Ghost Story (The Dresden Files) by Jim Butcher

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by Bastard, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. Bastard

    Bastard Jack Bauer

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    Seems like this is going to be the story with Ghost Story, not an unanimous acceptance by fans, a book that could go either way.

    If I were you I wouldn't go back looking for flaws in books you have already enjoyed. Ignorance seems to be the winner in this situation.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2011
  2. Contrarius

    Contrarius You talkin' to me??

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    I love Dresden to death, but Butcher has one bad habit that sometimes drives me bonkers. Specifically, he describes people as arching their eyebrows or rolling their shoulders about every second paragraph. In one Alera book, he had eyebrows arching **45 times** within 9 pages!!
     
  3. LaserWraith

    LaserWraith Registered User

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    The main problem I had with Butcher was the phrase "Hell's bells" repeated often in the first books. I think he mostly solved that.
     
  4. Tim Marquitz

    Tim Marquitz Registered User

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    Oh definitely. My problem is that I've always been able to ignore Jim's flaws and just enjoy the story. I just don't seem able to do that with this one, and it's frustrating. I'm sure it's just me, but it doesn't bode well for the book if I can't submerse myself into the story.

    Anyway, just one opinion amongst the millions. Jim is still a great storyteller, and even if the book isn't the greatest he's written, I'm not going to stop supporting him. I'll probably read it again later.
     
  5. Tim Marquitz

    Tim Marquitz Registered User

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    Yeah, I'm not sure how this one will rate. I certainly don't hate it. I love being back in Harry's world, but it's just a constant that's nagging at me and pulling me out of the story into edit mode.

    I'm going to take your advice and not look back. :)
     
  6. Tim Marquitz

    Tim Marquitz Registered User

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    Just finished with Ghost Story and I'm walking away with a pretty good feeling. It ended how I thought the book would start, and Jim threw in a nice little monkey wrench along the way that I didn't see coming, so that was fun.

    All-in-all, while not Butcher's best book, I feel it was still a good addition to the whole.
     
  7. Wulfa_Jones

    Wulfa_Jones Gentleman and Scholar

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    Not reading any other posts to avoid spoilers, but just at the halfway mark and wanted to put forth my current thinkings.

    At first, I wasn't really enjoying it and at this stage, I am still worried about the impact on the rest of the series.

    However, I have now got back into it and Butcher's tendency to end nearly every chapter on a mini-cliff hanger has had me pouring over pages.
     
  8. LaserWraith

    LaserWraith Registered User

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    I know...me too.

    I wonder what Harry will do as the White Knight. He probably can't solve mysteries just for friends and clients...I guess Mab will train him and then tell him to fix problems. I just hope it won't make him too mean/cold. :p
     
  9. msaerfen

    msaerfen Registered User

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    Just finished it. Wow!! Thats all I have to say.
     
  10. LaserWraith

    LaserWraith Registered User

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    I know ;) Sometimes books just impact me a lot. My first fantasy book was Eragon, and I was basically in a "daze" for a week. Now not many books do that to me, but Ghost Story had the same kind of "epic" feel, to me anyway.
     
  11. Bastard

    Bastard Jack Bauer

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  12. thirstyVan

    thirstyVan the Thirsty

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    I finished it last night and I loved it. I was a little wary going in on how this one would turn out but Butcher beat my low expectations over the head and pulled it off magnificently.

    I loved Harry's "killer" reveal. I felt like it added more depth not just to Ghost Story, but to Changes as well. In Changes we finally see Harry go over the edge, crossing the line into darkness to protect the people he loves, and in Ghost Story we learn that not only was he willing to cross that line, he was willing to die for it. Let's just say it got awfully dusty in my house when I was reading that. And when he finally see's his daughter. And when we finally see Thomas. Jeez. As a side note, I don't think the Winter Knight thing will last more than a book or two, so I don't expect it to effect the overall series much, much like Lash when she was infesting Dresden's brain.

    As far as the book as a whole and Butcher's writing, I think the seams have been showing in the Dresden Files formula for a long time, and for a while (specifically around Turn Coat) it bothered me some, but I seem to have gotten past that and just accepted the books for what they are. They characters are still powerful and moving like almost nothing else I've read, though that's partially because there are so many books the characters have been allowed to develop to extraordinary depths.
     
  13. Ozziespur

    Ozziespur Avaricious Aussie

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    Just finished Fool Moon. Only recently discovered 'The Dresden Files' thanks to this site ! Loving the books so far & plan on working my way through all of them. So easy to read & fun. I am struggling somewhat with the Malazan series with sooooo many characters. I finished Fool Moon in 2 days. I'll get to Ghost Story sooner rather than later !
     
  14. Siberian

    Siberian Too many books to read...

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    This was the most disappointing of all Dresden books. Maybe because the last several books were so good or Dresden is more entertaining alive than in a ghost form, but it didn't grab me as much as the rest of the bunch. I guessed who shot Harry after Changes (it was actually suggested by someone else on this forum), although the identity of the requester was still a surprise :) My main issue is that the villain was boring and most of the central characters either don't appear or show up for small cameos and don't do much. All in all, it feels like a "filler" installment whose goal is to provide the bridge to the next phase of Harry's career. I do have a feeling I'm going to miss the noir detective feel of the first novels.
     
  15. LaserWraith

    LaserWraith Registered User

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    I disagree. It was a big change, of course, but fun. Harry had to try and find a way to still help matters. He also had more time to think, and we to examine him. While parts might be slow or confusing because of this, I absolutely loved the climax. Some powers from different books pop in do their part. It was great to see some of them again. ;)

    I especially liked the archangel bit. For some reason, Uriel is very interesting...I love the conversations. Maybe because I'm a Christian...hmm.
     
  16. Siberian

    Siberian Too many books to read...

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    "Fun" is not the issue, I just though it lacked compared to some of the previous offerings.
     
  17. Bastard

    Bastard Jack Bauer

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    I decided to start a blog of my own the other day, yeah now I'm a freaking blogger (yuk!), but since I already posted my thoughts there I think I'll just do a magic and transfer most of what is written there to over here using my will:

    "After some concerns of whether Borders was going to ship me my pre-ordered book, it finally arrived late last week and spent two nights finishing it up. Regardless of your opinion on the book, it's apparent that it's still quite a page turner.

    But once one finishes up reading Ghost Story, it's evident that the book was sub-par in The Dresden Files sequence. Part of the problem is that Butcher looked like he was very conscious of new readers and he was on recap mode on steroids throughout the whole novel, which surely drove fans of the series nuts. In a similar nature, the pacing was out of whack throughout the book due to too many back story scenes and the already mentioned recaps. While that was problematic, the book specific plot was not that engaging or interesting, so it created a perfect negative storm.

    Those issues aside, I really enjoyed the book. The worst Dresden book to me is still much better than most Urban Fantasy novels I read, so while disappointed by the book not reaching the standards I come to expect of a Dresden novel, it's was still a very good read for me, and it's still one of my favorite Urban Fantasy reads this year.

    Ghost Story was by enlarge a very introspective book as such, the wide awesome cast of characters of this universe get the short end of the stick in scene appearances, which will add to the disappointment to many. Still some minor characters stepped up to the stage and will surely become favorites to some. It balances out. Ghost Story is also clearly a new stage setter, a bridge novel, to what one can consider the second act of the series. As such, it felt like the second book of a trilogy, and those always seem to be the toughest to write and are often the weakest of the books.

    The Dresden Files as always been to me about having Harry Dresden as a narrator and it was still an enjoyable read, though expect many mixed reactions to the book. Even so, the stage has be set and now I'm very much looking forward to what comes next, Harry is back and it'll be interesting to see how his recent experiences are going to shape his behavior going forward. New allies and enemies have been made, questions of trust are about, lots of mysteries still left undiscovered to us the readers, and Harry is here to kick some ass."
     
  18. LaserWraith

    LaserWraith Registered User

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    Yeah, I'm expecting a lot more powerful magic in the next book (Harry's new mentor...might be like his first?).


    Maybe I'm such a fan of Harry Dresden that I didn't notice many failings. Ghost Story just felt like a great climax.
     
  19. Wulfa_Jones

    Wulfa_Jones Gentleman and Scholar

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    I know it didn't end on a cliff-hanger so per say, but it has left me wanting to know what happens next.

    How will Harry re-build his life and cope with being the Winter Knight? I'm sure there will be some way out of it, but it will make for interesting reading - Harry having to balance things and the increased power.

    The bit with Uriel was interesting. I'm sure he must have know that Mab had Harry's body. I'm sure we'll see something develop there as well.

    In some senses, I agree with Siberian. I did feel it was the weakest entry into the Dresden Files series, but it didn't feel like filler. The events in that book are going to have a major impact on the future of the series. The status quo is still broken and a number of key characters have undergone changes (Molly, Thomas, Murphy) that will need to be addressed in future books.

    In the end, I still really enjoyed it. The last quarter of the book was typical Dresden - none stop for chapters on end. I think everyone knew who carried out the hit of Dresden, but it was a surprise to see who ordered it.
     
  20. LaserWraith

    LaserWraith Registered User

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    I can't wait either. :D I hear that Cold Days will be out before 2012...so I hope it's true.

    I wasn't sure if it was that merc guy or Marcone before reading GS, but yes, it was nice to see that Harry was worried about who he might become, enough to die. Funny how not even himself can kill himself permanently. :p