I finally, finally, FINALLY got my hands on Ghost Story, and I was not disappointed in the least! The Beloved Husband and I picked it up from the library yesterday morning and, after writing a torturous paper, I began reading at 6pm. With only a few interruptions, I finished around 1am.

This is simultaneously one of the coolest, darkest, and most lighthearted of the Dresden novels. It’s not lighthearted in the silly, quirky way that Side Jobs is, but rather, due to the apparent mental clarity of being dead, Harry confines his angst to things worth angsting over and then knuckles down to do what he came back to Chicago to do with surprisingly good grace. Of course, he is dead, which means the book can’t help but be dark – but, hey, it works, it makes sense, and it isn’t just dark and gritty for dark and gritty’s sake. Yay!

The snark is back, full force – and that is and always has been the saving grace of Dresden (both as a character and as a book series). A lot of the bitterness that tinged Harry’s humor in the last few books is gone, thank goodness. While we’ll never get back to the more innocent snarkiness of the first books, it’s so nice to see Harry’s wise-cracks stemming from genuine amusement instead of just anger – it makes them funnier. Seriously, I haven’t laughed as hard at a Dresden book as I did with this one in a long while.

I especially love how Butcher manages to give so much more insight into Harry’s character through this. One of the founding principles in this book is that a ghost is not actually the person who died, but rather his memories and echoes of his emotions. This being the case, we get to see several scenes out of Harry’s past, that have previously only been alluded to, in great detail. I think the device works quite well, since I never found myself skimming the flashbacks. Butcher weaves them in well and keeps them to a minimum so they don’t become tedious.

The book also answers the question, what would Chicago do without Harry? and addresses the fallout from the War with the Red Court. Like Harry, I hadn’t really thought about what would happen after, but the consequences make total sense, so I thought that was cool to see.

Anyways, a really good book – one of the best in the series! Dresden fans, you won’t be disappointed! Everyone else, pick up the series – it really is worth it!

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