What I love most about Jim Butcher is how strongly he starts his stories, and this book is no exception.
He immediately gives the protagonist not just a goal (come on, anyone can do that), but a reason for us to care. It happens early, and it happens well, leaving you completely hooked and engrossed.
(I read this one instead of the usual audiobook because I couldn’t handle no James Marsters, and finished it in only a few days. Usually when you’re listening it’s easy to stop because you finished your run, your commute ended, you finished vacuuming, etc. But when you read in print, Jim writes every chapter to end in a place where all you want to do is turn to the next page. I ended up walking to work holding my e-reader because I couldn’t put it down.)
Now, if you’re gotten this far you know that a lot of things in Changes, er, changed. Ghost Story is part of a brand new arc, and this world is much, much darker than any Dresden novel we’ve seen yet. Harry’s world has gone to shit, and you aren’t allowed to forget it.
**Spoilers ahead for Books 1–13**
The old familiarity is gone. The apartment, the Blue Beetle, Mister, Mouse, Mac’s beer, are no more. It was needed, but it was still hard to take since it’s a comfort that we’ve come to love over the course of the previous twelve books. Not only that, but Harry went from achieving a new, awesome level of power in Changes to being effectively unable to use his magic.
(Don’t worry—Jim still has his way with language puns and you will laugh out loud. That part of Harry will never die.)
Ghost Story starts bringing together many of the threads subtly established in the previous books. When the Dresden Files began, they were written as one-shot adventure novels, but now have taken a decided turn for a larger story arc.
I am very, very excited for what’s to come.
(One last note: I wrote this review after already starting Cold Days in audio, and it doesn’t even compare. These books were meant to be listened to. Full stop.)