To save his friends—and his own soul—Harry will have to pull off the ultimate trick without any magic…
Author: Jim Butcher
Category: Urban Fantasy
Publication Date: July 26th, 2011
SPOILER WARNING FOR THE END OF CHANGES! But, it is in the book description on Goodreads so it maybe doesn’t count? I dunno…read ahead at your own risk. :D
So Harry was shot at the end of Changes, book 12 in The Dresden Files, and that is where that book cuts off. Book 13 opens with Harry as a ghost being told he gets to go back to Chicago as a ghost (“Chicag-atory” as Harry puts it) and must figure out who killed him or other people that he cares about will also meet their doom.
This whole twist of Harry being a ghost in his own story mixed things up a lot.
Simply the change in dynamics with Harry being dead and thus his interaction with the world he used to live in being vastly changed made a really interesting dynamic for this installment. With only a handful of people that could actually even speak to him and now being limited in movement by daylight, the challenges that Harry faced were more difficult than previously. There is a mostly the same “bad guy killing people, must discover who bad guy is” plot that most of the books have but the added difficulty of Harry’s situation made it more interesting.
For a story that was getting stale, the last book and this one upped the ante. The story went from a handful of murder mysteries to a plot that dives very dark and very deep. This was a step in the right direction.
While the plot got better, Harry’s quick wit and humor is what keeps us coming back for more. Every character is fun and has the great style of Jim Butcher. Another highlight of this book and its unique dynamics was seeing the people that were close to Harry handle his death and deal with the extreme consequences of his actions shortly before his death. They are naturally grieving but have also been put in situations that are hurting them on a deeper level and with this Harry realized the depth of his failures in life.
At the beginning of this series, Harry was pretty much the chivalrous good guy that is kind of expected by default in a lot of books. As the series goes on though his faults are explored more and more without totally changing his character from what it started out as. Harry is not necessarily evil but he has been morphing from a knight in shining armor sort of character to borderline anti-hero and this book really highlighted that.
If you have not been a fan of this series, the 12th book in the series will not change your mind. For you Dresden fans out there though, this is one you don’t want to miss.
There is not much else I can put down. I enjoyed this book and love that there is more of a connecting story with these books. Getting to see a new angle on this world was fun. I hope the rest of the series continues this way. I can not stress enough that the style of did not change, Butcher just flipped the story on it’s head. And he did it well.
It seems like I may be in the minority on this because Ghost Story may be my favorite in the series so far. I do think it dragged on a little bit in places but I loved finally getting to see Harry’s backstory from before the first book. His life story with his early childhood and beginning to learn magic and everything he went through with Justin was both exactly what I expected and a thrill to read.