Sunday, October 2, 2011

Ghost Story-Jim Butcher


Jim Butcher-I love you. You never disappoint.

So for those of you that haven’t read Changes yet, sorry but…um…yeah…Harry dies at the end. But fear not! His soul lives!


“When we last left the might wizard detective Harry Dresden, he wasn’t doing well In fact, he had been murdered by an unknown assassin. But being dead doesn’t stop him when his friends are in danger. Except now he had no body, and no magic to help him. And there are also several dark spirits roaming the Chicago shadows who owe Harry some payback of their own. To save his friends-and his own soul-Harry will have to pull off the ultimate trick without any magic.”
Once again, Butcher puts the weight of the world on Harry’s now ghostly shoulders. When Harry takes the option to return to the physical world as a wandering spirit to help save his friends and his soul, it has been six months since his untimely murder. He is told that he must find his murderer to save their lives by some other dead guys who are stuck in purgatory.

Dresden’s emotions are just as raw in his ghostly form as they were when he was alive. Rushing head long into a situation without all the facts and thinking he is helping when he is actually making it kind of worse is still what Harry Dresden does best. His reflections of the life he lived and the people he left behind is striking and sad to read. All the supporting cast of the books, Sgt. Karrin Murphy, Billy and the werewolves, Waldo Butters, and Molly, are changed in drastic ways. Butters, however is a positive change. He’s grown a bit of a back bone with the help of Bob, the skull. Which is nice, I like the lil’ Medical Examiner. As for the others, they are harden and paranoid. Molly especially. She carries the secret of how and who killed Harry Dresden. It is driving her crazy with guilt. Literally. She’s now homeless and those who once called her friend, are afraid of the loose cannon she has become. He only figures his death out when he has to save her soul from a bad to the bone necromancer named Corpsetaker. Which, was kind of a cool scene in the book because it’s all Star Trek. Trust me. Read the book. It will make sense.

Speaking of Corpsetaker, I’m a little surprised that she appeared in the book, along with Evil Bob. Corpsetaker disappeared at the end of Dead Beat as did Evil Bob (Evil Bob is a piece of Good Bob’s spirit brain that held all the knowledge of Kemmler, a really, really bad necromancer), so, why re-introduce them as the bad guys? I guess Dresden needs another arch nemesis since he destroyed the Red Court Vampires in the previous book, Changes.

***SPOILER TIME***

So as much as I loved this book, I actually did have an issue with it. I don’t know why. With all the previous book I have finished them smiling with satisfaction that the story ended where it needed to and that I couldn’t wait to read what was in store for Harry next. I got to the end, and felt, well, slightly disappointed. At the time, I didn’t know what was niggling at me about the end. But, upon reflection, I have realized that there is always some kind of closure. Granted, in the last book, Harry gets killed, but it was closure to one story, and left me wanting to know more. I guess my main issue is that after everything Harry went through as a spirit, he still gets shafted. He awakes with his head in the lap of Mab, the Winter Fae Queen and he still has to be the Winter Knight. I knew there was going to be another book because we still have some loose ends to tie up for Mr. Dresden. But really? Six months. In a cave. I don’t know. Just didn’t feel right.
Butcher’s action scenes are always amazing, describing ghost battles and introducing very cool imagery that lets him get paid the big bucks while most of us squirm in obscurity. Probably my favorite part of the book is when Harry is trying to help Molly save her soul from the Corpsetaker. It’s all inside Molly’s head and it’s a complete battle zone. For some reason, while I was reading it, I kept picturing the Nazi zombie robots sequence from the movie Sucker Punch. Craziness. Chaos. Explosions. Nice. And then, when Harry arrives at Molly’s fort, it’s the interior of the Starship Enterprise. I know! Awesome. There were different Molly’s representing the different member of the original cast. It was pretty fun page turner for sure.
So, Mr. Butcher. Jim. You’re book, hell you entire collection of works, is amazing. I loved every bit of Ghost Story, even the parts that I didn’t get and the parts that I wasn’t too sure about. Though I said I had a slight problem with the end, I have to say, I cannot wait for your next Dresden Files book. And I know it will totally be worth the year-year and a half I’ll have to wait for it to reach my greedy little hands.
Guess I’ll just have to re-read all thirteen books. : )

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