Chicago wizard Harry Dresden gets a taste of the dead life in this novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling series.
In his life, Harry’s been shot, stabbed, sliced, beaten, burned, crushed, and tortured. And after someone puts a bullet through his chest and leaves him to die in the waters of Lake Michigan, things really start going downhill.
Trapped between life and death, he learns that his friends are in serious trouble. Only by finding his murderer can he save his friends and move on—a feat which would be a lot easier if he had a body and access to his powers. Worse still are the malevolent shadows that roam Chicago, controlled by a dark entity that wants Harry to suffer even in death.
Now, the late Harry Dresden will have to pull off the ultimate trick without using any magic—or face an eternity as just another lost soul…
Inez burst out in girlish giggles. She turned in a circle, parasol whirling, and in a singsong voice said, “Harry Dresden, hung upon a tree. Afraid to embrace his des-tin-y.” She looked me up and down again, her eyes dancing, and nodded firmly. “Monster. They’ll write books about you.”
Ghost Story just isn’t the book you want to read after Changes. All the discontent boils down to that fact. At no point while reading this book did I actually want to be reading it, and I gave serious consideration to actually skipping it just to get to the next book. That is how much this book is not what I wanted to read after Changes.
From here on, this will contain major spoilers for Changes so do not read this if you are considering reading the series.
Ghost Story opens up with the typical light at the end of the tunnel, now I’m dead joke. Dresden has to come to terms with this fact pretty quickly as he is convinced to go back to Earth to find his own murderer. Well, Dresden does pretty much everything but that as it is fire after fire that he helps with. Because they’re his friends and he cares about them. Also Chicago is his town and by god he is going to protect it.
One of the things that makes Ghost Story just really no what you want to read is the agency of Dresden. In Changes, Dresden quite literally changes the world with his actions. Dresden drove everything. He took charge. He was a Power. And Ghost Story is the complete opposite. Dresden pretty much can’t do anything. He is a ghost, after all. He spends most of the book trying to do things and being frustrated he can’t. Including convincing the people he trusts the most that he is who he says he is. Which comes up several times. And we go back to almost square one because Dresden causes almost as much trouble as he solves!
One of the better aspects of Ghost Story is that in a lot of ways, Dresden is reflecting on his life up to this point. And he is finding that in a lot of ways he has come up short. Ghost Story is quite an emotional book, all things told. That said, I do think that this book could have done better on this front.
And part of the reason why it could have done better is because the pacing is atrocious in this book. Somehow, I cannot fathom how, Ghost Story is longer than Changes in word count. When maybe 1/3 of the things happen in this than did in Changes. So much time was just wasted on boring, trivial things. I just wish the editor would have had a heavier hand in this book.
The ending of the book, in a lot of ways, is entirely expected. You know what is going to happen, though you may not know all the specifics, and you kind of just want it to get it over with already. Though, there are some surprises, and some really cool and good things that happen in the end.