A wizard can't even die in peace...
When we last saw Harry Dresden in Changes, he and his friends had defeated the vampire Red Court, had rescued his daughter, and returned to Chicago. Then Harry was hit by rifle fire. Now, six months later, Harry's ghost is once again conscious and is being sent back to Chicago. He is supposed to find his own killer. If he doesn't there of his friends are going to die.
Although Harry pretty much sold his soul to evil to rescue his daughter, although he is a ghost, he still can't let his friends die. Of course he agrees to return to Chicago. He forgets that as a spirit, he can't talk to humans or affect them in any way. How is he supposed to contact Karrin Murphy or Molly Carpenter or any of his other friends? So Harry turns to the guy who can help him, Morty Lindquist, an ectomancer. Morty can talk to ghosts.
Harry quickly learns how bad things are. The Red Court had been very powerful and owned lots of territory. Now there is a hole. The other bad guys in the world are rushing in to fill that hole. Molly is gaining the reputation of a vigilante. Murphy is in charge of a group of warriors to fight the evils out there. This group includes Butters, the medical examiner, Will the werewolf, and Daniel Carpenter, Molly's younger brother, among others.
Murphy is brittle, ready to break. Because his body hasn't been found, she refuses to believe Harry is dead. So when he approaches them through Morty, Murphy doesn't believe him. It takes a cat, personal questions, and verification from Molly before any of them believe that the ghost is really Harry. Something really bad is building up in Chicago and Harry has to help them stop it. He should be looking for his killer. But they need help now. Harry still is driven to help and protect his friends in their current problems. Then he'll look for his own killer to protect them later.
Jim Butcher's Ghost Story was hard for me to read - even though it is well paced like the past novels. I've followed the Dresden files for years and know these characters. Harry has always been larger than life. But Jim Butcher wrote Changes. Harry gave up bits of himself to save that little girl. Ghost Story is now full of self-recriminations. The reader sees what the outcome of Harry's decisions are. They are not good. I had to put the book down not because it was difficult to read, but because I could only subject myself to the emotions stirred for only so long before I had to have a break from the darkness.
This book is a must for anyone reading the series. If you haven't, don't start here. You won't pick up any more of them, and that would be a shame. Ghost Story is well written and the action doesn't stop. Harry wants to do his usual act of going in with guns blazing. But as a ghost, he doesn't have magic and can't affect the physical world. In Ghost Story, he has to use his brain.
Notice: Graphic violence
These reviews are personal opinions only and in no way reflect other readers' opinions of the books discussed.
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