|Grave Peril (The Dresden Files, Book 3)
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Harry Dresden's faced some pretty terrifying foes during his career. Giant scorpions. Oversexed vampires. Psychotic werewolves. It comes with the territory when you're the only professional wizard in the Chicago area phone book.
But in all Harry's years of supernatural sleuthing, he's never faced anything like this: the spirit world's gone postal. All over Chicago, ghosts are causing trouble--and not just of the door-slamming, boo-shouting variety. These ghosts are tormented, violent, and deadly. Someone--or something--is stirring them up to wreak unearthly havoc. But why? And why do so many of the victims have ties to Harry? If Harry doesn't figure it out soon, he could wind up a ghost himself . . .
- Too much to be perfect.....
I love the Dresden series so far. In "Grave Peril" there is a shift in the wall between the Ever After and the real world, so ghosts, demons, and more are having no trouble getting through and creating more havoc than usual. It is up to Wizard Harry Dresden and some choice friends to try to get to the root of why this is happening and fix it promptly before more people get hurt. This book was more intense, more surprising, and had more character depth than the previous two. I loved new character Michael Carpenter, the angel with a sword made with a nail from the holy cross, and his wife Charity. I was glad to see Harry's girlfriend, Susan have more to do too. There was even more Bob the skull than in the last couple of books, and I love some Bob scenes! This book involved ghosts, demons, vampires, dragons, and more. This ultimately ended up being the one thing that bothered me down to a four star instead of a five star review. This book felt like it could have been several books worth of material all wrapped into one. Why is that a bad thing? Because none of the pieces of this massive puzzle were explained or expanded on enough for complete satisfaction. I also felt like I had missed something with the introduction of Michael and the fact that they had been working together. Since when? Was there a novella or something I missed? On the positve side, Butcher (who has been accused of having a "Mary Jane" complex with his character Harry) proves that he can allow harm to some of his important characters to progress the series onward and I am always impressed by that. Too often with paranormal series you know nothing major or life-threatening will really happen to the main group of characters. Overall this was a strong novel and I can honestly say even if the first two weren't quite as good as you would have expected, try the third volume and you may end up quite pleased. I wholeheartedly look forward to Harry's next adventures....more info
- Fun ride
This book in the series is my favorite so far. The action starts at page 1 and doesn't let up until the end. Two complaints. The character Michael is dropped into the storyline with no explanation of how he and Harry met. Great character, but a bit disconcerting, being they obviously have worked together before. Second, the plot was pretty complicated. I like it when I can guess how things might turn out, and I just couldn't. Oh well, it was still a great read.
To address other reviews...
I don't feel Butcher bogs us down in the details. The billowing duster, I just find it funny. To me, there is a part of Harry that wants to be the suave hero (with the billowing duster), yet he just can't quite pull it off. He's scruffy, he's cranky, a lot of people don't like him. Woe is Harry.
I also don't mind that Butcher repeats some details about Harry and other characters that we already know. It has been months since I read the first two books in the series and I liked the reminders. Then again, maybe it would be better to summarize the previous books in a Prologue.
Though it's fine that Harry can't help himself from helping a lady in trouble, the damsel in distress remarks ARE getting a bit old. ...more info
- An amazing novel
This is the third novel by Jim Butcher and I noticed both good and bad things about it. Grave Peril was the first of the Dresden novels that I really found exciting. I am used to different styles of writing, and this was the first novel that I wasn't annoyed by his writing. Despite the excitement, I was somewhat disappointed by the plot. When I am reading a series, I want each novel in the series to have its own story, yet move the overall plot ahead as well. I finished this book and felt that there was a weak overall plot for the novel even though it moved the series ahead.
In this novel, some months have passed in Harry's life, and we have actually missed the battle that inspires the action. Harry took down a sorceror and Micheal took down a demon in between novels 2 and 3. When powerful spirits are killed, they have power to become ghosts and haunt things relating to their death. The haunting begins as Bianca seeks to exact her revenge on Harry. And what's the worst that could happen? A war between the White Council and Red Court? The series is really starting to heat up....more info
- Good Story Line
I am new to the Jim Butcher series but really enjoyed this one. This is book three in the series and I didn't read the others first and it was very easy to understand and keep up. The author takes the time to explain things so that someone who is new to the series can easily get into the story. It ends so that you will want to read the next in the series, which isn't surprising. It has vampires and ghosts and magic but it is an interesting twist on them so you don't feel like you have heard this story before. I recommend this book even without the others. ...more info
- Series is (slowly) starting to pick up.
Jim Butcher, Grave Peril (Roc, 2001)
Grave Peril, the third book in Butcher's Harry Dresden series, is the book where Jim Butcher finally seems to get it all to fall into place. There's always been something not quite right about the books; either the pacing was off in one section, or the characters hadn't quite come into their own, or the description didn't quite ring true, or any of a number of other things. But here, it all works. We're introduced to a foil for Harry (and, from what I've read in some book communities, he's a lasting one), we have a plot that actually seems to work, as well as one that draws together a few threads from the previous books, we have a lot more background on some of the big meanies, we have great setting and excellent characterization, we've got just about everything. And it's probably not coincidence that this is the book that reads most like a Spenser (of Robert B. Parker fame) novel, either.
As we open, Dresden and his friend Michael (is he that Michael? We don't know... yet) are battling a ghost in a nursery. Yes, in a nursery. Which seems like it's going to be a one-shot deal, after which Dresden can go home and get some much-needed sleep and Michael can go back to his sharp-tongued wife. Unfortunately, though, the ghost is symbolic of a larger problem-- the fraying of the barrier between our world and the nevernever. What's a wizard and his big, burly friend to do?
This one flew by much faster than the first two, both compulsively readable and very well put-together, with a greater command of plotting and the first glimmerings of real character depth. If the series continues to improve at this rate, I'll be able to see why it got optioned for TV eventually. ***
- Good Plot, Good characters, Just Needs a bit more flow - 4.5
I liked the plot in this one better then the second and first. It was something fresh and i love ghost. I love Micheal, the character sounds like a great character and him and Harry make a good conversation couple, i got quite a few laughs out of them to.
I also liked how Harry doesn't get what he wants all the time and it makes these stories more realistic. Though the stories sometimes go over the edge with fantasy the realistic fact of Harry and his limitation and loses brings it back to earth.
But let me get down tot his book. Good plot, though in the middle lost it a bit IMO it covered it's [...] in the end. So pick it up and enjoy it. I'm on to the 4th one now. ...more info
- Great series. But book 3..not so much
This may get spoilerish:
I have so far really enjoyed the series with books 1 and 2. But half way through 3 I felt as if this should have been number 4. Everything that is going on is connected to a story that happens between book 2 and 3. A story that sounds like it should have gotten its own entire book. Another issue is that I am not sure that it is tied to the ending of book 2 where Dresden mentions that the events of 1 and 2 where the work of another force. Am I supposed to think that any of the numerous 'bad guys' ws this force trying to get him? It is not clear.
Some parts of the story jump or felt rushed to get to a plot point which leaves you a little confused until the exposition kicks in.
But do not get me wrong, the story was still good and feels like the kick off to some major events in the following books, but it suffered from pacing problems and information overload. Perhaps if this had been the 4th book and used the 3rd to flush out the events leading to this book and maybe put in the introduction of Dresden's god mother in that theoretical book, this one would have been more satisfying.
I hold out hope that book 4 doesn't have these issues when I begin reading it next week....more info
- H*ll on Rollerskates
Harry Dresden, Chicago's favorite wizard, battles ghosts and vampires in this third renewal of Jim Butcher's excellent noir fantasy series. Some of the best points of GRAVE PERIL include an action-packed plot that can be read independently from the previous books and a new engaging character in the person of Harry's devout Christian friend, Michael Carpenter.
Michael is Harry's friend and partner in battling an outbreak of ghosts that is terrorizing Chicago. Given what seems to happen to Harry's friends, it's a miracle he has one left. Micheal's a doughty man, strong in his Faith, who wields a sword that contains a nail from the True Cross. He keeps trying to reform Harry in between battles with unearthly agents of evil. He tends to raise ethical questions that Harry doesn't want to answer such as Harry's failure to carry out an old bargain he made with Lea, his faerie godmother.
Michael and the issues he raises aside, the story in this book is similar to FOOL MOON, except we have vampires and sexual shenanigans instead of nice clean werewolves. The parallels are striking: even the season of the year is the same: autumn. Other plot elements repeat in differing degrees: Harry's troubles with the Law and his magical exhaustion. Less visible blood and more ectoplasm, vampire spit and other types of goo, that's the difference here. Also, there are so many bad guys (and gals) out to get Harry it's hard for any tension to build. Personally, I think vampires are getting cliched, but I really liked the ending.
Paradoxically, the strong points of this book are also its weak points. The action-packed plot prevents exploration of Harry's inner soul and there's only so many times Harry can deal with a) a demon possessed ghost, b) another attack by twin vampires or c) another ambush by the evil faerie godmother. Harry isn't the only one to be burned out by too much magic. One wonders what would happen if an ethical issue was allowed to play out naturally. Hum, now I'm curious about the next book...Jim Butcher, you sly devil, you did it again....more info
- the audio is a perfect complement to the book
Something has stirred up the ghosts in Chicago, weakened the barrier between the Nevernever and the real world, and it's up to practicing wizard Harry Dresden (he's in the book) to stop it.
He gets help from his pal Lieutenant Murphy of Special Investigations, and Bob the Skull. Grave Peril also marks the introduction of two major characters: Michael Carpenter, a Knight of the Cross, and Thomas Raith, scion of the vampire white court.
And since this is the audiobook, that means it's read by James Marsters, whose voice and acting talents are a perfect match for Jim Butcher's words. Even after the (regrettably short-lived) television series, I'm much more likely to hear Marsters's voice for the characters when I'm reading than I am the actors from the show, particularly for Bob the skull.
At the beginning of the audiobook, there's a short welcome from Jim Butcher, in which he calls Grave Peril a milestone in the series. I'm not exactly sure what he means, but maybe it's the layers. There's not just one straightforward plot in Grave Peril--the Ghostbusters one--there's also a vampire ball, which Harry's obliged to attend as a representative of the White Council of wizards, and which his girlfriend Susan, reporter for the Arcane, is determined to attend, regardless of the dangers. Harry's fairy godmother (literally, as it happens) shows up. Michael's wife Charity gives birth to a baby whose survival chances are slim. And there's a lot of emotional impact between Harry and Susan, and Harry and Michael, and Michael and Charity.
It's a very complete and satisfying story, and illustrates perfectly why I love Jim's work so much--humor that makes me laugh aloud, exciting and clearly-written action (I can't rave about that too much--most action scenes are just confusing blurs to me--it's the lack of a Y chromosome, no doubt), edge-of-my-seat suspense that keeps me turning pages way past my bedtime, an emotional kick that puts tears in my eyes or a lump in my throat, and a wonderful little intellectual buzz that comes from knowing that the clues are all there to figure out what's going on behind the scenes. Oh, and the thoroughly realistic fantasy world....more info
- Good series
A good book as part of the series. It is both fun and interesting to read....more info
- An Enjoyable Supernatural Detective Series
As a whole, I've enjoyed all of the Dresden series I've read thus far. This one, however, has been my favorite up to this point in the series.
It's more adult than Harry Potter and it has some "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" pop-cult references and humor thrown in. The stories are told at a break-neck speed as Harry falls into one catastrophe after another. In Grave Peril he's haunted by what Harry calls "the Nightmare." A vampire from book one is highly ticked off with Harry, and if that isn't enough, his evil fairy godmother wants to claim him for her slave.
All in all, Harry is a sympathetic, long-suffering hero. Michael "The Fist of God" is a good foil as Harry's friend/sidekick who is more noble in purpose than Harry himself. I also enjoyed the introduction of the vampire Thomas into the series.
While Harry could have been quicker piecing together the mystery, I'll cut him a break since he's busy exorcizing ghosts, eluding hell beasts, fighting off a horde of vampires, and trying to work up the nerve to tell his girlfriend that he thinks he may love her.
If you enjoyed series like "Buffy" and "Angel" on TV, there's a good chance you can enjoy the adventures of Harry Dresden. ...more info
- Great Series!
These books are great! If you love science fiction you will love these books. The author is funny, witty and holds your interest from cover to cover. I ordered the complete set and read through it in a week! I hope they bring the television series back to SciFi. It is more entertaining a series that SciFi brought back, Dr. Who, or as I call it "the doctor's non habit forming sleep remedy"! I'm going to reread them soon since I enjoyed them so much! I'm sure there were things I missed on the first go around. I'm also looking forward to the next book in the series....more info
- Another great book.
Mr Butcher's _Harry Dresden_ books are like popcorn. You can't put it down and you can't get enough. See my review for the first one....more info
- Good book, could have been better
Third book in the series. I loved the first two, feel ambivalent about this one. I wish the book had ben longer, because it seemed as if a lot was missing from the beginning. And the new character Michael was intersting concept-wise, but without a backstory it felt like there was a gaping hole in terms of characterization. Still, it's a good, quick read. And you have to read it because you're gonna move on to the next in the series, just like I did. ...more info
- Dresden taking on ghosts...
Harry Dresden takes on ghosts, vampires and faeries this time around. Ghosts have emerged from the Nevernever, wreaking havoc among humans. Harry has to find whatever is responsible for stirring the supernatural creatures and threatening the lives of his friends. To make matters worse, he has made a bargain with his Godmother -- a beautiful, yet sadistic faerie who wants him under her command. Also, vampire Bianca has sought out revenge against him for having angered her (in Storm Front) and an evil spirit is possessing souls by way of nightmares. Harry, with the help of Michael, a God-fearing Knight, and Thomas, a sneaky vampire, must put a stop to things while avoiding death. There are various twists throughout the novel.
Grave Peril, the third installment of the Dresden Files, is somewhat different from the first two efforts. First of all, characters like Michael and Lea (faerie) are thrown into the story without so much as an introduction. The abruptness of the aforementioned characters' sudden appearances confused me at first. Also, the novel's execution is somewhat different from the first two offerings. The plot twists are downright over the top and overwhelming at times. Sci-fi/fantasy novels are full of action and twists, but this one has a little too much of those things. But I still enjoyed the novel. There are lots of witty passages and the dialogue is sharp and crisp. The characters are also great. Harry is still self-deprecating and that makes him all the more fun. I also liked Michael and his bantering with Harry. Bob was great, as usual. Lea was not developed enough. I hope I will read more on her in future novels. And I also hope that there will be more Murphy in the next installment. All in all, Grave Peril is another action-packed Harry Dresden novel and I look forward to reading Summer Knight....more info
- Very enjoyable series
I have read the first three books in this series, and Harry keeps getting deeper and deeper in trouble. If you enjoy Laurel Hamiltons books, you'll probably like these......more info
- Dresden grows up
While Fool Moon made me a full-fledged Dresden fan, it was not until I read Grave Peril for the first time that I became a lifetime fan. For as long as Jim Butcher writes Dresden Files books, I will be reading.
Grave Peril, to me, is The Dresden Files equivalent of Buffy's Second Season. Both characters are forced to do a lot of growing up in a very short period of time, both are forced to give up someone very dear and both characters finish their journeys (temporarily) very much lost.
Being contemporary Urban Fantasies, I find there is a lot of similarities between Joss Whedon's Buffy/Angelverse and The Dresden Files. To me they are both quite excellent and it is enjoyable to see how much they have in common.
Aside from that, Grave Peril introduces two very important characters into the Files for the first time, and they are two of the best characters in the series:
Michael Carpenter is a Knight of the Cross/Sword, one of Three men chosen to wield swords given to them by The Archangel Michael, each containing a Nail from the Crucifixion in their hilts. We learn that Michael has actually been an ally of Harry's for many years now, and he is working with him to counter the most recent supernatural threat.
Thomas Raith is an Incubus of the White Court of Vampires, the youngest and lowest ranking member of the House Raith. Harry meets him for the first time in this book and he really doesn't know what is going on with him yet.
Both become important supporting characters in Dresden's future adventures, and they have very stirring introductions in Grave Peril.
What is so good about Grave Peril, and what makes me compare it to Buffy's second season, is that for the first time there are consequences. Both characters' lives are completely changed as a consequence of their actions, even nobles ones. One such consequence comes in the form of Bianca, the Vampire Madame Harry offended in Storm Front. Thanks to that encounter Bianca has it in for Harry.
Add that to a Sorcerer Harry, Michael and Murphy's SI unit took out a couple months before the book out for revenge, and an increasingly violent Ghost problem and Harry gets a healthy dose of consequence dumped on his seemingly ever crowded lap.
And it is not just taking a beating fighting the Big Bad this time, both characters are hit hard in their personal lives. Huge relationship changing events that rip their hearts out and leave them lost and alone, isolated.
I really like Grave Peril, in many ways it is the framework for how the later books would go. It ups the stakes on a personal level for Harry and in the overall Dresdenverse. Because even when you save the day and beat the bad guy, there are consequences, there is fallout, and Harry is not going to find them very pleasant.
346 HC pages. 5 out of 5 stars...more info
- Harry goes ghostbusting
In the third of the Dresden Files series, Chicago's only wizard PI Harry Dresden, is called to Cook County Hospital to investigate a ghost tormenting the maternity ward. What he discovers makes him realize that he and his friends are literally in grave peril. The ghost is under a torture spell and that spell is slowly effecting the people Harry cares about most.
If you enjoy fantasy or mysteries with a supernatural angle, you're going to like Dresden. I'd strongly recommend you begin reading at "Storm Front" and continue forward, but you don't have to do so. Each novel stands alone and they're all strong additions to both mystery and fantasy.
Rebecca Kyle, December 2008...more info
- Humor, Horror, Hype
I have read only four the Harry Dresden-wizard novels and I stand here craving more from the author each day. This novel is by far the best of the series. We see Harry interact with the character more so than before and finally his feeling for Susan are laid out on the table. At first, it seemed that Jim's minor major characters lacked depth, but everything is coming full circle. I can't wait until we the full back story of Harry's life that will make a interesting book. Keep up the good work Jim.
These are perfect books for those a little disappoint in the Laurell K. Hamilton serious as of lately....more info
- Don't Go to Sleep
This is the third installment of the Dresden Files, starring Chicago Wizard Harry Dresden. The book starts out with Harry and his friend Michael, a Fist of God Knight who assists Harry in ridding the world of all the nasty creatures who go around possessing and terrorizing humans.
In this book they are fighting off nasty ghosts who entangle their victims with really painful barbed wire. They feed off the nightmares to create very real fear, and death.
The objective is to locate the Nightmare and find out who is controlling it, and destroy the puppet master as well. .
Their quest takes them to the Red Court of the Vampires and mixes them up with evil fairies, undead black magic practitioners, fallen wizards and enough innocent people to cause alarm. Along the way we meet some characters that will show up in future books.
Michael's wife and infant son get caught up in the melee, and Harry knows Charity doesn't like him for putting Michael and her family at risk so many times. He has to deal with emotions in this book. Love, hate, fear, retribution, loyalty, and he even faces his own tombstone, a gift from the lovely Vampiress Bianca.
There are so many laws of magic and rules of the Vampires and High Council that must be maintained. Will Harry start a war between the High Council and the Red Court? Does he care? Can he save the innocents who are being devoured literally by the vampires?
And Michael has his own problems, He loses his Sword, Amoracchius, which he uses to do God's will and cast aside evil. Michael has his own doubts about his abilities. He, too, must face doubts and rely on his God to see him and Harry through this maze of terror.
In the end they have to meet the evil ones head on and fight to the end, but at what price? Susan, Harry's love interest, is a casualty of sorts. Lea, his fairy godmother, though, this is not your loving Fairy, is still out to conquer Harry and hold him to his promises. This is an evil godmother who torments Harry at every opportunity. She hopes to exact her revenge and has eons of time to do so.
Each time Harry saves Chicago from some evil creature, we wonder what is next in line for our reluctant hero. Harry just wants to do the best he can for all innocents, but fighting evil seems to be a full-time job. Harry only wishes the pay was better so he can manage to pay the rent on time.
- Most Excellent Escapism
Jim has written another well crafted modern fantasy story that follows the only advertising wizard in Chicago. His characters are well fleshed out and filled with all the human frailties that make a character interesting. His plots are wickedly twisted and his imagination is well rounded.
This third novel of the Dresdan Files series is highly recommended.
- It keeps better and better
Yes, I am a fan now. I am completely in love. Jim Butcher is now my favourite writer and Harry Dresden is now my favourite character ever. The story is darker than the previous ones and it was equally well writen. Harry Dresden show more about himself. The way he deals with him own fear is a kind of example to everyone. Perfect, that's all I can say....more info
- ah, I love smartass unrecognized heroes!
Amazon first insisted that I'd like the Harry Dresden books because I bought a Laurel Hamilton book. I really didn't like Hamilton's novel (sorry, fans, it just didn't grab me), and perhaps that's why I find Hamilton and Butcher's series less similar than others do. Instead, I think of the Dresden Files as closer to Steven Brust's Vlad Taltos series. (And, obviously, if you like Butcher's series, I think you'll also like Brust's.)
This is the best book in the Dresden Files, so far. I liked #1 and #2, obviously, enough to buy the third one in the series, but I thought the first two were "merely" good. Maybe it was just that I was in the right mood, but in this book the author really brought Harry's character to the forefront; he is dealing with himself as someone who feels compelled to do the right thing no matter what it costs him -- which is usually "everything" -- but is cynical enough to be a smartass about it.
As you've probably already figured out, the basic premise here is that someone is stirring up the ghosts all over Chicago, and Harry (and his friends) have to figure out why before all hell breaks loose (rather literally, come to think of it). There are several rather effective twists and turns in the plot, and one reason I particularly liked this book is that nearly every one of them surprised me....more info
- pretty good but unpolished
The books needs some major edit work. It appears to have been rushed. Misspelled words and interrupted flow of words are common.
Its a bit hard to follow, a lot has happened since the last book, new characters are everywhere. I like it. There was a direct story, a plot, a resolution, and an opening for the next book in the series. This book is not filler until a new idea came to the author, this is a new idea. Nicely done characters, but poorly polished. All the rough work is there, just needs to be cleaned up....more info
- A witty, fast-paced read
I have to say, I am a sucker for books in this genre, so when a friend recommended them, I gave the first 3 books in the series a try. Wow. Great read, from the snarky main character, to the well-rounded cast surrounding Harry Dresden, wizard-for-hire. The third book, Grave Peril, is by far the best of the first three in the series. There is still humor, still that sparkling wit, but there is a growing sense of maturity, not only in the characters, but in Mr. Butcher's writing.
All in all, a very enjoyable series. And I've just come back for the other three books. If you're a fan of Glenn Cook, or Tanya Huff, P. N. Elrod, or to a certain extent, Laurell K Hamilton, you'll enjoy this series immensely....more info
- Packs a Punch
Jim Butcher delivers more action, excitement, and mayhem than just about every other author working in this genre. This book introduces a new character, a Knight Templar, and Harry and the Knight must do battle with vampires, ghosts, and faerie alike in this never-plodding always-pulsating effort. The humor and action are top-notch, and you'll find yourself tearing through the pages.
Highly recommended....more info
- Kewl Series
I listen to novels while I work, and enjoyed this series very very much. If you haven't read these books, go get them now....more info
- Just horrible
Harry Dresden is back again as self-righteous, irritating, and thoroughly unlikable as ever.
The plot of this book is interesting, but can't overcome shallow, insipid characters and dialog so bad that you'll find yourself thinking that whoever wrote 'The Hardy Boys' series should be put up for a Nobel prize.
Play it safe and avoid this book and all "Dresden Files" books....more info
- Warning: not the best in the series
The first two books in the series were great. This one begins in the middle of events, with a new supporting character, and it takes a few chapters to figure out what's going on. Butcher should have added a few chapters to the beginning to make the book easier to track....more info
- Who are you going to call?
Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, Chicago's only professional Wizard of course. At this third novel of the DRESDEN FILES series opens Harry has joined forces with an unlikely, even for Harry, ally. Michael is one of the three righteous knights who wield swords containing nails from the true Cross on missions from God. The two have been dealing with the sudden increase in malevolent, and unusually powerful, ghosts that have recently been plaguing Chicago. As they battle a ghost for the lives of the newborns in Cook County General's nursery their conflict takes them into the Nevernever - that other realm that is home to the various supernatural beings that most humans mistakenly believe are the stuff of legends and fiction. While there Harry manages to further irritate his Godmother (who is of course a Fairy Queen). Unfortunately this just marks the beginning of Harry's latest round of troubles as he once again finds himself in conflict with vampires, and the Chicago police department. Even the recent improvements in Harry's personal life is not safe from the forces that seem determine to make him miserable.
This is an ongoing series featuring Harry Dresden, professional Wizard, that is set in modern day Chicago. Harry narrates his adventures in a matter of fact manner and a wry sense of humor that makes even the most fantastic aspects seem almost plausible. This series features a strong overall story arc about Harry's past. This arc is so pronounced that even those familiar with series from the tv series would do well to begin at the beginning and proceed in order. ...more info
About two chapters in to this, the third of the Dresden series, it was obvious to me that Butcher had hit on a formula that worked for him and he was sticking to it.
Harry Dresden, wizard extraordinaire, was once again on the job in Chicago getting his butt soundly kicked by bad guys. This time he has a side kick, but even with that character's sound reasoning Harry manages to flub every attempt to do the right thing, landing him in more and more trouble.
Which twists the plot as much as possible until we reach the ultimate conclusion which includes Harry being pursued by many different other-wordly characters while being brought as close to death as possible without actually dying. Only then does he get blinding inspiration which allows him to pull the rabbit out of his hat and save the day.
It was hard for me to get through this one once the formula became apparent, but I did finish the story. I may skip ahead a few to see if Butcher's writing and plot skills have improved over time but I can't recommend this particular story as anything other than a point along some larger story arc (that's existence hasn't been revealed to this point)....more info
- Great Book
I have read this book five or six times (not sure which). I can definitely say that Jim Butcher is my favorite author and The Dresden Files is my favorite series. The book sets up a lot of things that affect Harry Dresden's life for the rest of the books in the series. It's an easy and fast read; one that I don't want to put down once I get started....more info
- Gravely good
After two good-but-not-great urban fantasies, the Dresden Files suddenly rockets into the "great" category with its third. "Grave Peril" sees Jim Butcher radically change his now-bestselling series into a far more complex and tragic affair, as well as introducing a slew of likable new characters and a long-ranging arc that promises to be very nasty for our wizardly hero.
Harry and Knight of the Cross Michael Carpenter (a sort of knight working directly for God and the angels, with a sacred sword) are working hard to exorcise a sudden surge of violent ghosts -- even taking a trip into the Nevernever, where an old enemy is waiting for Harry. They're being stirred up by a particularly evil spirit called the Nightmare, who is targeting people near Harry. Oh yeah, and he's been "invited" to a vampire ball and his amoral fairy godmother (no, really) wants an old debt repaid.
But the situation becomes far more grim when Harry discovers that it's not just one enemy but many that are conspiring against him -- evil ghosts, malevolent vampires, and the Leanansidhe. Cornered on every side and with a bunch of innocent people threatened (including Michael's newborn son), Harry is faced with a terrible choice that has no good outcomes. And he might lose the person he loves best in the process...
"Grave Peril" is the point when the entire Dresden Files series blossoms like a black rose. The relatively simple storylines of the first two books abruptly give way to a complex tangle of intertwined enemies, conspiracies and magical creatures (ranging from fae to vampires). And rather than a standalone mystery/fantasy, this book is the start of a massive arc that promises to span the entire Dresden Files series.
Butcher's writing has matured as well, becoming a more polished brand of hard-boiled fantasy noir with some nasty stark details (such as barbed wire on the soul. Lots of snappy dialogue ("Vampires on a diet?" "Yeah. Make hers a Blood Lite"), sudden plot twists and detailed explorations of a nighttime world. But no matter how dark and bleak the book becomes, Butcher still manages some funny quirky moments (such as Harry attending a vampire ball in a cheap vampire costume).
And having also introduced multiple kinds of werewolf, Butcher does the same for other supernaturals here. There's the undead Black Court vampires, the alluring incubi of the White Court, and one of the more powerful and frightening Fae.
And poor Harry has a pretty rough time in this novel: chased by a sociopathic faery and a vengeful ghost, vampires intent on taking him out, locked in a dungeon with a crazy woman, and he suffers a terrible loss that upturns his entire life. Even worse, the poor guy is obviously going to feel pretty guilty about what happens to people close to him.
Butcher also introduces a bunch of new characters -- the pious and righteous Knight Michael, who seems to be one of the few people to gain Harry's deep respect; the lovable and sexy White Court vampire Thomas Raith; and the kindly old Catholic priest Father Forthill ("I've never had anyone ask me to bless a five-gallon drum into holy water before, Mr. Dresden"). Not to mention Lea, who promises to cause more trouble in future.
"Grave Peril" is the point when Jim Butcher's considerable talents began to fully bloom, in an urban fantasy full of grimy horror, tragedy and wit. Definitely a must-read....more info
- Almost too intense!
Fitting successor to FOOL MOON and, certainly to the genre. However, GRAVE PERIL was the most intense of the series so far and I'll admit the narrative was almost so hopeless of resolution at times that I just had to back off for a bit. Way too bleak.
As always, Mr. Butcher's style and characterization are emminently readable and Harry Dresden is quirky enough to keep the reader's interest. Plotting is intricate enough to make us pay attention and Dresden's world unfolds a bit more with every title in a beguiling manner.
I hope you don't tire of writing in the Dresden Files, Mr. Butcher.
- The best yet
'Grave Peril' is definitly the most entertaining installment of the 'Dresden Files' series so far. We learn more about Harry, and Butcher brings in a strong cast of new and returning secondary characters, as well. I really enjoyed meeting Michael, the Holy Knight whose powerful faith is an interesting counterpoint to Harry's powerful magic, and Thomas, the delectably written vampire whom even Harry notices looks awfully good in a loincloth. Is he a charming con-vamp, or a monster with his heart in the right place?--Harry's life might depend on whether he judges correctly. On top of all this, Harry and Susan's deepening romance hits an unexpected curve. 'Grave Peril' took a quantum leap forward in quality and depth from the first two books of the series, and left me eager to read the next....more info
- Funny and Suspenseful
Grave Peril, by Jim Butcher, is the 3rd novel in the Dresden Files.
Professional Wizard Harry Dresden is at it again. This time, someone (or something) is after Harry and his friend and knight, Michael, and it begins attacking their friends and family. Harry has his list of usual suspects. But when he's invited to a vampire ball, warning bells go off.
Big reveals and even more suspense accumulates in this installment. As always, Butcher does a wonderful job of including elements of clever humor in even intense situations. Characters grow and evolve, and not even Harry can save everyone....more info
- A few odd twists...
Last book werewolves, this book, ghosts.
Once again, Harry Dresden, professional wizard, leaps into the fray, not just to solve a crime, but to help the lady in need, or even anyone in need when the supernatural of "never-never" menaces those of us who cannot defend ourselves.
Oh, but wait, there's more. The vampires are making their move as well, and Harry could start a war between wizards and vampires if he is not careful. Which of course, he's not, but he does his best.
I really like the addition of Michael, the sword of God in this book. Here is a man of God, wielding one of the three "God-swords" (or whatever), who is working against the common evil with Dresden, even if he doesn't like Dresden's wizardry. I really like the part where a vampire touches Michael and her hand bursts into flame. "That's what happens." Michael says with a shrug.
Again, the very human seeming characters really bring the story alive. There are so many storylines mixing into this work that it can be hard at times to tell them apart, but the resolution works quite well....more info
- It just keeps getting better
If you want to know how I feel about this series as a whole, check out my other reviews. This installment, however, Butcher seems to have hit his stride.
New characters are introduced with a sense of backstory that actually made me wonder if I'd missed some books somewhere. Not that more story was needed to explain anything, I just wanted to know more about the history between these people. I was amazed at how real these people felt (especially the Knight of the Sword, Michael, who could arguably carry a series of his own). Even the main thrust of the plot seems to be intertwined with a previous case of Dresden's which we only see in flashback. This should be disconcerting, and I did occasionally find myself wishing I'd read that book as well. However, the story flows so well that you almost find yourself thinking that you did read that book.
More importantly, the third book in this series starts to delve into the emotional life of Harry Dresden in a way we'd only glimpsed before. Personally, I'm a sap, so I'm all for dealing with emotional issues. Also, it really helps you to know a character and their motivations better if you have more insight into their source.
Also, the further bits of background (more about the vampire Courts, the White Council, etc) really enhance the tapestry that is The Dresden Files. If this series does not become a cult hit, and soon, I'll be very surprised....more info
- Grave Peril (Book Three of The Dresden Files)
This book was very enjoyable. There are ghost, wizards, vampires, etc. Each of the "Dresden Files" is more addicting than the last one. Before I finished reading this "Grave Peril", I ordered #4, 5, 6, & 7. ...more info
- Another Rip-Roaring Good Read
Grave Peril is another stay-up-all-night-and-read-it-in-one-sitting book from author Jim Butcher. This time, wisecracking supernatural gumshoe Harry Dresden teams up with a Knight of The Cross to track down the source of supernatural unrest in the Chicago area. Turns out that a demon, ghosts, vampires, and Harry's evil fairy godmother all want a piece of him. Can Harry figure it out in time to save his friend detective Murphy? The book will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last page. ...more info
- Grave Peril
We need a new rating system. I gave the second book a 5 star and this series just keeps getting better. ...more info
- Nice premise, mediocre writing
I like the idea of a wizard living in modern-day Chicago. I like the noir-ish detective story, and the relationships between Harry and his various co-stars. I keep reading for those things.
Butcher's writing, however, requires a certain amount of patience from the reader. He comes across to me as a bit fan-boyish, something one of my friends would have written in high school. I agree with other reviewers who have compared his writing to something you'd experience in a role-playing game.
The most jarring part of his writing is the way the first-person narrator constantly bogs us down in details("the pocket of my duster", "my duster billowed behind me" - we get it, you like your coat), and distracts from the action by getting too bogged down in details like "I switched my blasting rod to my right hand and held the bag of ghost dust in my left". By the time he finished with that particular paragraph, the reader was expected to keep track of the staff, rod, bag of dust, duffel bag, AND the duster. I was so busy trying to picture all those things being held in two hands that I kept losing track of the action.
Another flaw is the constant harping on Harry's weakness for damsels in distress ("I'm a sucker for a damsel in distress"). Show us, Mr. Butcher - don't tell us - real people don't talk like that.
The originality of the story makes up for the juvenile writing style - recommended for a day on the beach or in front of the fire....more info
- best read
This was the first of the Harry Dresden books that I read. And what can I say. It had me crying with laughter. It just such a good blend of horror and comdy. I was on the train coming home from work when I got to the bit at the vampire masqurade ball and I had to cover my mouth to stop my self from crakking. If you have not read one of these books before I recomend you get hold of one. I was lucky, in england not many people have herd of them but i'm now doing my best to change that...more info
- great dresden book
Great dresden book and pissed off ghosts...
You gotta like Harry.. he is nice, tries to do the best he can and always messes up the thing he is trying to "right."
Bob the skull and his cat round out the entertainment...
- great cop connection
Butcher writes as well as always, and that Harry was involved more with S.I. is awesome. In the first two books, Harry and S.I. work mainly on cases together, but this time cops are victims in the investigation. Its great! I recommend to anyone interested - just read Fool Moon and Storm Front first!...more info
- Series kicks into high-gear with this one
I liked volumes 1 & 2 a great deal, but looking back now they'd get about a B+ and starting with volume 3 Butcher delivers straight A+ marvels! I can't begin to tell you how much my wife and I have enjoyed this series. If J. K. Rowling delivered a brand-new Harry Potter novel and a newly discovered lost novel from J. R. R. Tolkien were released the same day as a new Harry Dresden novel, we'd get all three, but I think we'd devour Jim Butcher first.
Oh, and if you haven't tried them, the audio books read by James Marsters are absolutely wonderful! ...more info
- Butcher serves it up again !!
If your a fan of the Dresden files you will love this one, if your not you might like to try it. True it is a bit off the wall but it is also loaded with quick wit and humor and enough characterization to make you care about Dresdan and the people he works with and against. I loved it !
- Audiobook by James Marsters adds to excellent story by Jim Butcher
I assume that hearing the audiobook recorded by James Marsters is a different experience from reading Grave Peril. The audiobook is amazing however.
Mr. Marsters' reading of the Dresden Files has become stronger with each book. He infuses the characters with warmth, passion, anger, ferocity, and most importantly, love and humor. As the story progresses, Mr. Marsters does an excellent job expressing the cadence of the story, the descent into despair of Dresden and his attempt to do right no matter what the cost and the rise into light as he does what is right even though doing so doesn't always come with roses and kisses. His wail at the fundamental unfairness of the world touches the heart. Mr. Marsters is also becoming more comfortable playing with different voices to protray the various characters. I would wish the audiobooks to have a little bit better direction and much better production in terms of consistent sound (volume, pitch, continuity between tracks). It would also behoove Buzzymedia to use a better mp3 format; right now they are just including each track from the CD version as a separate poorly named file rather than having one or two bookmarkable files that are file protected but more readily playable on an iPod or other mp3 player.
Mr. Butcher's Dresden is an old-fashioned type. Harry Dresden is at some level simply a fantasy or a daydream for the nerdish adolescent who yearns to vanquish the monsters, save the day and the girl, get and lose the girl, and survive to fight again. When I can't wait to read the next book in a series it is a confirmation that a writer has touched my heart and engaged my mind. I bought the next three books in the series before hearing the end of this one. Mr. Butcher has intrigued me with the character of Harry Dresden and I am eager to find out how his story progresses; I believe that others will be similarly intrigued.
Additionally, Mr. Butcher has introduced us to other compelling characters. The character of Michael, the whitest of White Knights, a righteous man---whose wife is named Charity but perhaps would have been better named Joan (as in "of Ark")--- fights alongside Dresden; this uneasy partnership is an interesting protrayal of the tension between Christian belief and magical power; it makes me think about those Christians who are dismayed over the popularity of the Harry Potter books. Michael is the best of the newly introduced characters and it is comforting to see Harry Dresden having a partner in the fight. Another character, mentioned briefly in previous novels and drawn more fully in nightmarish detail in this one, is his fairy godmother, a sweet sounding phrase but not a sweet character here. Bianca, the Vampire Queen, comes to exact her "regret" threatened in the first of the series; she is just one more monster who wants to blame Dresden for her own sorry actions. Dresden needs to get over his guilt trip.
Sadly, a favorite character, Murphy, the police detective with the unenviable job of investigating supernatural mischief and mayhem that the modern world resists acknowledging, plays a minor role in this novel. Unfortunately or fortunately---I have mixed emotions---Rodriguez', plucky reporter and gorgeous Latina girlfried (see earlier reference to nerdish adolescent daydream), fate at the end of Grave Peril, opens the way for Murphy's and Dresden's relationship to develop in future novels. The juxtaposition of Murphy's cheerleader blondness and Rodriquez' Latin sensuality is worthy of a few eye-rolls but just underscores Dresden's nerdy old-fashioned need to save every woman in distress he meets; maybe someday he'll get that each is capable of kicking plenty of butt in her own way, and that either would be a worthy partner is the battle against the monsters.
As mentioned earlier, Dresden is an old-fashioned man: he is incapable of expressing his emotions, believes that everything that happens around him is his problem to solve because only he can solve those problems. He is everything stereotypically maddening about men in general, and everything worthwhile about an old-fashioned man as well. If that offends your modern sensibilities you might not like these novels; if you have some affectionate memories of such a man, you may enjoy them.
Well worth a listen for more than a little escapist fun. Unfortunately you can only get the first of the three audiobooks in this series. Hopefully BuzzyMedia will be able to engage James Marsters to record the rest of the series soon.
- A little too much like a roleplaying game
Funny how my tastes have changed. I read a book by Jim Butcher recently called "Grave Peril," and I would have formerly loved it. I did devour it, a quick greedy read, but it left me unsatisfied. The writing was competent, and the action fast-paced, style firmly set in the Tanya Huff/Laurell Hamilton supernatural thriller genre. Hard-boiled wizard detective with a heart of gold must solve disturbances in the spirit world spilling into the real world, when someone has been torturing ghosts into tearing the veil. A vampire court is involved, as is a scheming faery he owes a debt to. Accompanied by a Knight Templar with a holy sword, he has to solve the puzzle before it's too late. I'm not saying it's a bad book, but for under three hundred pages, it's not very well-developed. He brings in characters for the first time who he apparently doesn't develop much if at all in other books.
I'd rate it a good young adult book, with a few well-written disturbing scenes and enjoyable descriptions and action, but the first-person point of view does grate after a while, since the main character is not very believable as a person. Harry is very much a "Mary Sue" kind of character, and I suspect he began as the author's roleplaying player character. Butcher loses points for blatantly ripping off the setting of the White Wolf roleplaying universe, complete with the war between mage council and vampire court, Paradox Flaws, True Faith, and the Umbra in general. Everything just gets renamed but could have otherwise been inserted directly into the WW setting. I'd rate "Grave Peril" much higher if the concepts, though handled well, were not so clearly stolen wholecloth from other people....more info
I've been devouring this series this week! Yum, yum--good brain candy!
I'll admit--when the premise was first revealed, dealy ghosts, I thought "Okay, now, how is this going to be interesting?" Let me tell ya--it got VERY interesting after the initial slow startup. Kinda sneaked up behind me and GOT me.
I love how Harry and Susan have settled into their relationship--she's incredibly patient with the craziness in scheduling his profession brings about.
I also loved the twists at the ending--didn't see it coming!
Three for three! I get the next one tomorrow!...more info
I heard good things about this series and being fresh out of Stephen King books I dove into these. I loved the first book, fresh concept interesting character everything I needed to get hooked.
The second book made me scratch my head a bit because even tho some of the characters had changed the story remained the same. He always gets the **** beat out of him always fights at half power or with some other detriment and is always blaming himself for things a 10 year old know are out of his control.
I picked this third book up praying I wouldn't have to go looking for a new author and was sadly disappointed, same rehashed formula different bad guys....more info
- Harry, master of the .357 Mouth
Harry has this thing about going after paranormal critters, especially things that have relatively little body connection to the physical world. Unfortunately, while he does that, he does a lot of structural damage to the city.
This novel introduces some very interesting secondary characters that become involved with Harry's world - Michael and the Knights of the Sword, Vampires of the Red Court, Vampires of the Black Court, A certain Mister Q (he smokes when nothing is lit, Dragons do that), and most of the underground (or at least unseen) magical community of Chicago.
Harry has a keen ability to hack people off, I believe that is his true power, and he's just developing it with each novel....more info
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