Saturday, 1 June 2013

Ghost Story (Dresden Files #13)

Ghost Story (Dresden Files #13)
Jim Butcher
Publisher: Orbit
**Warning – Massive spoilers from the previous books in the series below**
Meet Harry Dresden, Chicago's first (and only) Wizard PI. Turns out the ‘everyday’ world is full of strange and magical things - and most of them don't play well with humans. That's where Harry comes in. As if being murdered wasn't enough, Harry's shade can't rest in peace. He learns that three of his loved ones are in mortal danger and only by discovering his assailant’s identity can he save them, bring criminal elements to justice, and move on. It would just be easier if he could interact with the physical world, and had a (working) crystal ball, and had access to magic. And he’s far from the only silent presence roaming Chicago's alleys. Hell, he put some there himself. And now, they're looking for payback.
Regular readers will know that The Dresden Files is one of my favourite UF series ever, heck it’s one of the best series ever and from book four on has been consistently good with plot twists, a slow building but intriguing story arc and characters you really care about. Ghost Story is no exception, but it is a little different than any of the previous books. Harry Dresden is dead, but has been sent back to Chicago six months after his assassination to find out which of his many enemies finally did away with him. However, as a ghost Harry doesn’t have access to his powers, his favourite back up or his old friends and things have changed a lot in the last few months without him…
Not having a physical presence is a major hindrance for our main character and it’s a testament to Jim Butcher’s writing style and characterisation that despite the majority of the book consisting of Harry talking to various different people, I was never bored. It was fascinating to see such a physical character coping without a body and figuring out who had killed him. Added to mix was some of the bad things that have been happening in the meantime and the fallout from the last book which have had far reaching impact on the world. The final section of the book was full of ghostly action though with some fantastically imagined action that have me leaning forward, urging Harry and allies on every obstacle.
This is quite a big book but honestly when the writing is this good it doesn’t matter as you just find yourself swept along at the break-neck pace. And the ending, oh the ending. If you thought Harry being dead was an obstacle, wait until you find out why Harry was killed and what’s in store next. Highly recommended read – but really you have to invest in the whole series – which I strongly recommend!
Recommended for fans of Kelley Armstrong and Mike Carey. 9 out of 10.

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