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
As I listened to this audiobook, I couldn't help but picture the character James Marsters played in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". He brought the characters to life without doing obnoxious falsetto voices for the female characters as so many other readers do. I have read all the Dresden books in print thus far, and while I enjoyed reading this book at the time, I felt much more "in" the story while listening to this production. I listened to "Storm Front" before this one, and the reading of this audiobook is much more enjoyable than "Storm Front" because of Marsters' enthusiastic performance. The timing is great, the characters are distinguishable without being obnoxious and there is just enough acting to make it really exciting. I'll concede that there were some mispronounciations but not enough to really detract from the story. I listen to lots of audiobooks and this one I will recommend to everyone!
I've read the first two Dresden novels - which were good. But this one really kicks things into high gear. There's much more character development than previously. I didn't find myself frustrated with Dresden as much for walking idiotically into impossible situations and taking responsibility for everyone's problems. The reader, Mr. Marsters, is much more polished here than in previous outings, where he seemed to be sighing between every sentence. He continues to need editing...I was constantly catching him mispronouncing words (e.g. he would say "ruins" when he meant "runes"; or "retched" when he meant "wretched.") Otherwise, he is a good reader, and I hear than in future books, he improves quite a bit. Looking forward to Book 4.
I liked the interaction between Harry and his friends and fellow crime fighters.
Harry is a great character...he's gifted with magic, conflicted about people and how and when to use his magic, he's bothered by the council that rules the wizards, his fairy godmother is wicked....Harry has a wry sense of humor and a sense of the absurd.
I like James Marsters performance because he portrays Harry perfectly--just as I imagine him. The wry humor, the inflections in his voice. It would be great if James Marsters could star as Harry Dresden in a movie--he would be perfect.
The vampire ball was interesting...also, the aftermath of the ball and the happenings with poor Susan Rodriguez.
No. Good, solid story. I highly recommend this series to my friends, it's great on audiobook.
I just found Jim Butchers wonderful world of sourcerers, vampires, wizards and all that goes bump in the night. The heroes are charming, funny,soulful and original. The story lines are exciting and they keep your interest from page one to the final word. I plan to purchase the entire set.
Love having someone read me a story. Fires in the hearth, rain on the roof, sunny days and surf. Good friends, good food and J S Bach.
the plot becomes more complex in 'Grave Peril', and I loved the introduction of Michael as well as godmother. This story held my attention. Unlike other reviewers I find James Masters' breathiness adds to Harry's persona. It fits.
Even the Vampires develop some personalities.
My expectation is these stories will get better and better.
I am completely hooked on this series. I first heard of Dresden through a television show called The Dresden Files, which, while I enjoyed the characters of Dresden and Bob, I felt that the rest of the show was a little two-dimensional. The books, however, are much more rounded with excellent character development. James Marsters' narration is excellent as well.
Goodreads reviewer and blogger... also dentist and wife/mom when I get the time!
You know when you are reading a story and you are thinking, "There is just NO way the characters can get out of this jam!! They are for sure going to die!!" And part of your brain knows that they can't die, because there are like, a bajillion more books in the series, but the action is so intense that you are at the edge of your seat, trying to figure out how the MCs are going to get out of that mess? That is what this book was for me.
I'll admit, this one has a rocky start. The story takes off in the middle of an action scene and then backtracks and explains how Harry got there a few pages later. However, I think this was one of the most intense books in the series, and I was totally riveted the entire time.
A HUGE factor in my rating was the AWESOME narration by one of my faves, James Marsters. He is one of the few narrators that I love, even though he doesn't do separate voices for each of the characters. He is so emotive, so intense, so perfectly Harry Dresden, that I am spellbound by his performance.
Honestly, I don't know if I would like this series as much in ebook or paperback form. There is a magic to it in the audiobook format that I think would be very hard to replicate.
Excellent, just excellent. Can't wait for the next.
I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!
Things are really getting personal for Harry Dresden. I hope we’ll be seeing more of his friend Michael after this book. Also, more Bob, please.
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.
This is definitely the best so far, and James Marsters is Harry Dresden without a doubt. I don't even want to read one of this series, cause I don't think I will enjoy it half as much.
This installment introduces a lot of new characters, and we hear more from Bob in this one. Thomas and Michael are brought in, each with their own special appeal. Susan is more developed with this story. All and all it's a new cast of very intriguing characters, with non stop action of Harry getting into one bad situation, only getting out of it by getting into a worse one. You just can't go wrong with this series if you like things that go bump in the night with a side dish of humor.
"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.
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.
Just simply awesome. Story was great and gripping. Narrator keeps doing a fantastic job. I would recommend this book to everyone I know
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…
"Another book in a good series"
Book 4 in Jim Butcher's The Dresden File series, Grave Peril has vampires, fairies and other assorted deities playing with the lives of ordinary people. I am new to this author and, as I am reviewing book 4, it should be clear that I am impressed. It has been good to find a series of books, well written and enjoyable, that maintain my interest and keep my wondering what is going to happen next. I would recommend this series- each book could be listened to as a stand alone but would be more enjoyed if read in order.
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