Claire to the position of Margravine of the Vampire Court. You may remember Bianca from "Fool Moon." She was the vampiress Harry managed to make a deadly enemy of in the first 15 minutes of their meeting. Harry may be slow witted, but even he knows that Bianca's plans include making Dresden au gratin.
So he refuses the invitation, right? Well, not quite. A wild series of ghostly attacks, bespelled friends, and damsels in distress ensue. Harry, a class act as usual, manages to lose Michael's magic sword, fail the damsels, and barely keep his friend's alive.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have mixed feelings on this third edition in the Dresden Files. There were elements I really liked, and then there were elements that drove me crazy. I'm not going to recap the previous stories as there are numerous books in the series and that would get to be a book in itself.

Harry Dresden is a wizard. Not the kind that does cheap magic tricks, but an actual wizard who casts spells and performs other feats of magic, and he just so happens to be listed in the telephone book, but no parties please. He's protected Chicago from lots of evil and this time is no different. Ghosts are going crazy and attacking people outside of the Nevernever (the magical realm). This is causing a flux in the barrier between our world and theirs and is causing some real problems. Particularly when a demon is on the loose and seems to be after Harry and his friends in addition to these problematic ghosts.

If this wasn't enough, Harry and his friend Michael (a Fist of God with an impressive sword) after trying to fight these foes also have to take on some vampires. The lead of the Red Council is mad at Harry and wants to make his life miserable. Another woman who wants to make him miserable is his Fey Godmother. Harry should really learn to stay out of trouble, but unfortunately he needs to solve this mess and rescue the good guys before he finds himself killed. It just seems like he's up again insurmountable odds.

I have some characters I like in this book and some that I don't. Harry's an all around pretty cool character. But for some reason Butcher gives him a new "phrase" in this book and makes him act like someone who's heard a bad joke they like and wants to make sure everyone hears it.
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