Thursday, 28 July 2011

URBAN FANTASY REVIEW: The Dresden Files 13: Ghost Story - Jim Butcher

Release Date: 28/07/11


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. But he's forgotten his own golden rule: magic - it can get a guy killed. Which didn't help when he clashed with unknown assailants with his murder in mind. And though Harry's continued existence is now in some doubt, this doesn't mean he can rest in peace. Trapped in a realm that's not quite here, yet not quite anywhere else, Harry learns that three of his loved ones are in danger. Only by discovering his assailant's identity can he save his friends, bring criminal elements to justice, and move on himself. It would just be easier if he knew who was at risk. And had a (working) crystal ball. And access to magic. Instead, he is unable to interact with the physical world - invisible to all but a select magical few. He's also not the only silent presence roaming Chicago's alleys. Hell, he put some there himself. Now, they're looking for payback.


Perhaps not the most common saying ever, but to be honest a phrase from the Victorian period was suddenly echoing round my area not that long ago. “The Butcher has arrived, the Butcher has arrived.” Was virtually screamed at opening the envelope to see the cover of this, the latest adventure for Wizard PI Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden which as series fans will recall was left at a major cliff hanger at the end of the last book, Changes.

I really couldn’t wait to begin, but hey, if you’re preparing for a major read you need to lay some supplies in. Homemade Salami, Ham and Pastrami Baguette, check. Chilled bottle of Barrs Dandelion and Burdock, check. Comfy cushions and blanket for the sofa, check. Quick loo break prior to starting. Check. Finally phone unplugged for peace and quiet. Check. I was all ready to begin and woe betide anyone that got in my way.

What unfurls within this title is a story of danger, a story of old foes and a story where characters fears and emotional conflicts are faced after the previous titles events. It is fast paced, it has multiple twists and quite a few the reader really won’t see coming. As usual with Butcher, Harry is the star of the tale and this time, he has to deal with relatively little power relying on his other skills to get him through which makes this classic Dresden. The only real downside is how long its going to be before the next book arrives and with luck, the “Rag Lady” will get her first step on the road to recovery as well as allowing Harry to be back to his best.

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