From start to end it was action and insight and ....magical! Way to go Jim Butcher. Way to Go JAMES for your epic performances on all the Dresden books. Love it.
This is more along the lines of what I was expecting when my friends ranted about the Dresden files. Less repetitiveness, less whiny cops (which is a real pet peeve of mine), less poor little ol me. Finally in this book we are beginning to see Dresden grow and wake up not as much as I would like, but you can see it. You learn more and more about him, as well as the world of magic that is around us, and not just the little tidbits Dresden is willing to share, but the world really becomes alive in this book. Not to mention there is less of the cop (sorry I still really don't like her) and new characters are added, that leave you wanting to hear and see more of them, old characters are detailed out instead of being 2 dimension stick figures propped up in the story, you really see them grow as well and become part of the story and the world and a real and viable threat. It is my sincere hope the series continues this positive progress forward. I am not actually looking forward to book 4. though I am still not fully invested in Dresden himself, I am more invested in the world around him.
I've loved the whole series...books one, two, and three. Eager to dive into book #4. Jim Butcher is an incredibly talented writer...and James Marsters does an outstanding job performing. I'm completely sold on this series, and highly recommend them to all fans of fantasy, suspense, mystery, and more. Very, very well done. Butcher does the most amazing job creating the world Harry Dresden lives in....and I'm only tickled PINK that the series is long and I have so many more to enjoy.
I loved the Dresden books from the beginning, but here the characters really are fleshed out and active. Excellent emotional roller coaster, with lots of well described action.
Love listening to audio books at work or on the road.
yes, Dresden is my Favorite series and James does such a great job.
Jim always keeps you there then when the book is over you crave the next.
He is the perfect dresden.
I enjoyed this book at least as much, if not more that the previous two. Harry continues to develop as a character, as do those around him. Although there isn't much of Murphy in this book, Susan gets a lot more page time, and the new characters of Michael and Thomas add some interesting elements to the story. Towards the end, I was getting ready for things to wrap up, but I enjoyed the book enough to download the next one!
Books have always been a passion of mine, now that I'm older I find myself with less time but still my love for great stories has only grown
First let me get my regular preamble out of the way. This run through is probably my 6th time going through the series, So, it is safe to say I'm a big Dresden fan and I have a pretty good idea of what is coming in the following books so I try my best not to let that color my review of this book, but the key word in that is "try." Also, I'll say that while it is not mandatory to read the two books before this one, it does help to make things make more sense. The book could stand alone on its own because the story is that solid and the characters that enjoyable. But, I highly recommend starting from the beginning and enjoying this wild ride from the start at "Storm Front."
Ok, with that out of the way we can move forward. "Grave Peril" brings us back to the wild ride that is the everyday life of one Harry Dresden, Wizard of the White Council, Private investigator, and all around smart ass. It seems that in the last month ghosts of all flavors and power have been making their presence known in a most uncommon display through out the city of Chicago. Dresden has found this nightly occurrence so strange and quite frankly, a handful that he has enlisted the aid of his friend and sometime partner in the battle against what goes bump in the night, Michael Carpenter. Michael, a Knight of the Cross, that's "The Cross" mind you, has been helping Harry these past nights by putting these spirits to rest, the hard way. But this night's ghost hunt brings with it a few snags, one the discovery of a strange spell worked upon the spirit that appears to be what has been driving it and the other spirits to the point of such madness that they have been cropping up nightly and doing some serious work on weakening the boundary between the real world and the spirit world. Also, to bring this particular spirit down Harry and Michael have to tread into the Never Never, the realm of the faye and the spirit world itself. And here in lies another problem, They run into Harry's Fairy Godmother. She's apparently been waiting for Harry for quite sometimes, some debts need to be repaid and for the Faye, that sort of thing is not optional.
The two are no sooner escaped from that trouble, for the time being, than they are met with a new slate of problems, Because of the turmoil in in the barrier a great big mega ghost has been allowed to form up and has made its mission to wreak some bloody vengeance, and it is all somehow tied back to a case Harry and Michael worked with Murphy the the Team from S.I. earlier in the year. People from that case are beginning to meet up with trouble at the hands of this big nasty, and Harry and Michael are not sure how to beat it.
As if this were not enough, Harry has to deal with supernatural politics as the Vampires from the Red court have invited him to a party to celebrate a Nobel members ascension, as with most vampire matters, there is more to this than a simple party, blood and trouble, truths within lies. Next on the Harry do list is a poor girl who has come to him for help and who claims to have visions and in the most recent one Harry plays a central role, along with a lot of fire, and death. A Hallmark greeting card she is not. But of course Harry lets him self get dragged into trying to help her as well. Add to all this Harry's girl friend and reporter for the local supernatural yellow rag tabloid, Susan, is following up on a story that she's remaining closed lip about but none the less has Harry concerned.
How will Harry untangle all the lines of this tapestry of terror? (come on, alliteration is fun) All of these different strands come to tie Harry in knots as he tries to get himself and those he cares about through the flames of treachery and deceit alive. More importantly how does he do it when, in the middle of all this "fun," a large portion of his magic and power is taken from him?
"Grave Peril" is quite often the book that most folks point to when they say things really got started for them in the Dresden Files. Where "Storm Front" and "Fool Moon" set up the stage in a lot of ways, "Grave Peril" is where the play really takes off. It's the first time we are working with a full cast who are finally all "in the know" when it comes to the secret world. Murphy has finally realized there is more to this world than she first imagined, and this time she really believes it. Michael is brought into the story and he is a very welcome addition. A truly good man who fights along side Harry because he knows that some things are just worth fighting for. And having a holy knight with a holy sword featuring a nail from "The Crucifix" worked into its handle makes him a pretty staunch and able ally. But another great thing that the addition of Michael brings to the story is the fact that he is a family man. Harry, an orphan, finds a lot of things in Michael and his family that he admires and misses I suspect. But, by having Harry's perspective on this we get a deeper understanding of Dresden and we also see that sometimes what others take for granted, can be a treasure to some. This gives a real emotional grounding to Harry and explains in someways the tight bond that develops between the two men in the rest of the series.
Another player that is finally fully on board the supernatural train is Susan, while she has always believed in the supernatural, now she has been exposed to some of the real harsh, and darker aspects of what that means. Sadly, such a lesson does not prepare you for everything, and Harry and his relationship with Susan will have to handle this unflinching truth.
In "Grave Peril" Jim Butcher finally feels like we the reader might be ready to handle a little more of the supernatural world. And in this tale that world really sinks its teeth in. We get to finally see the Never Never, and while it is only a taste of what is to come, that taste is fairly trippy and full of dangerous missteps. We get some interesting back story for Dresden as we explore his relationship and his "deal" with his fairy Godmother. Lea,The Leanansidhe. I personally love Lea and all her faye craziness. She adds just the right amount of whimsical danger to the mix and her fingers are tied to a lot of strings, seen and unseen.
We also, get a little more grounding in the politics of the supernatural world. We get exposed to some of the workings of the Red court of Vampires and a little understanding of the interplay between them and the other two courts, the White and the Black, as well as its dealings with the White council, which becomes very important considering Harry is a member of that particular group,
Jim Butcher does not disappoint as he weaves a tale of seemingly sparsely related troubles that Harry has to deal with, but that form a tight red cord seemingly wrapped around our poor wizard and pulling him to a most tragic and seemingly inescapable doom. Along the way, as previously mentioned Jim Butcher leaves us little clues and tantalizing hints that will leave us wondering what is coming and what the heck one character or another is referring to. I suspect he laughs when he writes these parts,and I suspect it is an evil laugh. But, evil authors aside, be on the look out for these little tid bits, they all pay off the further along we go in the series.
James Marsters finally comes into the fullness of his narration in this book. I've said repeatedly in my previous two reviews that while James does a very good job, he still had more to give us. And in this story he finally delivers. His emotion is real and palpable in this tale, and you can really feel it in Jame's words as he delivers the lines that can break your heart or enrage your soul. To say this story would not have been as effective read aloud if the narrator sort of just phoned it in is an understatement. Butcher played harder in writing this story than the previous two, writing more emotionally driven scenes and more impact driven interactions than his previous two books because I think he felt by this point we should be properly invested in his characters, and James delivers to us an excellent reading. He finally has a clear and separate voice for all his characters, He captures the essence of the scenes well, and oh yes, for all those audio back ground noise haters, it seems they cleaned that up as well. James is an excellent actor and in this third book I think he finally got the formula right. From here on in James only steps his game up and he becomes in my mind, and the minds of many other fans, the voice of the Dresden Files.
"Grave Peril" is the first book where, and this is not to devalue the importance of human life, the stakes are higher than a few killings here and there. The cost of what transpires raises the bar and we are left wondering what is to come. A lot happens in this tale, a lot of set up for the next book. New characters that become integral parts to the Dresden Files. And as always, a story that leaves you wanting more. So, after you enjoy "Grave Peril" get ready for a swan dive into the Never Never in "Summer Knight!"
Harry is in it again. Love his moments of self discovery and historical explanation. Harry has loved and lost and can see and talk to ghosts. What next?
Probably, in 5 or 10 years. I plan on listening to the whole series again and I think I'll skip books 1 and 2 and start straight off with this one(Grave Peril). After hearing books 1 and 2, I was on the fence whether I would continue with the series but having just finished, "Grave Peril" I will definitely move on to book 4, "Summer Knights"! Personally, I think this is the book right here marks the (positive) turning point in the series. It seems like the series is really starting to kick in to another gear. Every story in the series is better than the last and with another 11 books to go(so far) I can only imagine how much better the latter books are going to be. You can actually see(or hear in this case) Jim Butcher maturing into a pretty damn good "UF" writer. Thank you Jim Butcher for not wasting my credit. Good job!!
I don't think I've listened to enough urban fantasy books yet to give a solid comparison...sorry. The only other series I've heard that I can remotely compare this to would be the, "Felix Castor" series by Mike Carey but that's really not even a proper comparison, "Felix Castor" is definitely "R" rated while the, "Dresden Files" is more pg-13 with both writers having completely different writing styles ta-boot and by the way if my grammar's correct(it's probably not)this is the longest sentence I've ever written in my life.
Thomas, Harry Dresden's (newly introduced) friend.
Ya, I'm going to buy a magic kit and a pointy hat and start performing at the the local YMCA. NO I DIDN'T HAVE AN EXTREME REACTION!!!! It's a book, not medication! I might have chuckled once or twice but I think that's about it.
This series is without a doubt improving with every book so if your into urban fantasy check it out. I'll tell ya what, I don't care what anyone says Jim Butcher's definitely got talent.
James Marsters - He has such a good voice.
The story was good and just when you think you have it, it turns in another direction. Some might find it predictable but it is totally entertaining.