Once I started reading Jim Butcher's latest Dresden Files book, Ghost Story, I threatened to stay home from work and finish it. It's a story that Harry Dresden fans have been waiting to read. What happened to Harry after he was shot and fell off the boat and drowned?
Harry Dresden wants the answer to that question as well. He had finally had a chance to escape after rescuing his daughter from the Red Court, when someone shot him. As a ghost, he's almost run over by a train when a long-dead acquaintance saves him, telling him he's "In between." He's offered a choice. Since the bad guys cheated to kill him, he can go back and find his killer. But, he has to go back as a spirit with no magic, and most people won't be able to see or hear him. Oh, and if he doesn't go back and find his killer, three people he loves will come to great harm. Some choice.
This is Harry Dresden we're talking about, a wizard who always fought on the side of good. He arrives back in Chicago to find his friends trying to defend his beloved city against forces of evil who grew more powerful following Harry's death, and the destruction of the Red Court. Six months have passed, to Harry's shock, and his friends are besieged from all sides. Harry used to call himself the only wizard in the Chicago Yellow Pages. Now, he says, "Maybe I should make it my new slogan: Harry Dresden - I take responsibility for more impossible situations in the first twenty-four hours of being dead than most people do all day." Ghosts and other evil forces are threatening Harry's friends, and Chicago. He plans to take control.
Butcher's Ghost Story is a fascinating peek into Harry's past, his memories, his regrets, and the man he became. It's a powerful story of change, in Harry, and in other characters. It's still a story of good vs. evil, but it's a story that questions the decisions people make.
And, my advice to anyone starting Ghost Story? Start reading it when you can stay home and finish the book.
Jim Butcher's website is www.Jim-Butcher.com.
Ghost Story by Jim Butcher. ROC (Penguin Group, USA). ©2011. ISBN 9780451463791 (hardcover), 481p.
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