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4.4 out of 5 stars
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2012
I've read and own everything Jim Butcher has written, and there isn't a single book that has disappointed me. Clever, inventive, well thought out and driven by a huge heart and a wry wit. Each novel in the series, and yes, you should read the series, as each book adds the legacy of Harry Dresden. Every novel has left me wondering how the heck Butcher could top what I had just finished reading and he does, with the very next novel. GHOST STORY continues this rocking good series.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
When we last saw Harry Dresden, he had lost everything... and was dead. Usually it doesn't get worse than that. But Jim Butcher's "Ghost Story" proves that for a meddling wizard, things can get infinitely worse -- and while the book has some bits that should have been trimmed off, it's still a powerful, bleakly vivid experience.

Harry finds himself scooped up by a sort of heavenly police force, who inform him that there were some irregularities with his death. He's being sent back to Chicago as a powerless ghost to find out who killed him.

But Chicago has changed in the last six months. The Red Court's destruction has allowed other powers -- mainly the Fomor -- to rise instead. Hordes of wraiths and lemurs are following a monstrous shade called the Grey Ghost and a Bob lookalike. Molly has become a half-mad magical vigilante, and a guilt-ridden Murphy is leading a ragtag alliance of local powers.

And making contact with his friends is the least of Harry's problems. Without his magic or his physical body, he has to unravel the identity of the Grey Ghost, thwart a small-time sorcerer, stop a flood of murderous ghosts, and figure out who killed him to start with. But even if he works that out, he's still facing the ultimate unknown...

"Changes" ended with the mother of all cliffhangers, and in a way most of "Ghost Story" is also a cliffhanger -- Butcher keeps you wondering what will happen to Harry and if he's truly imitating the Norwegian blue parrot. And if he isn't all-the-way dead, how the heck can he come back from a shooting/drowning six months afterwards?

So there's a heavy grey cloud of suspense over this book, especially as Harry stumbles through the grim, blood-spattered world that has resulted from HIS ACTIONS. But when Harry drifts back into an active role again, the bleakness begins to lift, and the plot revs up into a slam-bang magical war involving ghosts, Star Trek, and some old enemies of Harry's.

Don't worry, humor fans. Butcher hasn't lost his hilarious knack for the snarky and silly ("It was like The Lord of the Rings and All My Children made a baby with the Macho Man Randy Savage and a Whac-A-Mole machine").

Butcher also puts his hero through the emotional grinder -- Harry is forced to see how his questionable actions have hurt the people he cares for, and have thrown the world into turmoil. This is perhaps the most painful part of the story, seeing Harry grapple with all that he's done.. But Butcher doesn't neglect the supporting characters, like Father Forthill, Morty the ectomancer, Bob, the ever-majestic Uriel and the stalwart shade Sir Stuart.

The book's biggest problem? It feels rather loosely edited -- Harry angsts that he shouldn't have brought Molly to Chichen Itza at least three times, and the flashback to Harry's youth would have made a better short story. Also... WHAT HAPPENED TO THE OTHERS?! I can't wait a year to find out!

"Ghost Story" leaves some threads hanging, but the powerful tale of an undead Harry Dresden trying to set his little world aright is also filled with action, pathos, and sharp bleak urban fantasy.
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on September 11, 2011
I was sent a copy of this book to review. I'm both glad and sad that they sent me the book. Glad because it was a great book; sad because it's the first time I'd read anything in the Dresden files and now I know the end but haven't read anything that came before. But rest assured, I'm now a fan of Jim Butcher's writing and will start at the beginning of the series.

However, if you happen to already be a Dresden fan then I have to believe that this novel would be a satisfying and compelling continuation of the story.

Harry Dresden is a wizard who has an unfortunate condition; he's dead. But he can't continue on into the afterlife until he finds out who murders him. His ghost is commissioned to find the murderer, save his friends who are in danger and probably save the world at the same time; all without benefit of his body or his magic.

This is an entertaining read. The plot while fantasy is still believable and the characters are well written. Not having read any other books in the series I'm not sure if Harry is normally a thoughtful guy but in this book he spends a lot of time ruminating on his life and how he got to be the way he was. He was a sarcastic, confident and caring person in life and his ghost also has those qualities. The dialogue is great and I'm sure would be even more entertaining for those who have read the series and are used to the way Butcher writes.

This is like a Harry Potter book for adults. But with more adult type of angst and moral dilemmas (yes even for a ghost). If you're a Dresden fan, you have to read this book. If you're not and think you might like to be, start with Storm Front the first in the series and work your way up to this book. It'll be worth the wait.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2012
I couldn't put the book down once I started. Can't wait for the next book in this wonderful series from such a great author!
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on November 16, 2014
Well Harry is dead. Now what? I didn't give a full 5 star since I found that this book had too much rambling and psychological self analysis and stuff. If I want that I will read romance novels. Some of it was appropriate to the story line. But only some of it. I like to read science fantasy/fiction books because I can't predict the outcome. And this book does not let me down. It was written from a very different perspective: Harry as a ghost must find his killer! Very nicely done. The author must have watched lots of TV and movies because I lost track of all the references to so many of them. It makes Harry very life like and adds humour to the story. Finally Molly, including some other characters you wouldn't expect, get into the action in a very different way than expected. I enjoyed reading the book and moved on to the book 14.
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on November 7, 2015
Much as I have heard complaints about this book just not being the same and kind of ending the Dresden books I didn't see that. I loved the book and finding out about what happened after the book before this and Susan. Seeing that the death of Harry was put into this book I found it intriguing to see him as a Ghost and finding out what happened within the 6 months after the reported Death of Dresden.

What a great idea and one that I hadn't seen before. One of my favourite books in the later part of the series
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on September 13, 2012
Ghost story is definetely one of the best Dresden Files ever! Lots of drama, lots of the beloved snark we have come to associate with our favorite wizard, lots and lots of action (just a tad too much if you ask me). Especially liked the background information that was dribbled here and there showing a side of Harry Dresden we only had a glimpse before. Just loved it and waiting impatiently for the next installment
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on September 15, 2011
I wasn't sure that this novel would improve on the continuing Dresden series, but I was very pleased with this book and where the series seems to be going.
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on May 22, 2015
I like all of the Dresden series. This was a difficult place for a main character to be (dead). Butcher carries it off.
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on September 2, 2011
I've always enjoyed reading about the adventures of Harry Dresden. This book is no exception to add to my delight.
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