Something is stirring up angry apparitions all over town. Something that can break all the laws of supernatural physics. Something that doesnt like Harry. His closest friends are being targeted. The net is closing in. Harry must find a solution soon or find this is one Nightmare from which he will never waken.
©2001 Jim Butcher; (P)2004 Buzzy Multimedia
The narration is expertly done, conveying Butcher's blend of black humor, drama, and suspense without swinging to extremes. Voices of the other characters are effortlessly distinct. My only criticism would be that there is occasionally a lack of contrast and energy in Dresden's internal monologues.
I keep trying Jim Butcher books b/c everyone that likes the same books I like recommend them so highly. But I'm afraid I just don't get it. Jim's books aren't horrible but they're not great either. This type of book is great for audio books since I can listen for the 1 hour commute to & from work then forget about it when I have better things to do.
I have to confess to being an embarrassing fan-girl for James Marsters so that's the real reason I bought Grave Peril. Take that into consideration when I say he did a GREAT job. :) He really brought Harry to life and I loved the voice for Bob. I pretty much had that voice in my head for Bob while reading the first book.
Even though I love James, I found myself drifting off while listening but then he would change the pitch of his voice and capture my attention again. With any other reader I would have given this book 2 or maybe 3 stars but because of James I gave it 4.
Say something about yourself!
This was a great Audio book and a fantastic Narrator. I was hooked on the book after the first 20 min. Great story line ( all tho a little long) and the narrator read with passion and excitement, great rendition.
I like scifi and urban fantasy. I don't like romance novels. If you are the same my reviews should help.
From here out the author has hit his stride. The stories and characters are top notch. I love Harry's evil faery God-mother. That means a lot as I normally despise and shun any books with faeries. The fact I actually like them and they are some of my favorite characters in Butcher's work says a lot for his skills. Great author and narrartor. You can't go wrong with this series.
It feels like there is a book missing between 2 and 3. It took time to make the puzzle fit, and by that time the story was too complicated to make further connections and solve any mysteries. I didn't like the lack of Murphy. I don't enjoy that Harry blames himself for everything and broods eternally in this book - not out of character for him, but get over it! His girlfriend is beyond annoying. Harry, it's her fault too! She took her chances. I'm almost done now with book 4, and that one is better, which means I'll continue binging this series.
The story only seamed so-so compared to the previous books. I felt like characters just popped up and a previous character I really liked was just missing from this book, which was unfortunate.
Grave Peril has not turned me off to books in the genre as I greatly enjoy similar type stories, and if I had the time/ability to read the print (paper/eBook) versions I might have enjoyed this story (and the series as a whole) significantly more.
I have listen to other things on Audible narrated by James Marsters's (e.g. his performance in "The Importance of Being Earnest") but this series of books is so horribly done by him that I get physically angry (scratch your nails on that chalk board one more time and you'll lose some fingers, type angry) at the thought of enduring his poor performance again.
I think this story has been done too many times before in movies/tv shows, unfortunately for it to bring a significantly new and unique experience to the telling.
As the headline says, I felt lied too. I talked to many people who love these books (i.e. at cons - Butcher was at the last one I attended doing a signing, in my circle of friends, on first dates these books have come up in conversation) and I expressed my issues with the performance in books 1 and 2 and almost unanimously they said, "oh, Marsters gets better." Lies I say, LIES! Granted they might mean he is better by book 13 (at the time of this writing, 15.5 has come out).
I scoured the reviews of this book looking for the tail-tail reviews about the mouth noises and if they were bearable or not and there were significantly fewer which made me think maybe he was getting better. After listening to the book, I think that the number of reviews reporting this issue was significantly because the people that are/were offended by the slurping mouth noises didn't purchase this book and had given up on the audiobook version of this series or the series in general (as I had).
I ran across one review that suggested dialing up the listen speed to 1.25x to lessen such noises. Personally I dialed the speed up to 1.5x and it worked, well enough, but they were still there and there were still way too many of them; luckily they passed by fast enough it was not nearly as infuriating as before. There are a great many reviews that highly praise Marsters's performance suggested to me that just maybe Marsters and the few reviews that did criticize the performance might been being too picky. Having listened to the book myself I have wonder if people praising the performance had actually listened to it before they wrote their reviews.
Sound engineers/directors everywhere, lets do the math:
When your performer (in this cases Marsters) makes mouth noises in their performance you are limiting your audience and good will (willingness to push your product on their friends) from that audience to the people who can tolerate those horrible sounds. With the mouth noises removed your audience and good will increases the number people who will tolerate it (but wouldn't even notice if it's missing) by the amount of people that would be offended by said noises (i.e. something + something more is greater than something + 0 and much greater than something + negative feels about it). Granted you can't make everyone happy, but in this case by forcing your performer to do less slobbering the audience that enjoys the performance it will only increase because no one will know that those sounds could have (definitely should NOT have) been there.
I thought I was done with the series after book 2 because of the poor performance and I should have stayed done because this book didn't grab me in any meaningful way (not the story, not the performance) to keep me interested in the series. My only interest in the series now lies in my friends that have listen to these and the Iron Druid Chronicles that want me to catch up in this series so we can talk comparatively about the two main characters (Atticus vs Harry - that's one heck of a debate/battle, I personally think they would get along with each other just fine). If I can summon up the will to try the next book in the series, I think I will have to go with 2x playback speed.
I've listened to the series up to this point (all narrated by Marsten), and while I think he has a great voice and is a wonderful performer, the first two books had some technical issues with the narration (heavy breaths, swallows, etc). This one was much better. Outstanding performance all around. Butcher's story is getting really good and I can't wait to read the next one!
Story is still great and the narrator is more lively than previous books. The swallowing noises are less but still very apparent. The fault is solely on the audio engineer.
A less jumbled and convoluted plot which hinged on a more inventive premise.
No, I will still try another Dresden novel. But if the next one is as poorly written and conceived as this one, I doubt that I will buy any more.
I liked the character of the knight.
Irritation at Jim Butchers attempts to force a love story into this book.
5 stars is i love and i will read agani and again. 1 is i hate and i never want to hear about it ever again. YES = :))) - NO= :'(
Such a great listen it was... nothing goes easy with Mr. Dresden... I feel really bad for the guy... The challenges he went through weren't easy and how they ended were oh no moment.... Vamps are back and they really hate him so much.
Narration was amazing, James Marsters is a good narrator, and he is really good expressing the emotions the characters goes through.
What a good series is really good, got the fourth book already, and listening to it right now.
"An EXCELLENT audiobook"
If you are reading this review, I assume that you have read/listened to the first two books in the Dresden files series (if not, you are well advised to do so as the books are linked and you wont get so much from them if not read in order).
\"Grave Peril\" is where the series really takes off (as Jim Butcher acknowledges in a brief intro to the audiobook). It is a darker, more complex tale with a storyline that simply hurtles along building to a terrific climax. The character, fantasy and back-plot development are very cleverly done, and the balance between the urban reality, as it were, and the fantasy is very well judged - an excellent story.
James Marsters brings it all superbly to life with another terrific piece of narration.
A five star listen if ever there was one - strongly recommended.
I am going to be bias, as I am a huge fan of Jim Butcher.
James Marsters really brings the character to life and makes the book and story alive.
"Clear your diary - not one for turning off"
My problem was I kept trying to listen to this audiobook in short chunks. It REALLY doesn't lend itself to a casual listen.
This is great noir detective fiction - complicated plot lines crossing over and re-crossing over as more information gets revealed; final dénouements that end up being not that final at all; great magical battles when you think that this time, Harry really, surely has had it after all ... hasn't he?? BUT, the drawback there is you do need to be able to put the listening time in. I kept just wanting to leave it on for another 5 minutes, then another 5, then another .. stuff just kept happening.
In the end I was "saved" by a 4 hr train ride to see my sister - 4 hrs each way that is. Which was fantastic! I finally had time to plug my ears in and listen to the whole thing in pretty much one go. If you're looking for a book you can just put on in the background and listen too with half an ear, this is not it. Too exciting. Too many plot twists. Needs to be given the attention it deserves.
"Entertaining but Exhausting"
I am new to the Dresden Files so I haven't listened to the rest of the series yet.
I enjoyed the story, but I found the book a bit exhausting. It's like watching an action film that is non stop action for hours and hours. I think I needed just a little more 'down time' (for want of a better phrase) where we get to know the characters a little better. I am no writer but the 'down time' in stories helps build up to the exciting action scenes.
Good Narration and I will definitely listen to the next book before I give up on this series.
There should be a sixth star for mr marsters. Superb book, sublimely read. Loved every second of it.
Butcher's books were superb when I first read and re-read them, this recording further enhances it.
"Never a dull moment!"
I wasn't much impressed with Storm Front (book 1) and had originally given up on the Dresden Files after a disappointing first dose. However, being a bit stumped as to what to listen to I decided to try again. Reading a previous reviewer advising that skipping book two was okay I launched into Book 3 instead. Thanks to that review, I am now hooked on Harry Dresden... and yes, if you're a newbie - Book 1 is essential (although not that great a book), so you have a grounding in the characters but as I found skipping book 2 didn't put me at a disadvantage story-wise at all. Book 3's story does run straight into 4, so don't skip that one as you will be a bit lost.
Grave Peril is a great mix of detective noir, the supernatural (werewolves, vampires) in a magic mix (witches, fairies and monsters). The detective genre, action and it's setting in a modern day grounds it for me (otherwise, I don't think I could stomach the "tinkerbell" pizza-crazied fairies). This is pulp fiction and should be enjoyed as such. It's a fun, light, action-packed and pacey page-turner with a sprinkling of knowing humor. Don't expect a literary masterpiece, but treat it like an entertaining, fun roller-coaster ride and when it's over you'll find yourself instantly missing it and wanting another ride.
I really enjoyed this and have already bought tickets for my next few Harry Dresden misadventures.
"Bigger and Badder"
It is official, I am now hooked
Story – 5/5
Just as I was told by friends, this is where the story becomes a lot more epic. Jim Butcher has taken this from a detective story into all out battles, politics and plots between different factions in the supernatural world – vampires being the most prominent in this book. This goes to show that epic and urban fantasy sub genres can indeed be mutually exclusive.
There is a huge amount of exciting action with fear, humour, and intrigue throughout. I think Butcher does an excellent job in making us worry for the main cast, especially given that first person narratives tend to trivialise danger. This, in my eyes, makes him a masterful author.
Each of the existing characters develop nicely again, with some more characters adding to the fray (also very likeable). Jim Butcher’s characterisation is also amongst the best I have come across.
If you have read books 1 and 2, and you are not sure whether to continue, give it until the end of book 3 first.
Performance – 5/5
James Marsters is an absolute star, his addition to the Dresden audio-books is perfection, as he reflects the character superbly, and he develops the story, and the rest of the main characters very nicely throughout the series. A lot of other reviews say “James Marsters IS Dresden”, and after 2 audio-books, I have to agree. His voice acting is distinctive and he portrays Dresden’s mood and the pace of the story extremely well.
Not many narrators get 5/5, but James Marsters definitely makes the cut.
On a side note, to those who aren’t aware, James Marsters is the guy that played Spike in Buffy the Vampire slayer according to a colleague of mine. Just in case you are a particular fan…
I just wanted to echo everything Tom said above (excellent review). I'm new to the whole Harry Dresden saga - I've now read three of them and have loved every single minute of each of them - i cannot wait to send more of my monthly credits on hearing the next book.
Harry is a great wizard and the supernatural elements he deal with are fantastically portrayed. Harry is always trying to do the right thing and he's a great man despite all the wierd and wonderful things he has to do and the sacrifices he has to make.
BRILLIANT - get it - but I do agree - read it in order.
I loved the Dresden Files series in book form, but, James Marsters brings something to the novels that you just can't get from the books. His narration and characterization is superb, and the only thing which would make the Dresden Files better is if they brought the series back on TV. While that is never going to happen, the audiobooks are definitely the next best thing.
James marsters narration is excellent. clear and bringing all the emotion and fun from page
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