Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Audio book review: Ghost Story

Long time readers know I'm a fan of the Dresden Files books. Looks like I didn't do a review of the book "Changes". I probably listened to it, and I'm not good about reviewing the books I've listened to.

In "Changes" Dresden's girlfriend, Susan, from the early books showed back up. Readers had been waiting for her return ever since she got turned into a vampire and Dresden promised to find a cure. She came back with the announcement that she had a daughter, it was Dresden's, and she had been kidnapped. As the story progresses Harry's beat up old VW bug is destroyed beyond repair, his apartment blows up, Harry is forced to agree to be the new Knight for the Winter Court of Fairies, Harry manages to cause a spell the Red Court of Vampires is casting against him to backfire and wipe out every last one of them, and then he's shot by a sniper, falls into the lake, and is presumed dead.

The first thing you notice about "Ghost Story" is the change in narrator. Lionel Luthor from Smallville replaces Spike from Buffy/Angel. And he does a lovely job. But he's not Spike. It helps if you think of the different voice as a consequence of Dresden's new non-corporeal state. Like how when Frodo wears the one ring everything looks different.

"Ghost Story" opens in the afterlife. Or, rather, Between. Between what? You're better off not asking. Here it's explained that someone cheated. "The Opponent" did something to interfere and that skews whether Dresden's spirit should go up or down. So he must go back to Chicago to solve his own murder. He returns to Chicago 6 months after being shot. Without the Red Court of Vampires to keep folks in check, hundreds or thousands of supernatural baddies have popped up around the world and are causing problems. The Wardens can't keep up. Chicago has remained in relatively good shape because of the mob, Dresden's friends, and someone known as "The Ragged Lady".

This book is different from the rest of the series. I can't put it all on the change in narrator. Maybe it's because Dresden is now a being made up of memories that there's an absurd amount of flashbacks, and TV and movie references even for him. There's just something different about how it flows.

The next book is "Cold Days". Harry once again has a body and has Spike doing his voice.

I do recommend these books. If you don't want to start at the beginning then you do need to start at "Changes" since "Change", "Ghost Story", and "Cold Days" were clearly planned together.

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