Ghost Story has to be this year's most anticipated Urban Fantasy novel, particularly after the excellent Changes and the cliffhanger ending it had. The bar had been set quite high and it seems like the consensus is that Ghost Story fell short. How short is where most disagree on.
Ghost Story is the thirteenth installment in The Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher, featuring one of the most awesome characters out there, Harry Dresden. Harry is my Jack Bauer of fiction literature; and we know Jack Bauer is god. After some concerns of whether Borders was going to ship me my pre-ordered book, it finally arrived late last week and spent two nights finishing it up. Regardless of your opinion on the book, it's apparent that it's still quite a page turner.
But once one finishes up reading Ghost Story, it's evident that the book was sub-par in The Dresden Files sequence. Part of the problem is that Butcher looked like he was very conscious of new readers and he was on recap mode on steroids throughout the whole novel, which surely drove fans of the series nuts. In a similar nature, the pacing was out of whack throughout the book due to too many back story and flashback scenes and the already mentioned recaps. But given the nature of ghosts in the book, it makes sense for these types of things to occur, though they still disrupt the energy and momentum of the book. While these were problematic, the book specific plot was not that engaging or interesting, so it created a perfect negative storm.
Those issues aside, I really enjoyed the book. The worst Dresden book to me is still much better than most Urban Fantasy novels I read, so while disappointed by the book not reaching the standards I come to expect of a Dresden novel, it's was still a very good read for me, and it's still one of my favorite Urban Fantasy reads this year.
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The Dresden Files has always been to me about having Harry Dresden as a narrator and it was still an enjoyable read, though expect many mixed reactions to the book. Even so, the stage has be set and now I'm very much looking forward to what comes next, Harry is back and it'll be interesting to see how his recent experiences are going to shape his behavior going forward. Next book in the series is apparently titled Cold Days coming out next year. New allies and enemies have been made, questions of trust are about, lots of mysteries still left undiscovered to us the readers, and Harry is here to kick some ass.
Now putting my fangirl hat on for moment, Harry + Murphy or Harry + Molly? Who you got? I don't know about you, even though I'm a big fan of Murphy, I kinda dig the HairyMole.
Here are some reviews that might be of interest:
Mad Hatter's Bookshelf & Book Reviews
Mihir from Fantasy Book Critic on Goodreads
Where to buy:
Ghost Story Hardcover from The Book Depository
Get more info on the series and author on Jim Butcher's website.
And lastly make sure to check out this interview from Patrick Rothfuss of The Name of the Wind fame to Jim Butcher, it's a very good one, though it contains some spoilers from Changes, so you're warned: