Book Review: Ghost Story and the Dresden Files Series

I’m a huge Dresden Files fangirl, as evidenced by my earlier post. I love Jim Butcher’s series about a wizard living and magic fighting in Chicago, and not just because it is set in Chicago (though that was the initial draw). I love the series because it is an extremely well developed universe, with some of the best continuity between books that I have ever seen in series with as many books (so far 13 and supposedly more to come). Harry Dresden is bar far one of my favorite characters, a man who knows his strengths and refuses to understand he has limitations, yet he continues to grow as both a wizard and a person. He makes mistakes and he tries to learn from them, true he makes more mistakes, but he learns. That’s the important part people. The cast of characters in the Dresden Files are full, complex, and beautiful people who have problems but try to do the right thing.

The most recent book to hit the shelves in the series is Ghost Story (#13). I had this in my queue with the library for over a month before it finally came to me, and I read it in three days. (I plan to return to the library this week for the next person to receive it and read its awesomeness. Don’t worry, I wont be selfish.) And in order to remember where I was in the series I went back and reread Changes (#12), probably the best book decision I have made in a while (also I didn’t read the end of Ghost Story until it was time to read the end after I had a friend convince me that I wouldn’t understand what was happening, and boy was he right). While each book is it’s own separate story, the two of them together are a masterpiece of story telling. In Changes, Dresden is surprised by a very ex girlfriend with a very big surprise (an now semi makes sense one of the scenes I absolutely did not like and thought completely out of context that happened in Death Masks (#5), which goes to show how intricate the plot lines are across the series) and heads out to save the day. He ends up winning some battles and loosing others. The epic conclusion to the storyline in Changes is not finished until Ghost Story).

Any attempt to write a spoiler free Ghost Story review would fail because unless people have read Changes to its bitter end any sentence I write about Ghost Story reveals too much. So, I’m gonna vaguely talk about character changes that I did or didn’t like. I loved the a little more thoughtful Harry that develops in Ghost Story, he has learned to think and watch and wait before charging in (somewhat because he has to). And this is a change in Harry that has been needed. How old is he? Isn’t he a wizard? He needs to learn some subtitles and he begins to do so in this book. Murphy, Harry’s cop friend, is the one person I thought rather incongruous in her change of character. She seemed discombobulated in her formatting throughout the book. I didn’t like it, but I’m willing to give Butcher the benefit of the doubt. Molly I thought was amazing. I know some people are going to have problems with were Butcher took her character, but I’ve always thought she was a stronger person than she was given credit for and Ghost Story proves I was right. Of course I like a character who proves I am right.

I had an great Labor Day lounging on the couch and reading Ghost Story and watching old Psych episodes on Netflix. Spending time with some of my favorite characters in both television and book format was wonderful. I got so into Dresden after reading both books that I’m going back and re-watching the short lived television show, though it is not nearly as good as the books. But I needed a bit more Harry Dresden, not quite finished with that man. If you haven’t read these books, they are on my must read list. So go out and get the first book, Storm Front (#1), today.

Check out more Dresden Files fanart on this FB page.