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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Ghost Story by Jim Butcher (Dresden #13)

Ghost Story (The Dresden Files,  #13)Ghost Story by Jim Butcher

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This MAY contain spoilers if you just started reading the series.

Seriously.  Stop now.

You have been duly warned.

Okay, then....

Jacket Blurb:  When we last left the mighty 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 has nobody, 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..


Dresden wakes up as a ghost and finds out he cannot pass through Purgatory - Chicago Between in this case - to What Comes Next until he finds out who murdered him and he has to do so or three of his friends will suffer terrible things.  (I WARNED you!)

This was one of the few in this series that I actually read, rather than listen to as an audiobook.  I missed James Marster's voices.  What really struck me though, is just how much Dresden/Butcher tends to ramble, these rather long soliloquies of reflection and contemplation in the oddest moments.  I admit, after the umteenth one, I started skimming a bit as the eyes glazed over.

And I wish I had taken a moment to highlight a couple of the inconsistencies (darn library deadlines!) because it struck me that there were more than one "the rules of magic state X" but then not chapters later, "rule X" was being broken. 

Ultimately this was a book where Dresden is able to reflect on his life and all the choices he made that brought him to this state of non-existence.  And reflect he did, over, and over, and over (see note above about rambling).  We also observe our fine cast of characters coping with Dresden's absence in their unique ways as they strive to keep Chicago from falling to the Forces of Evil, but even then, there is a lot that is left unsaid and rather unfinished.

So while this was a much calmer and more introspective book than the frantic chaos that defined Changes (#12), there were several aspects that just seemed inconsistent with the overall story arc - such as Molly's sudden increase in magical ability and why she wasn't Ebenezer's student after Dresden's death as expressed in Dresden's will and testament is a bit odd - and many smaller nuances that were inconsistent within the story itself.

I enjoyed the tale, but was left with too many "Hmmm's....".

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