10 Nov 2011


Get ready for another double review, today its the turn of books 3 and 4 in the Harry Dresden series by JIM BUTCHER.

Harry has faced some 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 loco. All over town, ghosts are causing trouble - and not 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 might just wind up as a ghost himself.
........ Outer back cover.

Since his girlfriend left town to deal with her newly acquired taste for blood, Harry's been down and out. He can't pay his rent. He's alienating his friends. He can't recall his last shower, Then when things are at their worst, the Winter Queen of Faerie saunters in with an offer Harry can't refuse. All he has to do is find out who murdered the Summer Knight, the Summer Queen's right-hand man, and clear the Winter Queen's name.

It seems simple, but Faerie politics seldom work out that way. Then Harry discovers the fate of the entire world rests on this case. So no pressure......
......Outer back cover.

MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 72, Grave Peril): "And Harry Dresden, professional wizard. I've never had anyone ask me to bless a five-gallon drum into holy water before, Mr Dresden."

KEEP THEM OR NOT?: Borrowed from the library but I'm certainly going to buy a copy of both.

Though both of these can be read as stand-alone novel I highly recommend that the previous books be read first as (a) they are a wonderful read, my favourite of the 'supernatural' genre and (b)there are references to previous events and knowing some of the background (particularly the characters backgrounds) though not crucial is, if nothing else, great reading.

My favourite novels in the series so far ..... yes, I know I said this about the previous books as well. Both novels are perhaps a little less action packed but more than make up for this by being a more, a more, intelligent(?) read and by this I mean that there is more to the story than the other two books - at least in my opinion anyway.

But, as always, what makes these books so readable (apart from the wonderful Harry of course) is the wicked humour. I mean how many people would ever even dream of going to a vampire's masquerade ball dressed as a vampire?

Reading slightly more like crime thrillers, only with otherworldly creatures as the bad guys, to my mind, Grave Peril I believe is the scariest case that Harry has had to deal with so far - not to give too much away, 'the villain'(and I quote).......

Tore up a bunch of stuff on consecrated ground, blew through somebody's threshold and tore his spirit apart and slapped a torture-spell on him.

Small wonder Harry needs to solve the case and fast.

But it's the added element of faith in this story that I find so wonderfully inspiring. Michael (aka The Fist of God) is a truly amazing character, his faith in God seemingly unshakable, which is a great contrast to Harry who is a much more flawed character who though he has a strong sense of right and wrong often questions his own judgement.

As for Summer Knight?

Though not without its fair share of blood and guts, Summer Knight was slightly less gory than the previous books in the series (no bad thing in my opinion) but what I really enjoyed was the fact that this flowed on so well from Grave Peril - no mean fete when you consider how difficult this must be when it also reads so well as a stand-alone novel.

AND I also loved the fact that we got to meet up with Toot-toot the pizza loving faerie again as well as Bob the sarcastic, romantic fiction reading, spirit who dwells in a human skull (how I wish the author would make more of this intriguing character) and then there was the battle between the Summer Queen's and Winter Queen's Courts - truly inspired writing, and a great whodunit, for me it provided a wonderfully different explanation for climate change.

Grave Peril was the 85th book read in my 100+ Reading Challenge, Summer Knight the 90th. As always, wonderfully written, I'm amazed at just how much the author must know about folk lore and legend, I highly recommend these as a fantastic read.


Heather said...

I read the first book in this series and loved it. Really must make a point of reading more about Harry and his exploits. Thanks for the reminder.

R. Ramesh said...

amazed at your reading habit...it is a gift ya...and thanks for yr consistent encouragement friend:)

Kelly said...

Your review does make these sound quite appealing.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Oh man. Can you believe I still have the first on my tbr and haven't gotten to it yet? I've heard such great things about this author and met his wife. I want to read both their books and especially this series!! Yep, you got me wanting to pick it up!

Suko said...

Your terrific reviews have whetted my interest in both of these novels. (And I now wonder about the "wonderfully different explanation for climate change".)

Alexia561 said...

Excellent reviews! Harry Dresden is one of my favorite series and I love Jim Butcher, so always happy to have my opinion confirmed by others! ;)

And I absolutely LOVE Bob the skull!