GHOST STORY – JIM BUTCHER

Harry Dresden lives. That’s what I thought when I first saw Ghost Story on the shelves and – SPOILER ALERT – it’s what I was thinking as I tearfully read the last few pages. In the words of another favourite wizard of mine, I couldn’t help but mutter aloud I love magic! when I sniffled and put down my ereader. If you like fantasy, magic, Harry Dresden or author Jim Butcher, you NEED to read this book; you will LOVE this book.

I started Ghost Story Friday night but only got far enough into the story to know that I wasn’t going out the next night, even if Matthew Gray Gubler had shown up at my door and begged – and that’s saying something. So there I am Saturday night, curled up with Harry Dresden’s ghost, eagerly punching the next page button and soaking up the book like a flower does water. Eventually though, my ereader started to say “low battery”. I’m usually pretty attentive to that but not this time. This time I didn’t notice until the ereader was screaming (ok, ok, silently flashing) “critically low battery power” seconds before it turned off. That’s right, it just turned off. Mid-sentence. As Harry and his ghostly army were storming a beach in the Nevernever Saving Private Ryan style (Butcher’s description not mine) my ereader just turned off….GAH! I had no choice; I plugged it in and got some sleep. Sunday brought family obligations, a friend in need of a shoulder and an afternoon of slaving in the kitchen. Meanwhile my ereader just sat there on the couch, taunting me.  After what felt like an eternity, it was just me and the 99 pages remaining in Ghost Story, so I picked up the ereader, found the cut off sentence and tore through the rest of the book like it was life-giving air and I was suffocating.

Ghost Story is a beautiful, terrible, guilt-ridden, wonderfully imagined story. Creative and clever, it was also evocative on an emotional level that’s new to the Dresden Files; at least for me. I’ve always found the books amusing and engrossing and the characters fully formed, but that’s the first time Butcher has elicited a full emotional response (read: tears) from me. I also hated Harry for what he did to Molly. That was new too. (Relax, I can’t stay mad at the guy.)

It took dying for Harry to really grow up. Also, it’s worth noting that Ghost Story is more maturely written than any of the previous books. So maybe it took killing Harry for Butcher to really grow up? Butcher’s writing has obviously grown over the years (think about it like reading Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Mists of Avalon and then go back and read one of her early Darkover works. There’s a vast difference. The talent was always there, but it took time to learn how to harness it and direct it in the most effective way) but I didn’t really see it so starkly until now. Maybe it was because I just finished reading Side Jobs which contained the earliest Harry Dresden story and then moved to Ghost Story which is of course, the newest. Either way, an excellent read. So what are you waiting for? Go pick up the book on your way home today. And don’t blame me if you call in sick to work tomorrow.

 

And that’s my looking-forward-to-the-next-Dresden-book 2¢ for today.

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~ by leslies2cents on September 12, 2011.

2 Responses to “GHOST STORY – JIM BUTCHER”

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