Monday, November 7, 2011

Review - Ghost Story (Dresden Files, Book 13) by Jim Butcher (4/5 stars)

Reading level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Size: 496 Pages
Publisher: Roc Hardcover
Release Date: July 26th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0451463791
Stand Alone or Series: 13th book in the Dresden series
Source: Bought
Rating: 4/5 stars

This is the 13th book in the Dresden series. It is hard to believe that this series has been going on so long. I enjoyed this book, but it was more of a transition book and I thought it was one of the weaker books in this series. The ending was spectacular though and I am eager to see what book 14 brings. This is definitely not a book to start the series on, you will be totally lost unless you have read the previous books in this series.

At the end of the previous book Harry was shot and killed. This book starts with Harry as a ghost; he is given a choice...he can dwell in purgatory or go back and try to find his killer. When Harry is told that people he love will die if he doesn't find his killer it becomes a no-brainer for him. Harry returns to find both Chicago and his friends much changed...and not for the better. Can he save the city and solve the mystery before everything gets even worse?

This is a large and lengthy book...and it felt like it. Usually I breeze through these Dresden books and enjoy them immensley but this one was more of a chore for me to get through. It moves slower than previous books and there is a lot of reminiscing on Harry's part.

Okay let me take a step back for a second. There was a lot I really enjoyed in this book. We learn a ton about Harry's past and that was pretty cool. Harry has to figure out how to operate as a ghost and that was nifty as well. Both Murphy and Molly have become powers to be reckoned with, and while at times it was painful to read about what they've endured, it was awesome to watch their characters development into even more interesting people.

There were also things I didn't like about this book. The pacing was off. The majority of the book was kind of slow and then the ending was spectacular. Ghost's and their special powers run off of memories. So, as you might expect, Harry does a lot of reflecting on his past memories. While it was nice to learn more about Harry's past, these little flashbacks had a tendency to break up the story and make it loose its momentum. There were also large portions of the book where Harry would monologue about whether or not he approved of his past actions; I like seeing in Harry's head but these lengthy monologues happened too often and were too long.

There was also a lot absent in this book. The Vampire Courts and the White Council was conspicuously absent for the majority of the book. With all the weird supernatural stuff going down it was hard to believe that they would be absent from it all.

I did enjoy some of the plot twists at the end, there were unexpected and creative. I loved the ending and it made me excited to see what comes next.

Overall I am kind of on the fence about this book. I really enjoyed some parts of it, I thought other parts were lengthy and boring. I loved learning about Harry's background but got sick of the soul-searching monologues. It seemed like this book could have used some better editing and tightening up. All that aside it was nice to reunite with all these characters that I love so much. The ending was excellent and I do look forward to reading the next book in this series. Even though this book wasn't as spectacular as the books in this series normally are it was still a good book. I definitely recommend this whole series to fans of urban fantasy.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- Horror and Urban Fantasy Challenge
- 100+ Reading Challenge

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